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Just Dyspraxia or something else?

(7 Posts)
walkthedinosaur Wed 12-Aug-09 20:21:27

I'm posting about DS1 because I'm at the end of my tether he's just turned 7. He has dyspraxia which affects co-ordination etc but lately he's just been completely hyper.

He does a lot of stimming, which we call twirly whirlying, it was hand flapping as a toddler but now he wanders around with a stick or a pencil in his hand talking to himself and jumping about like somebody keeps prodding him with an electric cattle rod. It alienates him at school, he doesn't play with the other kids because he's too busy twirly whirlying - he's starting to stick out and he's going to be bullied. He has no special friends, he doesn't really have any friends he chats with other class members but hasn't bonded with any of them, he's been in the same class with them since he was 3.

We tried to go on holiday in July but had car problems so ended up returning home, this really upset him so he was twirly whirlying like a mad thing, he just couldn't stop.

We've had a student staying with us for the last 10 days and his behaviour has had me (and her today) in tears, it's like a 2 year old in a 7 year old's body. He's so bloody immature and hyper, running around screaming, can't not touch something even though he's been told three times, jumping on everything, everyone. He gets too close to her, it makes her uncomfortable. I've tried to tell him to back off and explain about personal space but it just doesn't go in. This week he's been having a swimming lesson every day, and he's struggling because of his co-ordination but he's standing on the side jumping up and down like he's being given an electric shock, arms and legs everywhere. His teacher has lost all patience with him so just continues the class while she waits for him to catch up/pay attention/come back from whatever dream he's in, so he's not actually getting a lesson because by the time he does one of the above the other kids are off doing it and he doesn't have any idea.

DS2 is 4.5 and a completely different child, I call him my sensible one, he shows so much more maturity in his behaviour and it's really starting to show DS1 up and also highlight the differences between the two children, it's like DS1 is regressing, he's now taken to eating with his mouth open noisily (I have no idea why).

I'm really starting to stress now, I don't have any techniques for dealing with him, I've tried talking but nothing seems to register. He's a lovely boy but he just doesn't seem to be able to empathise or actually realise when he's pushing me to the limit.

He won't share toys, absolutely refuses, he has lots of toys but doesn't play with them, he just keeps them in his room, they're his and God help anyone who touches them - he entertains himself with his twirly whirlying and talking to himself and watching TV. He's not interested in books, it's a fight to make him do his reading every day. It's not as if he spends all day in front of the TV he's only had 30 minutes today because he's either been outside in the garden, at the swimming pool and we went out this afternoon. I'm pretty sure my son would prefer never to leave the house if he could.

Sorry if I've gone on, it's been a stressful day and I really have no idea where to go with my son.

whatreally Wed 12-Aug-09 20:28:02

Hi, you say he has dyspraxia. Has he had any help for that? My DD has dyspraxia & has a set of exercises from the OT which helps with the stimming. It doesn't solve all of it, doesn't magically go away but can calm her down.

ChopsTheDuck Wed 12-Aug-09 20:31:11

I had to grin at the cattle prod thing, that is exactly what my ds does every 2 mins when stressed, especially when concentrating on video games. the friends thing is also very similar.

I think I would be a bit concerned too. Has you paed ever mentioned asd type issues? There is so much overlap, it can be hard to differentiate. My ds is still on a wait and see approach so has the dx of dyspraxia and social and communication difficulties which covers the autistic type issues.

The teacher sounds really uphelpful, they should be working harder at keeping him focuses and makign sure he is taking things in.

I've always found with ds that giving him space helps a lot. If he has his own space to retreat to, him tends to come and join ours a lot more!

mine doesn't like anything other than video games and cuddly toys, so I can understand your frustrations there.

I'm still asking myself the same question as you really, so might not be much help!

debs40 Wed 12-Aug-09 21:09:02

I really sympathise as my son can be like this and has chops says there is so much overlap between various dx's, it's hard to see whether it is something more but it sounds like he's stressing out a bit.

Are the swimming lessons too much for him? My son (who is 6) used to get really worked up about them - he has possible AS but clear coordination/hypermobility/hypotonia and find swimming very hard. He would get very overexcited.

He also finds unstructured holidays tough. He also won't share and sometimes can't seem to stand DS2 around so there are constant battles.

When I see him like this, I always say I've lost contact with him! Like a satellite gone astray!

I find just letting him develop his own pace for dealing with free time helps. We have slowly evolved a system for the holidays which he is now used to. We stay at home, in pyjamas (!) until lunch time. We try and do something together (with DS2 whose 3) in the morning e..g today we baked a cake but also allow for him to do his own thing uninterrupted by DS2. I encourage but don't force sharing.

In the afternoon, we have a list of things to do which we have written on our white board and both of them choose something together. Yesterday, it was visit a local gardens and today a museum.

I also try and keep playdates to a minimum!

It works really well for us and he seems to like knowing where he is with it all.

I don't know if that helps but I do sympathise.

ChopsTheDuck Wed 12-Aug-09 21:19:26

i do think debs may be right about the swimming. We've stopped that as ds couldn't walk after them due to hms as well as dyspraxia. But he does tend to get excessively excited when over tired physically so it may well be worth taking a break.

walkthedinosaur Thu 13-Aug-09 09:50:05

Thanks for your help and advice, I do strongly suspect something other than dyspraxia but I also know that when the student leaves tomorrow and we're back to normal then he's going to be fine and I'll stop worrying, it's just his behaviour when things are not quite right at home.

I don't think the swimming is too much for him, he has lots of energy and he enjoys swimming, however he doesn't enjoy the structure of the class and as with everything sportswise he's always last, but bless him he tries his hardest when he remembers but quite a lot of the time he phases out or jumps around like he's being electrocuted. I can't blame the teacher for ignoring him a little, he's always last, dreams a lot etc and forgets what she tells him and it's a 10 day course (an hour a day) so the other children need to progress with their lesson. The course finishes tomorrow so we'll just go back to messing about in the water, but I try and find him activities that will help develop his motor skills and concentration as both are lacking at times.

You're right about the satellite going astray, that's exactly it, I can't get through. I spent all of Saturday explaining to other children at a barbecue that DS just couldn't share and not to take it personally because trying to get him to hand over toys that he doesn't play with was causing him to have hysterics. Sometimes he's very mature and we have really interesting conversations and I'm impressed by the language he uses it's like speaking with an older child, but then other times it's like he's a 2 year old in a 7 year old's body and just has no concept of anything. We're just going to have a quiet day at home today, with a swimming lesson to break it up, so hopefully he should be OK, but it's hard for the rest of us when we can't go to different places because he just becomes hyper and we have to leave. I think I might have a chat with my doctor and see what we can do.

The OT did try and address his stimming but she told him he just had to stop as it wasn't acceptable in a boy his age - it has caused him so much stress and upset I've allowed him to start again but tried to find alternatives ie a stone to carry around to help him comfort himself that kind of thing. We're in France so I think they have a different kind of attitude to this kind of thing.

loveandlight Sun 16-Aug-09 16:14:13

Your DS1 may have allergies, in particular be chemically sensitive and to any chemicals in his food.

My DS was like this (amongst other things) when he was younger (he's 12 now) and I used to have a lot of concerns as well. I was also told he had a marked degree of Dysgraphia. Most of his problems have gone now as his central nervous system has got stronger. Swimming may be part of the problem you know as the pool water is loaded in chemicals and he may be reacting to the chemicals in it.My DS school used to complain he was being particularly naughty on swimming day but he wasn't - he was just reacting to the chemicals in the water.

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