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ASD Dyspraxia and forgetfulness(14 Posts)
Posting here for traffic.
I have a 7yr old dc with asd and dyspraxia. He was diagnosed age 3 with quite severe symptoms - language delay, outbursts etc.
He's come on leaps and bounds since then and is doing well academically, has a circle of friends and is well behaved at school.
His main issue now is that due to being poor at organising his thoughts he is extremely forgetful. He leaves his pencils, jumpers, coats, gloves etc wherever he puts them down and loses things all the time and forgets to give his completed homework in.
He is becoming very anxious about it as he is getting into trouble for it all the time and is embarrassed that it makes him stand out. For eg when the older children bring round lost property the teacher will say 'surprise surprise its X again' and it makes him really embarrassed. He also has to move his name down the chart when he forgets things. A few times he has come home and told me that he has been able to move his name up for good work in maths but has then had to move it straight back down because he left his jumper/pen or whatever in the maths classroom.
He also often has to miss break because he forgets to give his homework in when it is completed in his bag. Even missing break he doesn't make the connection that he just needs to get it from his bag as he doesn't remember having done it!
My question is what can I do or reasonably expect the school to do to help him organise himself? I get that they are trying to encourage him to be independent but they have been sanctioning him for forgetting things since September now and there's been no improvement. It wasn't an issue in infants as they were more lenient and tas would generally put things in and retrieve them from bags.
Any advice appreciated particularly if you work in a school or are a parent of a child with similar issues.
Can you ask his teacher to stop commenting? Im visually impaired and have other difficulties and this happens a lot. With keys or very important things tI put them the same place always if that helps. But i still have trouble with other things.
Hi I have son with dyspraxia and ASD too. Sorry I find that very appalling. What happened to reasonable adjustments for children with disabilities? I would question what they are doing to help him with his organisational skills rather than punishing him tbh
My son is in year 2 btw so not sure if this will change with us next yr too!! But I would question their inclusion and how they are adjusting things/making this easier for him rather than punishing him
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
We have tried a photo key ring funnily enough but he didn't look at it without prompting and he leaves things every time he goes outside and goes to a different class, which he does for Maths and English and he also forgets to take his homework to Maths and English to hand in as well so he would need a lot of prompting. He also managed to lose the key rings a couple of times when they broke!
The fact he leaves things wouldn't bother me so much if he wasn't embarrassed and missing breaks for it. All his stuff is labelled and turns up in the lost property eventually.
It would be good if I could find away to get him more organised though that he could use himself especially as he gets older for remembering/handing in homework and things.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Could you talk to the school senco?
It's def not right that they are telling him of for something he has no control over!!!
Is he entitled to any support? The school have to pay for the first 13 hours but seems he needs help organising him self. Maybe a list of things he needs to put away or remember?
My daughter had Austin and global development delay she has a 1-1 so never have your worry, however I'm starting to think she has inattentive adhd......
I have an older child with ASD and dyspraxia who is still incredibly forgetful. But he is also now very organised at school, and I think this is to do with hyperfocus and habits. So once he does something regularily and it is associated with some other habit he finds it very easy to remember.
So for example he has no difficulty remembering to put his travelcard in the same little drawer in the hall, and putting his homework in his bag now because he never deviates from this pattern. This comes at a cost, which he refuses to take any books out of his bag except to do homework and then immediately puts them back again, which makes his knapsack enormously heavy!! But he says if he tries to make a plan, he forgets something, so the habit stays.
At this age, only 7 I would say that prompts are the way to go, and little things like perhaps never taking his jumper off (is school incredibly hot?) or always tying it round his waist (you could practise this) if he does. And putting his pens back in a box always, again practise at home so it becomes like a physical habit. But homework should be prompted by the teacher and he personally should be prompted, not just a generic prompt to whole class, until he gets into the habit (and he will, that physical habit of walking up and handing it in, will remain in his memory banks) Habits are also reinforced by similar journeys, so if you do the same journey in the house every time you do a habit it is quite easy, otherwise they tend to go into "fugue" and wander around and have absolutely no idea why they have headed upstairs, to a room, and what they were looking for.
It is to do with processing, the processing of spoken instructions, which probably will not sink in, whilst he is thinking or concentrating on something else. If you explain this to the teacher that however many times she says something it is physically not processed by his auditory memory, she might see why he cannot remember or do what she asks. It needs a physical association or series of steps to stay in his brain.
Has he seen an OT? An OT would give all sorts of recommendations for the teacher and should in fact be liasing in some form with the school and observing him in class? If not, why not? Ask SENCO. most schools have some sort of outreach where an OT comes in and helps observes and recommends things to teachers.
The anxiety makes it incredibly important that you put this back onto the school and don't assume all the responsibility for "training" him. Quite soon this is going to get worse as the academic pressure ramps up, and the constant expectations of the staff that he should organise himself will be very destructive, so log it in writing, and keep on reminding them in writing, whenever he is showing anxiety over school stuff.
When I hear this sort of thing I always think of that scene in Jane Eyre where Helen Burns is being told off for being all over the place being untidy and forgetful.
If this is not addressed properly you are going to end up with a very anxious child who is unable to function in school.
The forgetting and poor organisation are part of his autism. Autism is a recognised disability and covered by the Equality Act 2010. The school should recognise this and also that they have a legal duty to put in "reasonable adjustments".
Failing to make reasonable adjustments is classed as disability discrimination.
It is outrageous and unacceptable that that they keep sending him to detention for forgetting his homework when a simple adjustment would be for someone to remind him to go and look in his bag.
I would print this off and go and talk to the senco and class teacher. They need to get their act together and think of ways to help him and not keep punishing him.
In your position I would be raging.How dare they treat your poor little boy like this?
My DS also has this problem with forgetfulness. He has an ASD diagnosis but not dyspraxia - I was told by an OT he definitely has it but they won't diagnose it for some reason. Anyway I don't know what to do about the forgetfulness either am just letting you know you aren't alone and am following for tips! DS starts secondary school in Sept and I'm very nervous about he will cope.
My DS has ASD and has a great memory for things like maths and spelling but is very forgetful when it comes to things like where he left his coat. His school are really understanding. They make allowances for him while also trying to help him to learn to organise himself better. Your son's school doesn't sound great.