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Saker · 25/01/2006 20:33

Ds2 has a lot of dyspraxic type symptons along with speech and language difficulties/some autistic traits.
He is now 4.5y and cannot yet take his shoes off let alone put them on, can't get many clothes off and none on, eats more or less entirely with his fingers, spills when drinking from an open cup, isn't toilet trained - basically his self-help skills are still very behind.
I constantly have good intentions to spend time with him practising these things, so for example, when he gets in from school I try to get him to sit down and undo the straps on his shoes, and make an attempt to take them off or when he has a drink to give him an open cup. But so much of the time we are in a rush, he's not very keen to try and anyway he seems so far off being able to do it so I just end up doing it for him or giving him a beaker, or letting him eat with his fingers.
What I am wondering is whether if I don't do these things enough he will never learn or if I can just leave it to the school and accept that it will take him longer to get there. Particularly parents of older dyspraxic children - how did your child learn these skills, and how much time did you spend with them backward chaining etc to help them? Do you think there is anything specific that helped?

OP posts:
Saker · 25/01/2006 20:34

Sorry I am going to post this again because I have lost half my title and I want people with dyspraxic children to notice it. So ignore this one.

OP posts:
Aloha · 25/01/2006 20:41

Honestly Saker? I just couldn't do it. Life gets in the way, it really does. Met his NHS OT today - fantastic woman, specialising in DCD so ds went straight to the top of her list - hallujah! I was saying to her I just couldn't do it. I have to get out of the house. I know if I do it I will end up shouting at him which is no good for either of us, and she said that she also thought parents shouldn't be therapists - it was just too much of a strain, and I could have kissed her, frankly. I just can't. Ds isn't a child you can 'encourage' to do things as all the books say. If he doesn't want to do it, he won't (except possibly for chocolate bribery). I try to follow improvements in his abilities, not lead them iyswim. So when I notice he is, say, manipulating bricks into a tower at a playgroup, then I might give him a fork with his dinner but as well as a spoon. His clothes are still wrecked though! I do ask him to, say, put on his socks every now and again to see if he is now able to do it better, but if he isn't then I'm certainly not going to spend the next ten weeks battling for two hours to get him to put his socks on (which he still can't do). I think so much of development is internal, not external and those of us with children with siblings who don't have similar problems (dd is now walking well at 11months and actively trying to put her own baby shoes on!) realise very quickly. I think as long as you check every so often and respond positively to any requests - mummy, I want to do it myself - then that is the best you can do in a real world, esp with work, school and more than one child to fit in.

Aloha · 25/01/2006 20:42

Sorry, didn't ignore it! Not a good day today really.

wads · 25/01/2006 21:15

my ds, age 5.3 is still afwul at dressing but a recent obsession with spiderman (& consequent purchase of top, pjs, socks & pants )has seriously motivated him! He still can't really work out which bit goes in which hole or puts on socks with heel bit up but at least he is finally trying instead of waiting for me to dress him. As for toilet training he NEVER showed any clues as to being ready so one weekend I just bit the bullet, stayed in & kept the mop handy - he amazed me by being dry 3 days later. Poo is quite another story,I'm afraid it took another 4 or 5 months. Anyway try at weekends when you have more time and patience & good luck because I know how frustrating it is

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