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Could my son be dyspraxic? Grateful for any advice! A bit long and rambling!

(4 Posts)
yosammitysam Mon 06-Oct-08 22:38:49

I have a 7.5 yr old ds and I'm beginning to think perhaps he is dysraxic, but he doesn't fit all the sympotms that I've found on other websites etc.
He is overall a lovely, really good kid but he just seems so hopeless at being self sufficient in any way. He struggles every single morning with breakfast and getting ready for school in one way or another, forgetting what he is doing, daydreaming etc. He still can't use a knife and fork properly or eat without making a terrible mess. He also is fussy to the point of being a bit phobic about certain foods- usually of certain textures. I've no idea if thats connected or just him! He won't wear trousers with waistbands or shirts with collars and finds getting dressed a huge struggle

I feel like I get angry with him so often for all these things and he does try and gets upset and we just both end up in a bit of a state. He's the eldest and I've just had ds 3 so I suppose maybe I'm expecting to just grow up a bit.

He also runs in a very strange way- almost like skipping and waving his arms. He does play football though but isn't great at it. He is still very cuddly and kissy, he tries to kiss his friends when they have all grown out of anything like that. I've read that that can be a symptom.
As a baby he didn't roll over or crawl but was walking at 10months. He took ages to hold a pen properly, dress himself etc etc.

As I write this I suppose it all does sound a bit like dyspraxia, but I just don't know what to do. I feel a bit odd talking to his teacher as I know her quite well and would have thouht she'd have said something to me. I've got no idea how it would be diagnosed anyway- and what can be done. I feel really upset about it and I don't know if he's just being a normal seven year old and I'm just being horrible, expecting too much from him and then assuming he's got something wrong with him when he doesn't reach my expectations. Other mums I know always seem to think that their kids are perfect little things and would never assume there was anything 'wrong' with them.

He's also very bright- got level 3's in his sats and is in all the top groups so I don't know if Im worrying over nothing. But there have been so many little things that all just seem to be adding up. I've always felt like he had a lack of muscle tone or something- he can't seem to grip well and he dribbled endlessly as a baby and toddler and had speech therapy for two years because he couldn't pronounce lots of sounds (the salt never gave it a formal diagnosis though) and still has a very pronounced weak 'r' and stammers occasionally. And it's like he doesn't do things 'instinctively' like other kids do. I have had to teach him everything from how to open his lunch box to how to climb up a climbing frame!

I've tried to talk to friends but they are really dismissive saying 'oh, thats just boys' and 'he's so bright, why are you worried?' And I know he is healthy and thriving so feel a bit like I'm being an over anxious, paranoid mother.

Is he perfectly okay and I'm just expecting too much from him? Or could he be dyspraxic so needs extra support and patience? I feel so awful though because I get so frustrated and end up shouting at him all the time.
Sorry for all the rambling- don't really know where to turn.

I just wanted to know if anyone else has had this experience. Of a child being seemingly a bit 'hopeless' (sorry thats an awful word to use I know) but in actual fact, it all being caused by dyspraxia. And if so what, if anything can be done. He writes fine now- not neatly but acceptable and draws fab pictures, so some things have improved with practice. My mum says I'm just horribly impatient with him and that just makes me feel worse

AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 07-Oct-08 07:07:31

Not altogether surprised that his teacher has not said anything - many teachers would not recognise dyspraxia anyway if it was there (this subject is not taught at teacher training college).

Would suggest you ask your GP for a referral to a developmental paed and an occupational therapist (certainly one of those people). They can help with all manner of co-ordination difficulties (waiting list to see an OT can be v long).

Does he have any speech therapy now?.

I would not dismiss your concerns; my initial thought was dyspraxia as well upon reading your message (his co-ordination difficulties with eating, organisational skills, dressing and running made me think that).

Have a look at the Dyscovery Foundation website as well.


turquoise Tue 07-Oct-08 07:59:22

He sounds ever so much like my son at that age, who was not diagnosed with dyspraxia until he changed schools at 10. He was diagnosed by an occupational therapist arranged by the school, but presumably your gp could refer you?

Don't worry, lots can be done my ds is nearly 14 and though still fairly disorganised and with terrible writing, is lovely and happy and doing just fine. Try not to give him too many things to remember at once - got to run to school now but will come back having tried to remember various strategies.

yosammitysam Tue 07-Oct-08 09:11:20

Hi, thanks for advice.
I guess perhaps I should go and talk to my gp. I'm not quite sure what to do in terms of telling ds why I'm taking him to the doc's.

Turquoise thats really interesting that your son was diagnosed at 10. I had assumed dyspraxia was generally diagnosed quite young when they start school but his teachers have never raised concerns- it's just me! But then as ATM says, teachers might not pick up on it.
Even if he's not dyspraxic I would really appreciate any strategies to help him get a bit more 'together!'

He can cope ok with specific tasks usually. He has a list pinned up with what to do each morning (it literally reads, get up, take pjs off, put pants on etc etc!). The thing that worries me is that he's probably had the list up for about 6month but he still has to read it every day! It still doesn't come to him automatically.

Any tips for mealtimes would be great as family meals just get so stressful and he's eating less and less and taking longer and longer to eat .

He's not havong speech therapy now- he was assesed last year but they decided not to continue- he can be understood fine if he's not rushing.

Pleased to hear your son is doing well now turquoise


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