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OK, so am I seeing things that aren't there or have i had my head in the sand forever?

(14 Posts)
anonandlikeit Tue 29-Sep-09 23:34:17

I have ds2 who was prem & as a result has mild CP, ASD & some other stuff.

I also have ds1 who was a big fat healthy full term baby, always very advanced, well behaved, v bright academically BUT over the yrs there have beena few things that he has struggled with...

He is extremely clumsy, always has been. At pre school they asked me to get his sight & ears checked as they wondered if he may have vision/balance probs. All was fine so we just decided he is clumsy.
Despite having great concentration he cannot sit still, eating his dinner, watching TV, he is just so wriggly.
At primary they put him in gymn trail as he was always the last to get dressed & organise himself.
His hand writting was awful & soooo slow, despite having alot he wants to put down on paper.
He is the messiest eater & is always dirty.
He has very floppy joints DS2's physio commented on his hypermobility.

Anyway now he has moved on to a different school (yr 5 & 3 tier system here)
The teacher has called him in to ask about his fidgeting.
He was very upset tonight because he had to bring home written work that he didn't get finished in class. Teh work is fantastic but it has just taken him nearly 2 hrs to write 2 paragraphs.

So what do you all think?
Is he just a clumsy fidget? Or is there somnething more to it?
Do I just spend too much time in the SN world that I am over analysing him?
Even if there is something else realistically what help will he get?

Bloody hell, he's my "normal" one, what should I do?

Marne Wed 30-Sep-09 08:29:31

hI, I can't say if there is anything wrong with your son as i am not a doctor but some of the traits are similar to my dd1, she has Aspergers but i have always suspected she may have dyspraxia. She takes a long time to do written work, the quality of her work is good but she takes so long to produce it, she also struggles with getting dressed and fidgets a lot.

I would speak to your HV or GP. Talk to the school and see what they think.

I know how you feel about "he is my normal one", dd2 was my normal one as she was so different than dd1 but last years was diagnosed with ASD.

cory Wed 30-Sep-09 09:18:00

There is nothing in what you describe that could not be caused by his hypermobility.

Hypermobile children are typically extremely fidgety: they just can't get comfortable in their own bodies.

They are slow and clumsy because they have little joint control.

Balancing problems is another classic.

Incontinence is not rare.

And difficulties with fine motor control are standard.

It might be worth gently prodding your son to find out if his wrists hurt when he holds a pen. We were shocked to find, after years of nagging ds about his table manners, that he had never thought to mention the pain because he thought everybody hurts when they do things with their hands.

I would also have someone look at his feet, as flat feet are very common in hyopermobile children.

If you find out he does have pain, then you ask for a referral to a rheumatologist.

There are loads of things the school can do to improve his daily life if this is the problem: from giving him the correct pencil grips to letting him have permission to get up and move every so often.

Niecie Wed 30-Sep-09 09:26:42

I agree with Marne and I suspect you have an idea too that it sounds like dyspraxia. Obviously I am not a doc either nor have I met your DS but from what you say it is a possibility.

I have a DS who is very much like that(also Yr 5). He supposedly has AS as well (debatable but whole other thread - don't know what to believe) but he has hypermobile joints, he is fidgetty, poor handwriting,poor organisation, messy eater, can't ride a bike, basically uncoordinated.

Is he able to catch a ball, ride a bike, balance on things?

I would ask your GP for a referral to an OT. An OT can help with exercises to strengthen his core muscles, help with coordination etc.

Just in case you haven't looked, this is the Dyspraxia Foundation website

troutpout Wed 30-Sep-09 09:33:11

Sounds a lot like part of my boy
(the dyspraxic hypermobile bit of my boy as opposed to the aspergers/autism side smile)
Or are you worried that he be somewhere on the asd spectrum?
Does he fit the profile in any other way? he doesn't sound like he does from your description.
How is he socially?
It does sound like it could be dyspraxia or as Cory says just a result of hypermobility.
You could ask for a referral from your gp
Ds had some OT (not much tbh) that helped a bit.

cory Wed 30-Sep-09 09:38:38

I have two dcs with hypermobility syndrome (defined as hypermobility with pain). Both are socially competent. Academically one is unusually bright, the other in lower half but not right at the bottom. But they both fidget, they both have had balancing problems (dd at nearly 13 cannot ride a bike and we've had numerous trips to A&E after inexplicable falls), they both have difficulties writing, ds has massive problems with everyday tasks like putting his clothes on and managing at the table.

Neither of them has been diagnosed with dyspraxia, nor have there been any suspicions of ASD.

Niecie Wed 30-Sep-09 11:13:05

Cory, how do you think hypermobility differs from dyspraxia? Is it just the absence of pain? My DS has some hypermbolity (hips and shoulders I think) but he still can't do a lot of the things you have listed and he isn't in pain.

ICANDOTHAT Wed 30-Sep-09 11:40:18

Sorry, not read all posts but this came to mind :
www.dyspraxiafoundation.org.uk

anonandlikeit Wed 30-Sep-09 12:59:37

Thanks everyone for your replies, I don't think he is on the spectrum as he is very sociable, very aware of social norms expectations etc. Just nothing like ds2!!

However I do think either its hypermobility or dyspraxia.
He is actually very good at things like catching, is a fantastic goalkeepre but enjoys playing on pitch too. In fact he loves all ball sports.
Howevere it did take him ages to learn to ride a bike & in fact its probabily only the last year or so that he has looked comfortable riding.

He also like loads of blankets & pillows in bed with him, he says he finds it hard to get comfy & he kind of props his arms up on top of the blankets, otherwise he says his elbows hurt.

Actually his table manners in terms of how he holds his knofe & fork are awful, he just looks so awkward.
He does say that writting makes his hands & wrists hurt.

I guess the thing i need to decide is if its going to ahve an impact on him, if so I will have ot pull my head out of the sand & get him some help.

cory Wed 30-Sep-09 20:05:03

Niecie I don't know a lot about dyspraxia but iirc it is not just poor motor control but also things like difficulties in getting organised and problems with memory and concentration. Hypermobility syndrome is more of a limited physical thing: it's problems caused by your connective tissue (ligaments etc) being too stretchy. So your joints will bend the wrong way, causing pain or fatigue. But it is also associated with balancing problems and poor proprioception (knowing what your body is doing), possibly also with problems with transmission of pain signals (so you can go on being in pain after the cause for pain has stopped- a bit like feeling the pain of an amputated limb).

anonandlikeit it sounds as if your son's problem is going to have an impact on him, if he is in pain from everyday activities. I would get him a referral to a rheumatologist, and then get him to refer to occupational therapy and physio. O.T. have been very good with my dcs, just little things about how to sit and write without too much pain.

Simplistica Wed 30-Sep-09 20:10:53

The checklist on teh site linked to below is good- we looked at that for ds2 and he recently came up high on a screening ats chool so is being referred on.

As otehr say, not just poor control but lots of organisational stuff also.

Not at all uncommon in a sibling of a child with ASD (we have two), and some professionals do count it as on the spectrumnow apparently.

anonandlikeit Thu 01-Oct-09 16:55:58

Thanks Simplistica

I'll have a look at that list, have spoken to the teacher now too!

I am getting brave grin

Niecie Fri 02-Oct-09 23:42:45

Thanks Cory (sorry not replied sooner but we lost internet connection for 2 days!!!)

Thankfully, DS doesn't have issues with pain although we did have a referral to a physio earlier in the year as he was always complaining of being tired and aching legs even after a short walk. Thankfully, if seems to have been sorted by more supportive shoes/trainers.

Memory does seem to be a definite issue for dyspraxia. Not factual memory (my DS has a fantastic memory for historical facts, for example because he loves it) but more working memory. There was a piece of research out recently that said that working memory was more of an indicator of furture academic achievement than IQ and dyspraxic children have a problem with it. For DS this might explain why he has a problem with maths - he can't reliably hold the facts needed to do multiple step calculations.

anonandlikeit - well done for speaking to the teacher.

Just as a matter of interest, the OT provision round here doesn't go beyond 11 yrs. Partly that is due to resources but also because there is less need as children get older. They either learn to compensate or the things that are important for a child, like riding a bike or catching a ball just aren't something you have to worry that much about as an adult. I take a bit of comfort from that.

Regarding the handwriting, we are teaching DS to touchtype and once he has mastered that to a degree he will get to use a laptop in class as handwriting practice just doesn't seem to make that much difference. If you can persuade the school it is a good idea it might be a useful thing to do - it would certainly speed up homework!

anonandlikeit Sat 03-Oct-09 15:43:39

Cory & Nicie, thank you.
I do think it maybe is more hypermobility than anything else.

I have discussed things with his teacher & will have a word with ds2's paed next week, see if she has any words of advice.

He can't seem to walk accross the room without tripping or breaking something, its like living with Frank Spencer grin

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