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dyspraxyia - asd type symptoms - i want to know more now!

(12 Posts)
LargeLatte Wed 30-Sep-09 21:28:25

Very long story as short as I can make it.
Last year ds2 - then 18 months had total verbal regression - went totally mute at at time of family stress. That made us start to look into asd He has since thankfully started speaking non-stop so we were happy to put it down to a blip.

But - looking at the asd checklists we realised ds1 - now 4.5 ticked a lot of the boxes. He has always been a bit unusual - very impatient, volatile temper, easily frustrated / disheartened, obsessive-compulsive tendencies, sensitive to smell, heat, sound. We were referred to paed - who looked at him playing with a plane for 10mins and declared him NT. He is now settling in really well at school so asd fears subsiding- just a niggling doubt that he's a bit quirky.

ds2 - now 2.5 just started pre-school and has instantly been flagged as the clumsy child. He really is terrible - always hurting himself - falls over at least 3 times a day. He's already under Paed so I told preschool to keep a note and I'll take their info with me to next appointment.

Then ds1 teacher today said she was keeping an eye on ds1 who is left handed for co-ordination problems.

So just did some very brief research on dyspraxia and nearly fainted when saw ds's tick every box between them. I've only ever know dyspraxia to be about clumsiness and co-ordination and since ds1 is steady on his feet and ds2 has been able to jump two footed for ages, had totally ruled it out. I didn;t realise there was this whole other behavioural aspect to it.

Any idea where I can find out more? Is it ever possible for the sensivity/obsessive/behavioural symptoms to dominate?

yanny Thu 01-Oct-09 00:14:09

I strongly suspected my dd (9) has dyspraxia. There is more info here but I would think you have probably already had a look there.

I too assumed it was all to do with motor issues but my dd ticks nearly every box from anxiety to social problems to hand flapping/screaming.

However, not to throw a spanner in the works, the symptoms for dyspraxia are very similar to aspergers (that my dd has) so it's very confusing. Or to be precise, I am pretty confused about what may or may not be 'wrong' for want of a better word.

We were referred to OT by school gp, who did what is called the Movement Assessment Battery for Children (Movement ABC). This involved an hour or so long 'test' of throwing/catching/balancing. The OT said this test was standard for testing for Dyspraxia. A score below the 5th percentile is considered to demonstrate definite motor difficulty and my DD scored in the 1st percentile. Offered group OT sessions over the summer twice a week for 4 weeks with one other child and then discharged from OT service. We continue to do daily activities/exercises at home on OT advice.

Still no diagnosis though as we are waiting (patiently) for an appt with camhs, however OT did say all signs pointed to Dyspraxia.

Sorry to waffle on. From what I've read it is not just about co ordination/motor skills etc. DD has poor organisation skills, poor short term memory, struggles with social interaction, takes everything literally and is less mature than others of her age and younger. DD did 2 years at nursery rather than the 1 year she was meant to so is effectively 1 primary behind but still struggling with maths and her writing is terrible. At the moment her latest imaginary friends are Spongebob and co and she is married to Spongebob and they have 41 children wink Over the past 6 months or so DD has also had major issues with seams in her socks/tights and labels on clothes. Some clothes she will not wear due to them feeling 'scratchy'

I love love love my DD but her behaviour, although not bad in any way, is very challenging and the anxiety is sometimes so overwhelming she occasionally has to stay home from school.

Fingers crossed for you, me and all others out there who are wainting for their DC's being assessed

improvingslowly Thu 01-Oct-09 07:37:23

not sure if this is relevant,
but friend's son has aspergers. we found private sensory trained OT who said he had retained reflexes (google this )and also difficulties crossing the midline ( eyes coud not follow from left to right without moving head). after 6 months of funny exercises - crawling etc 15 mins a day at home and just starting a therapeutic listening programme, we are seeing gradual improvements - he is just more part of things, happier,

ChopsTheDuck Thu 01-Oct-09 08:25:11

I do wonder sometimes if it is all a bit hit and miss as to which diagnosis they get!

The different conditions do overlap a lot. There can be asd tendancies with dyspraxia, I think it depends on the severity of them as to whether or not it is normal for dyspraxia or it is something else. My ds has a lot of autistic tendancies, which were put down to dyspraxia but not he is being referred back to the paed and to camhs as there are concerns it is more than that.

I think saying a child is nt after 10 mins is absurd.

Like Yanny says, the test you want for dyspraxia is the abc movement test which is carried out by an occupational therapist. If you do suspect autism, ask for a cahms referral. It might be worth trying to push for both if you feel there are issues.

amberflower Thu 01-Oct-09 10:56:12

ChopstheDuck I completely agree re diagnosis - we went into DS's multi-agency assessment suspecting dyspraxic tendencies, and came out with informal ASD/aspergers DX.

The best advice I was given was by an independent ed psych I spoke to, who said that if you looked on the official websites for associations for dyspraxia, dyslexia, ASD etc there would be so many overlaps you'd be completely mystified as to which label your child fitted - so ignore the label and focus on individual needs.

LargeLatte - I think with each child they can present so differently that until you really look into it it is easy not to realise that each condition can have a raft of traits/issues.

In answer to your question I am sure it is possible for certain traits to predominate over others, and perhaps that is why we sometimes find the possible DX's so confusing, because we assume that to get a DX they have to tick the 'commonly associated' boxes as it were. My DS (5) has an ASD DX but we have never had the commonly associated issues such as behaviour problems, language delay, routines, obsessiveness and so on at all. We don't, in all honesty, have any problems with him outside of school. He is predominantly affected by fine motor issues and clumsiness (hence our initial suspicions about dyspraxia), social communication in that he is quite immature and can be very withdrawn at school (where he does show some ASD traits) and sensitivity to loud noises. He doesn't fit a typical HFA or Aspergers profile at all. But then again - what is 'typical' (!)

I would agree with chopstheduck, push for furhter referrals if you have additional concerns - good luck.

Marne Thu 01-Oct-09 12:53:30

Hi i have a 5 year old with Aspergers and she ticks most of the boxes for dyspraxia, she struggles to dress herself, has poor balance, runs very slowly but has good pencil control (although she's slow at completing school work).

When dd1 was diagnosed nobody mentioned Dyspraxia even though the traits are very similar, i am now beginning to think that most of her problems are linked to Dyspraxia and not Aspergers.

wasuup3000 Thu 01-Oct-09 13:24:56

I have a 5 year old who does have a diagnosis of dyspraxia but he also has rigid routines. Has to watch something right to the credits have finished, has to have a certain cup, has to be first. He also has sensory issues. He is obsessed with one friend at school and gets upset if this friend plays with anyone else. It just seems a never ending waiting game. Now a diagnosis of GDD and Aspergers traits is being thrown into the mix.hmm

LargeLatte Thu 01-Oct-09 19:25:39

Thanks all for taking the time to answer. Its so helpful to know there are others in a similar situation even if I wish you weren't iyswim.

amberflower - i love the advice to just focus on the individual needs of each child. I think in practice this is what we have done with ds1 and have seen massive improvement.
Chops - I too thought the paed assessment for ds1 was rubbish. He picked up a plane and made a zooming nosie - to which she said 'he couldn't so that if he was autistic' and that was pretty much it. He had also been referred for grief counselling as our family lost someone special and ds1 has been struggling to come to terms with over a year. I was told it wasn't necessary as there were some very good books out there - i surpressed a giggle and though 'doh a book, why didn't I think of looking at how to help my child myself instead of letting him suffer...!!!!!!'- I was a bit cross.

Anyway enough ranting. We focussed on helping him break his compulsions because they were making us all miserable and learn to use words to explain how he felt instead of screaming or biting himself. Every now and then 'quirky' behaviour crops up and I have a think about how to deal with it and we tackle it together slowly. But it is very lonely and I think having any sort of dx would help explain when he does things like stroke peoples cars-the same ones, every time we pass them or when he loudly declares 'what's that smell' every 5 minutes.

With ds2 - the preschool flagged an issue within 2 sessions so I've asked them to keep some notes and I'll take them with me to his paed appointment in November - I'm the dr will be thrilled when I add another problem to ds's list. More interested in getting a dx for ds2 because would love to try anything to stop him being so clumsy - he hurts himself probably half dozen times every day - its like watching a baby learn to walk every time he goes anywhere.

DeepThoughts Thu 01-Oct-09 23:14:02

improvingslowly - That is amazing what you wrote about retained reflexes.
I googled it and right enough it fits my ds (suspected ASD/Dyspraxia) to a tee, so much that it made me shiver.

It explained one thing in particular that I had never understood about my DS. That is whenever he rubs his arms his mouth opens and shuts in rhythm. At first I found this quite amusing, but over the years he has never lost this.

It would be interesting to hear if anybody elses DS/DD does things like this.

I am going to do a lot of reading about the retained reflexes now. Thank you so much.

ChopsTheDuck Fri 02-Oct-09 07:23:26

regarding your ds2, do you take him swimming? Things like that, and lots of trips to soft play, riding a bike/trike if he can will help build up bilateral control and help a lot if he does have dyspraxia. It is hard at that age, ds could barely sit on a chair without falling off it, but they do get there slowly!

Good luck in Novemeber, hopefully your paed will listen a bit more now you have the school's backup. I've found it makes a lot of difference if you can get anyone professional onside.

improvingslowly Fri 02-Oct-09 12:24:52

deep thoughts

really pleased that was helpful -let me know how you get on. (NB it took a few months to see any change.)

LargeLatte Sat 03-Oct-09 15:56:32

chops -ds2 hasn't been able to swim due to ear and immunity issues but got all clear yesterday so will go as soon as his ear guards are made and fitted. We do go to soft play areas and we make lots of time for running, jumping, climbing, kicking balls etc. Weirdly he can jump, kick and throw really well - but walking, running and sitting are pretty hit and miss. ds2 has a different paed team at a differwnt hospital to the ones ds1 saw and they have been great with ds2 so far so fingers crossed. Today I am leaning towards asd rather than dyspraxia as yesterday he spent 45mins in a friends garden opening and closing the gate - he loves gates right now, and ran 200 yards back across a field we had already crossed to give a clump of grass to a complete stranger. Those things don't upset me, they make me smile and make him unique....but als maybe a little crazy

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