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Dyspraxic DS - More and more isolated at school!

(13 Posts)
walkthedinosaur Thu 25-Jun-09 16:57:54

So DS1's report came home today, for weeks he's been telling me that he plays football with the other children, he plays marbles at recreation but in big red letters on a separate sheet of paper right at the front where I could see it, it says "DS1 is lost with instruction. He doesn't understand the rules of play. He doesn't participate in games and is becoming isolated more and more".

I'm really, really upset, he's such a lovely little chap and he's been telling me all these stories about playing with the others to make me feel better apparently. He says the other kids call him stupid. I know he's a bit eccentric and he does enjoy playing by himself but I don't know what to do. The teacher has also said that she expects him to struggle with his school work next year and he needs help, but makes no comment about how he's supposed to receive this help. She also went on to say that his lack of organisational skills are now starting to annoy the other children in the class.

What can I do? I'm not there all day? I try and organise him as he comes out of the classroom, try and make him take responsibilty for his pens and pencils but I can't sit and hold his hand all day at school. They know he has dyspraxia, his OT has rung his teacher and explained to her and yet still all this negativity.

Academically he's doing OK, apart from messy handwriting and reversing letters and figures still.

So tomorrow I go in and ask what type of help she suggests and if she has a list of tutors.

This is all made so much more difficult by the fact that we're in France, there appears to be absolutely no help available for kids with special educational needs.

Any mechanisms for me to help and teach my son to be more organised in the classroom before next term starts are greatfully received.

Sorry just came on here to vent, DH in the UK and the only people to talk to are the DC's.

mummysaurus Fri 26-Jun-09 12:08:54

Hi walkthedinosaur

not sure i can offer words of wisdom as my son with developmental delay (and I suspect dyspraxia) is still at pre-school but couldn't ignore another dinosaur winkand your ds sounds lovely.

V unfair of school to tell you the problems but not set out what they plan to do to help. And is is HER responsibility which she is obviously trying to shirk.

No experience of system in france but as an eu country it must have something to say on disability discrimination and access.Try to find out as much as you can

I suggest that if you are not happy with her response then you should arrange a meeting with the head of the school who may be more willing to help.

good luck

ChopsTheDuck Fri 26-Jun-09 12:47:41

He sounds adorable! How old is he?

Has the OT made actual suggestions to the school with what they need to do?

I have no idea how you can teach organisational skills to a child with dyspraxia. It jsut goes in one ear and out the other! grin I had this issue with ds1, and I ended up going to the Head who was a lot more sympathetic, and now the teacher knows she does have to organise ds and check up on him.

If he is having issues with pens and pencils, could he have several sets? One for his desk/tray, one in his bag, one for at home, so he doesn't have to keep moving it around and misplacing it?
Does he have support with handwriting? Grips on pencils and writing slopes? Instructions need breakign down into manageable chunks and clearly explained with eye contact.

Do they do the whole friends over for dinner thing in France? I'm trying to help ds make more friends that way. It is hard though, kids can be so mean!

Carens Fri 26-Jun-09 14:02:28

wink Hi folks excuse me for butting in can i be so rude as to ask what year of school & age ure son is - my son is 11 ive had a few wee posts on here regards to him he also has dyspraxia....trial & error are a great school of learnin for us parents of such beautiful kids. Educational psycologist IS these kids best pals - has ures been assessed for a statement of special educational needs? This in its self is ure sheild for ure child throughout their education & a very important thing to have done for them. I myself live in N.Ireland & have found the help you get when ure child has had an educational assessment is wholey positivesad but NOT every child who maybe dyspraxic has been caught on! Its common knowledge that each classroom in every school theres a child there with a level of dyspraxia or autisim as these both have varying degrees of how they effect each person with it THE key to understanding is to pin point it effectively. My son gets on extreemly well & is the centre of play at school altho beofre his assesment he was at a primary school which to be frank just wasnt all it was cracked up to be once he was assessd etc diagnosed i removed all 3 of my kids & placed them in a diffrent school which was main stream every day lil school BUT was willing to work with me & bring my son on to the lil man he is today! Hes now in september beginning secondary education in a local main stream college with his older brother & in main stream classes grin chin up chuck take head get askin & if need be bite at the ankles of ure local educational authority GET ure child the help they deserve! its well worth all the hard work 7 effort trust me...No one will give u anything unless ya ASK & DEMAND it grin

Carens Fri 26-Jun-09 14:08:28

....jus to add to what chops said OT & Psyhio are wonderful for these kids! mine for a while also needed a lil speach therapy which after 1 yr he was discharged from. [winks] OTs will visit the childs school & guide them where in a class is best for ure child to be sat - diffrent techniques in handlin any fidgitin they may have - to how to help set there work out for them from day to day...all the runnin about from various therapists is hard but so well worth it personally i think so as its amazin the change even i see in my son from hes been diagnosed & began his therapys!

walkthedinosaur Fri 26-Jun-09 20:51:53

Thank you for your kind words - I'm just feeling a bit wobbly about it all at the moment. DS will be 7 in two weeks.

His teacher is very nice but I just found it hard to take because it felt like it was a personal attack on DS1 and his social skills or lack of them. Obviously it wasn't an attack but I've just really taken it to heart, she despairs of him more than anything else really. He's messy, there are 4 children to a table and his stuff is spread everywhere, he loses things all the time, she tells him to do something, he's forgotten it by the time he's got halfway across the room. I can understand where she's coming from, she makes a point to tell me every week, but now I'm just worrying constantly about it. Even though the OT has spoken to her, I've given her a copy of his diagnosis, I just don't think she understands exactly what dyspraxia is and how it affects children.

I've done the pencil thing, he has a box of pencils at home, enough pencils in his pencil case, an extra packet of 9 pencils in the bottom of his school bag, but every day he just loses them and by the end of the week they're all gone. The amount of packets of rubbers, glue, highlighting pens, colouring pencils, felt tips etc I've bought this last year is unbelievable.

I caught myself today asking the the other children play with DS, I'll be bribing them with sweets at the school gate next, but the sad truth of the matter is he doesn't really want to play with them, he's happy as larry wandering around with his stick in his hand talking to himself, he doesn't understand that they're starting to get old enough to think he's a bit weird.

It's difficult to organise children back to school after tea because we live 6 miles away from school and it's a bit of a hike, but I have organised for him to have a birthday party on Wednesday, I caught myself going round the children today saying are you coming? Freaky mother alert or what.

Anyhow thanks for listening, I think my RL friends don't really understand the issues, they just think he's some freaky kid who can't use a knife and fork at 7, he's a bit strange because he can't fasten buttons or belts at his age. I think I'm probably just being a bit sensitive about all of this, but childhood and school is supposed to be fun, if it's this difficult for him at 7 what's it going to be like when he starts getting older and the children aren't so sweet?

mummysaurus Fri 26-Jun-09 21:21:29

Sorry you are sad <<hands walkthedinosaur a cup of her best fair trade tea>>. As you say he is very happy at the moment playing with sticks by himself. Maybe when he becomes aware that the children think that's strange he'll do more to conform?

Try not to think too far in advance, all children develop in fits and starts and you really can't predict how he'll be by secondary school. You are doing all the right things by getting him diagnosed and OT help.

Still think his teacher should try harder to understand. maybe someone could recommend a book or at least a leaflet (in french!) about kids with this condition so she can get up to speed? Is there such a thing as a special needs coordinator at your school who could be enlisted to talk to her?

vixma Sat 27-Jun-09 00:20:59

I am a TA in the UK who has been recently diagnosed with dyspraxia and memory dyslexia. The school your son is at sounds very inexperienced in this area and this is a shame as you sound awesome and quite rightly want the right support for you son. In the UK children who are suspected to have difficulty in lessons with work and mobility would with a lot of nagging from teachers be referred to a educational psycholgist so an IEP and funding would be allocated to your son to aid him in school. You are an awesome parent who wants the best for your child but it seems your school are not supporting you to get this. Have you tried talking to the headteacher on their policy on aiding children who need support to find out her attitude on the schools supporting children, as she hopefully does not reflects your childs teachers attitude. Good luck, as dyspraxia is managable with the right stratagies in place and myself with many others have gone on to study degrees at uni. Thank heavens for awesome supportive parents or otherwise who knows what would happen.

walkthedinosaur Sat 27-Jun-09 08:18:41

Thank you everyone - I'm thinking more rationally today.

It's his last week this week with his old teacher so I'm not going to bother speaking to her again. I went into school yesterday and asked her to provide me with a list of tutors, so I'll contact one of them and maybe get him a head start in the holidays before he goes back. I get on very well with the teacher he's going to have next year, so again I'll give her all the dyspraxia stuff, diagnosis etc and hopefully we'll make some headway.

There doesn't seem to be any provision at all within the school system for helping children with educational needs. The OT my son sees now I have to pay for myself, it's not covered on any insurances, it costs us £180 a month and we're barely scraping by as it is. I think paying for a tutor on top of that is going to really stretch us, it just means we can't afford to pay for nice things like swimming lessons for the DC's or even take them swimming more than once a month. These things just sit on your mind and add to the guilt complex.

From what I can see the children with educational needs stay in the same class as their peers with very little additional help, when they get to their last year they get filtered off into a special class which looks to me like it's basically assessing them to see whether they can carry on in the mainstream college or go to a special school. There always seems to be about 8-10 of them in this class. I'm sure these children are branded as the thick ones but out of all the school they are the only kids who come up to me and ask to learn new English words. Two of the children I've got to know out of that class in the past couple of years have both gone onto special schools, but they had both gone through the school system and were unable to read and write at 11.

France is not very progressive toward children with educational needs that's for sure.

bubblagirl Sat 27-Jun-09 08:51:46

could you do visual check list that he can look at and check his bag with etc

mimic play at home and appropriate play get him to copy what you do and do this every day so he will know how to do it without you mimicking

could you introduce now and next etc that he can take to school and ask the teacher to continue with this also ask the teacher to sit him in small group and help with the learned play

it really needs the school to do more in all honesty could you find if there is any extra help at all they can provide maybe there is but don't want to use school provision and dont act on it

sorry his having such a hard time he sounds adorable

bubblagirl Sat 27-Jun-09 08:54:09

dont know if this is of any help

BriocheDoree Sat 27-Jun-09 15:37:54

Walkthedinosaur. I've just noticed that you are in France. You should be getting more help than you do!!
Is your son "suivi" by a CMP? They are famous for being useless. We only got somewhere with the school and with paying for treatment because our neuropédiatre was really good. If you have a proper dx for your little boy then there ARE ways of getting help in school - e.g. extra TA or 1-to-1 if that is what your DS needs. You can also get allocation d'éducation de l'enfant handicappé which should cover OT, or you should be able to get it free through CMP. Sometimes you really have to push in this country to get any help.
If you need more info about this stuff, email me brioche90 at gmail dot com
My DD has lang. disorder not dyspraxia but she has one to one in school from next year and we do get funding to pay for (most) of her treatment.

floaty Sun 05-Jul-09 00:10:48

My ds2 now twelve has dyspraxia and now attends an independent specialist school but will hopefully go back to mainstream(with support) next year.Your post really took me back ,it was exactely how my ds was aged 7,have you looked at the following site

www.dyspraxiafoundation.org.uk

There is lots of useful stuff about how to help to different ages.I found role play was good,also lists and I would leave the academic stuff and really focus on the skills which make him vulnerable in the playgound;using cutlery,doing buttons(I replaced with hidden velcro where possible),lots of ball practice etc.We cut down the amount of stuff he needed at school to a minimum...less to lose and labelled everything really clearly.General practical stuff if you see what I mean.

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