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DS2's physical issues: is this dyspraxia? or is he just a bit late?

(20 Posts)
lingle Thu 25-Jun-09 19:55:37

DS2 (3.10 and about an 18 month receptive language delay) is doing great but I'd appreciate some advice on some things I've noticed.

1. he cannot yet pedal at 3.10 (hasn't had much practice but DS1 did it at 2.0)
2. he can ride a scooter only very very slowly.

So I thought "oh maybe this is a bit of dyspraxia? I'll look it up!" but

1. no prononciation problems (other than age-approrpiate ones)
2. no fine motor problems, in that he can draw faces and write his own name with a biro (whoo hoo!).
3. If you take him to soft play, no matter how "advanced" or high it is, he is the most adventurous happiest child there - it's where he can be truly himself as people aren't talking! He's the one throwing himself down the tunnel slides and laughing...
4. He's generally very good at climbing/climbing frames/climbing walls.
5. He can catch a football-sized ball and can kick a ball that is kicked towards him.

Any advice? Is it "coordination" between the two sides of his body that is causing the trouble? Is there anything I can do to help? My language-delayed DS1 gained a great deal of confidence from being able to scoot fast.... it really helped socially.....

any guides I could read?
thanks in advance.

lingle Thu 25-Jun-09 19:56:24

oh and he can pretty much dress himself (not tight clothing/zips etc and only just putting own shoes on but all pretty normal I think).

walkthedinosaur Thu 25-Jun-09 20:25:27

I'm not sure, my DS1 is dyspraxic, he walked at around 14 months, he could talk really well and was very articulate from an early age, and we moved abroad when he was 3 and he learned another language in a year. He can also ride a bike without stabilisers, but he never ever pedaled on his trike, it was only when he got a big boys bike that he did. He can't scoot on a scooter either, it just ties him up in knots.

However, he hasn't got a cat in hell's chance of catching a ball or even kicking one for that matter, don't think he's ever climbed on a climbing frame but I remember him being like all the other kids at soft play. He could dress himself pretty much at the same time as the other children, but now at 7, still can't do buttons, zips or belts and he struggles to put on his shoes.

DS1 does have lots of fine motor problems though. How does your DS manage with a kife and fork? DS1 still tries and eats with his fingers, in fact tonight I've threatened to feed him soup forever if he doesn't try to use a knife and fork. Also remembering sequences, DS knows when he goes to the toilet he has to wipe, flush and wash his hands but even now after using a toilet for four years he gets the sequence wrong and has been known to wash, flush and then wipe!

I think all children have different skills, I'd just keep an eye on him and see if he has any other difficulties. I never really noticed my son had problems until he got to about 4 1/2, that was then he wasn't quite keeping up with his peers.

YOur DS does sound a lovely little chap and exactly like my DS was at soft play.

Maybe just work with him in the areas you think he's weakest in and see how he comes on.

Best of luck!

BriocheDoree Thu 25-Jun-09 20:45:23

Sounds a bit like DD - severe receptive/expressive language delay, good articulation, good fine motor (e.g. draws very well). Can't ride a bike yet (age 5) and still struggles with a spoon and fork. I think it's something to do with co-ordination (both sides of the body working together). DD's official dx is PDD (which isn't really a diagnosis!) so can't help you beyond saying, yup, I recognise this!

lingle Thu 25-Jun-09 23:05:27

thanks - well it sounds at least close enough to Dyspraxia to justify figuring out what (if any) exercises I can do to help him without him realising it IYSWIM.

It's funny - no balance problems yet clearly doesn't trust himself to "push off" on a scooter - oh and comes down the stairs joining two feet at a time.

But again, would any of this even "count" at 3.10?

ChopsTheDuck Fri 26-Jun-09 10:43:13

doesnt sound like dyspraxia to me, jsut a bit of struggle with bi lateral co-ordination. Sort of things that would help is star jumping, marching while touching alternate knees, swimming.

I would have thought if it was dyspraxia you would have noticed more fine motor control issues, and it doesn't even sound like he has gross motor control difficulties, just the bi-lateral control. smile

Hassled Fri 26-Jun-09 10:46:11

The good fine and gross motor skills don't point to Dyspraxia. It just takes some children longer to learn to pedal etc, but I'm sure he'll get there.

lingle Fri 26-Jun-09 12:20:41

oh thanks Chops and Hassled, that's so helpful.

chops, we'll start a star-jump routine! He's starting to kick back a ball his brother kicks to him and also to play back and forth games of catch. Are those the sorts of things that will help accelerate things? Also he likes riding on the scooter with me holding it and steering "bumper cars" that I push (as he can't pedal them) - helpful or harmful?

we won't get obsessed or pressure him but we all know how many doors coordination skills can open, especially among boys.

debs40 Fri 26-Jun-09 12:27:15

My DS can't ride a bike - he can't push the pedals - and he's 6 and a half. At the age of 3 or 4 I wasn't worried about that at all. My three and a half year old can't ride a bike yet. I started to worry about it as he reacher 5 and 6 and just couldn't muster the strength.

It appears that this is a muscle tone problem.

Maybe that is something to bear in mind?

lingle Fri 26-Jun-09 14:23:22

thanks Debs, is there any way to assess muscle tone, or can I pretty much assume it doesn't apply if he climbs and balances well?

I do hear what you're saying about not worrying at 3 or 4. What's behind all this is me thinking, "well, if I can get him pedalling, I know it would open doors socially so I'll try to investigate this pedalling issue" IYSWIM. His language-delayed big brother coped so much better with not being able to undersand what the other children said by being able to show off on his scooter.

notfromaroundhere Sat 27-Jun-09 20:39:11

My DS1 is similar but can't yet dress himself ( I strongly suspect that is behavioural though)!. We had a soft-play party for DS2 today and I just love watching DS1 running around thoroughly enjoying himself.

When he was at the development nursery they reported he could pedal and change direction I was [shock} as he would only half-heartedly attempt it at home and give up. They told me they used bigger pedals and to change his and that most bike shops would sell them. I will shame-facedly admit I tried a google search and came up with nothing and got distracted by other stuff. May be worth enquiring in a bike shop I think.

DS1 recently had a sensory assessment and they reported he had some hyper-mobility in his joints and his muscle tone was at the lower end of normal. He is very much a "clunky" child who likes to slam in to things which is apparently a sign of the muscle tone and hyper mobile joints.

lingle Sat 27-Jun-09 21:44:38

Thanks not.

It occurs to me that in halifax there's a children's version of an exercise bike (at "Eureka" if you're local) and you pedal it to make things light up. may take him there with DS1 and see what happens ....feel very Sherlock Holmes.

VictorVictoria Mon 29-Jun-09 13:25:05

Hi lingle

My DS who is very much the same age as yours is hypermobile. He is cautious about climbing up high things but this is not ability related rather he is a very cautious child. He is also rubbish at drawing and writing (cant write his name). Otherwise he sounds just like your DS and his (general) pediatrician says he can see no signs of dyspraxia, it is all down to his hypermobility. We are prob going to ask for a referral to an OT and or phsio to see how we can help him with writing (although I am fairly sure he is going to get there in the end)

NB My DS can scoot but v slowly because he hasnt got anyt strength in his legs.......

troutpout Mon 29-Jun-09 13:38:51

My ds has dx of aspergers and dyspraxia. Walked at 12 months. Never pedalled a trike but rode a bike without stabalisers at 4. Good at drawing and writing but writing was bigger for longer than other childrens. It's still slightly big now (he's 12). Laces are a p.i.a... buttons are fumbly. He was slow to dress himself...(about 5 properly) He eats with knife and fork well but drops one or the other frequently. He's quite good at climbing although doesn't like heights. Absolutely crap at catching balls. Good at soft play when he was little. Fab on scooter. he also did the coming down the stairs joining 2 feet on each stair for far longer than any other child i knew.
He still has problems skipping. He can do it after he has gone some distance but it's almost as if his brain won't make his legs move in the required pattern fast enough.

It just seems to take ds time for the message to reach the bits of the body that need to do the work. By which time the movement is already underway or he has dropped the thing or the message has got lost and hasn't actually made the journey.

The ot gave us exercises to do (there were loads)...and advised swimming and trampolining for ds.

debs40 Mon 29-Jun-09 13:46:31

Ds had the low muscle tone identified by a peadiatrician but now that they have pointed it out, it makes total sense! he is floppy and bendy - he cun put his knees right up to his ears and sits like that comfortably!

He LOVES scootering - got one of those micro scooters with two wheels at the front which really helps balance and he bombs around on it now.

Just looking for a bike which is easy to manage.

DS can't really do knife and fork, laces and buttons either and hates heights

Carens Mon 29-Jun-09 15:00:53

Lingle ... for what its worth ive a son with dyspraxia before he was diagnosed he was always clumbsy & accident prone much akin to being like a lil drunken child - both gross & fine motor skills where way behind that of his older brother(had at each stage of development). To this day my 2nd child still has probs with buttons, laces, ties & personally with use of knifes & forks etc food times was much like a step back for ure own safety time ....where hed have more food round him than hed manage to actually get in him...altho thro time i have noticed that he when watched- its very off putting to him & his co ordination goes to pot - whilst when hes left to his own devices he muddles along. My son has my stubborn streak tho (giggles) when hes told he cant or wont be able to do a thing- hell will freeze over before he will let that thing beat him - no matter how many falls & tumbles hel keep picking himself up & retry til he manages it. My sons OT & Physio gave him "superman" exercises where hed lay on ground & try to raise his arms & legs - head & chin off the floor....& kneel on all fours then raise 1 leg & 1 arm opposite from each other for a count of 10 then alternate..."star jumps" as said before are also excellant excerises. A small tray with some table salt or fine sand init are also gr8 for lettin ure child practise with writing skills for tracing letters numbers etc in it. The key to doing well with dyspraxic kids is try to make these games fun! Certain confirmation of dyspraxia will be found via a pediatrician & educational psychologist wink not via googlin dyspraxia on internet - note all little 1s develop at different rates hmmmaybe ure child is like a rose bud ...jus a lil late bloomer!

lingle Mon 29-Jun-09 19:39:34

curiouser and curiouser!

Hmmmm, well he's not at all clumsy.

Hypermobile means double-joined yes?

Don't quite understand what low muscle tone is though.....

madwomanintheattic Mon 29-Jun-09 21:22:31

don't google it. wink
you'll get ehlers danlos and cerebral palsy.
my tip for the day. wink

he doesn't sound dyspraxic to me, but i'm not a paed lol. a couple of people suggested dd2 was dyspraxic when she was still officially 'developmentally delayed' before the cp dx. grin

stop googling!

lingle Tue 30-Jun-09 08:45:55

I don't google, I mumsnet!

madwomanintheattic Tue 30-Jun-09 09:13:15

i have no idea whether that's better or not...

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