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calling all with experience of dyspraxia

(21 Posts)
kittywise Sat 31-Jan-09 18:47:56

Hello, not sure if this is the right section, but hopefully someone can point me in the right directionsmile

I am become more and more convinced that ds1(10) has a form of dyspraxia. I am no expert but from what I have read some of the symptoms fit him so exactly.

He had a difficult birth, em sections, low oxygen etc.

He has always been a different child, walked early, but had terrible difficulties communicating. Didn't speak a recognisable word until he was three. At 10 he still has problems forming sentences, he can't 'find' words, uses strange words, but has a wonderful imagination.

He has problem forming good friendships and now in year 6 he has lost pretty much all of them because of his inability to relate properly.sad. Saying that he is a kind lovely boy, but is different to the others and they don't like it.sad

He is just a bit 'odd'.

He has fine motor skill problems, trouble using scissors, can't follow instructions, has only just learned at 10 to ie his laces, it took us ages to teach him as he simply couldn't remember the sequence of instructions.

He has had extra help in school to help him follow instructions.

He is has NO gross motor skill problems though.

Reading is good, writing ok, but he constantly misses out words and can't see it makes no sense, just like his speech.

He also has this need to carry round a lego brick or stone which he turns around in his hand constantly, even at school, although we have tried to put a stop to that.

He as had salt but they have always said nothing is wronghmm.

Does this sound like possible dyspraxia? Is it possible not to have gross motor skill issues and yet display other traits?

Thanks smile
Anyway, sorry for the ramble.

Hassled Sat 31-Jan-09 19:02:36

I would say it was unlikely that there were no gross motor skills problems at all in a Dyspraxic. Unlikely, but with the fine motor issues and everything else you've said, I think an Ed Psych assessment would be useful. You can ask for one via the school SENCo, or try your GP, or you can go private.

Remember though that Dyspraxia is a medical condition and to get a proper DX you need a medic - usually the community paediatrician. The Ed Psych or Occupational Therapists (who could help with tasks to improve the fine motor skills) can say they think it's Dyspraxia, but they can't actually provide that vital bit of paper.

madlentileater Sat 31-Jan-09 19:03:31

am no expert but ds2 has dx of dyspraxia- and doesn't sound much like your ds, apart from the shoelaces
he had normal delivery, vgc at birth grin
slow with all physical milestones, didn't crawl but bottom shuffled.
However speech completely fine, has v good vocab and expresses self clearly.
Co ordination very poor, gross and fine. eg at 11 could only just ride a bike. Very messy eater -in fact a very messy person- and handwriting is so bad you would easily believe done by a 5 yr old. He has a statement, they have more or less given up on handwriting he has a computer or a scribe. Reading is just about within normal range, but he NEVER reads for pleasure as it's such a chore for him- this is what I find hardest.
OTOH he is sensitive, perceptive, polite, funny, aware of others feelings, (shocked his TA by asking how she was each moning), good at science, maths, has just got into drama which he will be good at...
sorry if this doesn't answer your questions, I don't know if he is 'typical' of dyspraxia...but that's what he's like, and he definitely has dyspraxia.

Hassled Sat 31-Jan-09 19:06:38

I should add that I have a 10 year old DS2 who fits your description perfectly - but add to that a tendency to walk on tiptoes, constant falling over and very poor spatial awareness. He has had a lot of help at school - has been taught to touch-type, to get past the handwriting issues etc., and will get extra time and a scribe for his SATs, so if your DS does have problems it is well worth investigating.

Pollyanna Sat 31-Jan-09 19:14:36

your ds's social issues and fine motor skills do sound like my ds1 (who is dypraxic). my ds also has bad handwriting. he does have some major motor skills problems but not too bad.

Maybe your ds has oral dyspraxia too? Mine did, and had quite alot of therapy for it.

My ds also has v bad concentration and is v v disorganised. he is very good at reading though.

I think dypraxia has alot of different symptoms and different children "suffer" differently. For my ds, his "oddness" is definitely the worst symtom.

Sorry am typing while bfg ds2.

Pollyanna Sat 31-Jan-09 19:16:01

I can spell honest! one fingered typing!

amber32002 Sun 01-Feb-09 06:28:43

"..different child..Didn't speak a recognisable word until he was three. At 10 he still has problems forming sentences, he can't 'find' words, uses strange words... problem forming good friendships ...inability to relate properly.. fine motor skill problems, trouble using scissors, can't follow instructions, has only just learned at 10 to ie his laces...He also has this need to carry round a lego brick or stone which he turns around in his hand constantly.."

Kitty, another possibility is an ASD, so I'd say it's worth asking for a referral to a developmental paediatrician to see what's what?

JollyPirate Sun 01-Feb-09 07:22:53

Your DS sounds exactly like my DS who is 6. The school's SENCO is involved with him and at present are going through the process of trying to get him statemented. The school talk about developmental dyspraxia but also about Aspergers Syndrome (high functioning autism). Because DS is still so young nobody will diagnose him yet - his social skills are a bit rough and ready - but then so are many 6 year old's social skills.

I think you need to ask for an appojntment with the school's SENCO. Ask him/her what problems the school are having with your DS and what support they are offering.

My son was picked up as having Sensory Integration problems/delay - this can be an issue with children who have autism or Aspergers but can also be a stand alone condition.

LIZS Sun 01-Feb-09 08:04:35

he has had such little help so far . Sounds similar to ds(10 and dyspraxic) but he has gross motor skill issues too and is fine verbally. Is he already on School action or School action plus with an iep if he has had some in-class help ? Can you ask the SENCO or gp for referral for assessment by a paed and Educational Psychologist because undertsading the problem and intervention can make such a difference. It will become worse, I fear, at secondary school so time is of the essence.

misscutandstick Sun 01-Feb-09 08:19:14

At a guess i would say some form of ASD with oral dypraxia and a good amount of dyslexia too - which can interfere with mental lists and priorities (hence the problem with shoe-laces, and following a list of instructions) and cause HUUUGE problems with mental pattern matching (ie. finding the right word, 'seeing' each word in a senence, even facial recognition!).

Its definately time to chase up the SENCO and get an Ed Psych in. Good Luck, you are past the first hurdle in actually seeing what the problems are.

kittywise Sun 01-Feb-09 08:22:25

Thanks so much guys.

The thing is he has become more normal as time has gone on. We have worked so hard to try and pull him up.
he was under the senco for a while, to help with the co ordination issues and he hedid have an IEP for a whe. As far as I know now he has nothing.

He functions highly enough within the class to need no help at all.

When I have talke to his teachers about problems like have looked astonished!

See he is August born so they always put down any issues to his age within the class.

You know it's just lots of LITTLE THINGS which it's so hard to show people.

I wondered about the twiddling the lego brick. I have a friend who I haven't seen for a while, her son is severly autistic and remember him going round our garden furiously twiddling with objects. She said he did it to block out stimulation when things got too much.

I honestly don't think the senco can help me( she is a drip). Who else can I go to?

He is normal and functioning in so many ways, but the oddities.......

He has no friends left now, that is the thing that saddens me the most I want to try and get some sort of answer before he moves to sec school next year.

Sorry, yet another rambling post, but reading your messages today has made me all jumpy!!!

kittywise Sun 01-Feb-09 08:28:13

Sorry, just thought of some more issues.

If there's foot to trip over, he will

He can't organise himself, or his thoughts.
But when speaking his does so in the most poetic way, using very complicated sentence structure.

He can't remember where things are, eg in the kitchen if you asked him to get a bowl he'd have trouble remembering where it was even though he's got it many times before.

He is the most loving child though. Last night he ran me a bath, got me a drink and whilst I was in the bath he talked to me and massaged my hands and feetshock.
I was happier than I'd been for ages.

LIZS Sun 01-Feb-09 08:29:02

If SENCO won't help (and if it is a state school she is obliged to, especially given the history you describe but may be worried about fidning implications) you can ask your GP to refer to the paed and/or pay for private assessments by Ed Psych ,OT etc if you have means (not cheap). If he is still seeing SALT then he is "in the system" and she may be able to help with referrals.

kittywise Sun 01-Feb-09 08:38:09

Thanks LIZS, the salt signed him off ages ago.
I kind of gave up on her. She just said he was basically fine and I she hep him find words when he got stuck.
I really hoped she was right, I wanted to believe she was right and that there was nothing that time wouldn,t sort out.

I'm worried about how I can go about getting him assessd without him feeling freaky. He already knows he is different to other children, but no adult I have ever known has thought him any different to anyone else.

He had a lovely teacher in year three who helped the class to accept his lego brick by saying he was a 'kinsthetic(sp?) learner'

misscutandstick Sun 01-Feb-09 08:59:26

Many children actually feel much better knowing why it is that they have difficulties with things that they see other children manage so naturally - if they dont know theres a problem quite often they can feel like a failure, like its them being useless. Okay, admittedly a label is often quite hard to cope with to begin with, but after its accepted (and then subsequent blaming EVERYthing on it has finished) then the child (or adult! if its very late Dx) will feel much better about themselves.

misscutandstick Sun 01-Feb-09 09:04:07

Forgot to mention, with the right phrasing from you and plenty of enthusiasm for "helping him feel better and helping him rmember things easier" and finding out "how we can help you be happier and worry less", fingers crossed he should see it as a positive thing - Good luck!

You could always do the initial visits to professionals (GP etc) without him, just to express your worries without him listening in.

Hassled Sun 01-Feb-09 09:04:58

If the SENCo is hopeless and you don't want a battle with the school (you could, for example, go to the Head, look at the Inclusion or SEN Policy and highlight how they are not meeting your child's needs etc - which does include social stuff), then go back to your GP. I think people under-estimate how useful GPs can be - he/she can refer to the Paediatrician, who would then calll for an Ed Psych assessment. There are other routes you can go down.

Miscut is quite right about the value a label can have - my DS2 blamed himself and was really quite unhappy and disruptive before I would wave the diagnosis at him as "proof" that it wasn't his fault.

LIZS Sun 01-Feb-09 09:08:37

agree with misscutandstick, ds realised from a fairly young age that he could n't do some things as easily as his peers so has embraced anything that could make his life easier. He doesn't know the label but can describe the symptoms and casues fo some his problems (ie loose arm and hand joints for poor writing hence using a writing slope, lack of core stability and coordination for swimming), how he learns and needs things presented and explained, if he needs to. Also it has helped steer him to consciously choose activities which give a benefit such as climbing and sailing, and that he can do relatively well at.

TotalChaos Sun 01-Feb-09 09:13:43

Agree with misscutandstick - not quite the same issue but I had undiagnosed OCD as a teen - I thought I worried so much because I was a bad person, felt isolated having so much anxiety - once I got a diagnosis and did some reading around the topic - I felt much better about myself.

Agree with Hassled about going down the GP route if Senco is unhelpful. Does your DS get the chance to do any out of school activities with different groups of children - as that might take some of the social pressure off him if he can do things based around a shared interest with other kids. You could also consider getting private SALT for him (a few appointments can be very helpful in terms of assessing where he's at and giving you work to do at home with your DS to help his communication). SALT should also look at conversational/social skills too.

SammyK Sun 01-Feb-09 09:20:29

Don't know if this will help but wanted to share, my ds is in te process of being diagnosed with aspergers, and looking also likely dyspraxia too, the two are often hand in hand apparently, and a lot of the 'symptoms' overlap both conditions.

Our school are a bit wet too, I have done most of mine through the GP, the plan then being to push the school when I have a medical dx to show them so I can't be dismissed as an anxious mum and ds can't be dismissed as 'babyish' hmm angry

ask to have him referred through the GP.

kittywise Sun 01-Feb-09 09:42:01

Thanks once again all.

I was rather hoping you'd all tell me that there was obviously nothing wrong with ds!

I know there is though.

I will make a gp appt tomorrow.

Does all this take a very, very long time?

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