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copying off whiteboard difficulty-------dyspraxia

38 replies

KangaMummy · 14/09/2004 19:56

DS is in Class 5 age 9. He has recently been diagnosed as dyspraxic.

He got into trouble today in school for not copying correctly off the whiteboard into excercise book. He missed the ending off a word.

Last year he had a very kind teacher so we don't really know if it was hard for him then as well.
We did have a meeting last year with teacher and it wasn't mentioned.

This teacher is very much stricter. DH and I don't really know what to say to teacher. We both feel it is wrong to be given a warning card for this anyway.

If it is part of his dyspraxia then it is really wrong. Does anyone have any tips or experience of this happening with their DD or DS?

In DH school age 11 and over the dyspraxic children are given printed sheets or extra time to copy it out.


OP posts:
blossomhill · 14/09/2004 20:04

Personallly I would be very upset if my child was told off for something that obviously wasn't his fault. Can you speak to the school Senco and explain your fears. Maybe the teacher doesn't have a great understanding of dyspraxia and someone needs to tell her exactly the difficulties your ds experiences. Does your ds have a statement or an IEP?
Hope you manage to sort it out, good luck!

Jimjams · 14/09/2004 20:09

The madelain Portwood book "developmental dyspraxia" talks about the difficulties dyspraxic children face copying off boards (they have to be sat in very specifici places- because they tend to retain reflexes they can't look up and down easily at all). I think you need to have a meeting with the teacher and the SENCO, and armed with something like that book (relevant bits highlighted) ask how they are going to deal with this. Does he see an OT? They would be able to give the school advice.

KangaMummy · 14/09/2004 20:15

No, he does not have a statement or an IEP (i don't know what that is)

The really good SENCO left last year and the new one we haven't spoken to yet.

DH is probably going to ring or go in to DS school tomorrow as we think it really unfair.

I would like to know what dyspraxic primary chldren do?

If he gets another green warning card he then is given a red card which is really serious as far as DS is concerned.

We thought they were only given for behaviour. He has never been given one before as he and us thought they were for messing about or talking or being rude etc.

OP posts:
KangaMummy · 14/09/2004 20:17

Yes Jimjams he has an appointment with OT on Fri.

Where should they sit?

If he gets another green card this week then we are too late he will get a red one!

OP posts:
KangaMummy · 14/09/2004 20:19

I am going to buy that book asap.

OP posts:
wobblyknicks · 14/09/2004 20:25

KM - this might not help at all but does he have any problem with his sight? It's just that I'm slightly short-sighted and in 99% of life it doesn't make any difference at all - I can see fine. But I can't see definition far away, like can't read signs as far away as most other people etc. But whiteboards and projectors have always been one of my biggest problems - I have a really hard time reading things off them because I can't get the definition until I'm closer than you normally are. At college I used to have to get up and sit on the edge of the table to copy stuff off a whiteboard otherwise I'd have missed off bits of words too.

Just wondering if thats worth considering.

sis · 14/09/2004 20:33

KangaMummy, I am sorry that the teacher's action has caused your family so much worry. Jimjams suggested the Madeleine Portwood book to me when my son had just been diagnosed as dypraxic and I think it is a great book - it explains a lot of things in a very clear and easily understandable way.

As our son is still in infants, I can't help what what other primary schools do but our senco has proven to be very supportive so far.

I hope your son's time with this teacher improves once the teacher gets a better understanding of your son.

KangaMummy · 14/09/2004 20:33

WN He had an eye test last year and it was fine but he has another one next month. So that could poss be a point to consider.

My eyes are good, his dad has recently started wearing glasses but close up things are his problem.

Thanks everyone for your help.

OP posts:
wobblyknicks · 14/09/2004 20:35

I might be totally off but naturally you want to consider everything.

lou33 · 14/09/2004 20:43

When dd1 was suspected of being dyspraxic, her neurologist said she would probably have to use a laptop instead.

Weite a letter to the teacher concerned, explaining that your ds is dyspraxic, and that it is not his fault. Make an appointment to see the senco asap, and ask the teacher and the senco, to explain what his iep says (individual educational plan), and how they will be putting it into practise. Ask the ot for advice, and try and persuade them to pay a visit to the school to have a meeting with anyone involved with your ds.

Good luck

Jimjams · 14/09/2004 20:44

not sure where they should sit kanga- but the basic problem (as i understand it) is that when they move their head to look up their arm moves involuntarily (if these relexes are still in place -which they often are with dyspraxic children).

Have a look at the dyscovery centre website as well I think they have some info that may be possible to print off.

I would explain the situation to the OT as well- this is the sort of thing she should be able to advise on. It would be totally unacceptable for a dyspraxic child to get a red card for "carelss" (which it isn't) copying.

Hulababy · 14/09/2004 20:53

Not sure how useful this is but this is advice for teachers about having children with dyspaxia in their classrooms

Hulababy · 14/09/2004 20:58

The key points which seem to be being missed by this teacher seem to be:

*If possible make prepared recording sheets to shorten the amount of writing the child has to do.

This shouldn't be difficult for the teacher to do, as presumably she/he has planned their work and knows what they are writing on the board. In such a situation maybe it could be suggested that your DS is given a sheet with some of the info on, where he has to read the board and add key words - teacher leaves spaces to complete.

*Extra time should be allowed for a task to be completed.

*Barely legible handwriting, poor drawing and copying skills

Teacher should be aware of this and take this into account. Obviously your DS should NOT be in trouble for something beyond his control.

You say that your DS doesn't have an IEP/statement? Could it be that this informationm has not yet been passed onto the class teacher yet? Sometimes movement of data between teachers within schools can be ever so slow.

Regardless though, I would have a word with the teacher to make sure she is aware. If she is unsure of how to deal with dyspaxia in her classroom this knowledge shuld then enable her to research and find out more - the school SENCO should be able to help here.

KangaMummy · 14/09/2004 20:59

I know a boy in the class above DS has a laptop that he brings to school.

DS is left handed as well so that may pose a bit more of a problem with his arm movements.

DS OT is very helpful so there is quite a chance that she contact or even go to the school if we ask.

We will ask about IEP as well.

OP posts:
Hulababy · 14/09/2004 21:02

Sebveral of our secondary school pupils also have lap tops, often provided by the school. If you have access to one - either yourself or another means (some of ours have them through their statements) then this is something else you could explore with the school. Also, for the main part, and certainly for sprimary and KS3, you don't really need a lap top computer as such - just a word proceesor. So long as it has the capability to print out on a normal school printer, or to save to disk which can be read by a normal PC - this is something else some of our pupils use.

lou33 · 14/09/2004 21:10

Also, you may benefit from contacting the DYspraxia Foundation, which is based in Hitchin, Herts. They will be able to send you loads of literature and give you support.

Phone: 01462 455052 (Helpline 01462 454986)

KangaMummy · 14/09/2004 21:11

WE didn't know anything about IEP he may have one but we don't know.

That is brilliant info thanks. will print it off so we can refer to it another time.

Will look at Discovery website too.

You have all been really helpful

We are new to this and am on a step learning curve.

OP posts:
KangaMummy · 14/09/2004 21:12

Yes lou will ring them tomorrow thanks

OP posts:
Hulababy · 14/09/2004 21:13

If the teacher seems unsure about her role and what to do - this isn't really taught in Teaching Practise/Degrees TBH, so unless she has had such pupils before she may be unsure - maybe show her the info too, as a starting point.

KangaMummy · 14/09/2004 21:14

We are thinking of buying a laptop for the family anyway so he could take it to school.

OP posts:
KangaMummy · 14/09/2004 21:15

good idea hulababy,

she used to teach class 6 and then swapped so has missed the boy with the laptop in the year above DS. She has come down as he went up IYSWIM

OP posts:
Saker · 14/09/2004 21:17

Here is a link for the Dyscovery Centre if you don't have it.
Dyscovery Centre
They have a lot of useful information. The description of dyspraxia specifically says that children have difficulty with visual tracking - including looking from board to book and back again.

As I understand it dyspraxic children can have a number of visual problems which are related to the processing of visual info rather than their actual eyesight. It might be worth consulting a behavioural optometrist who is specifically trained in this. This site has some useful info:
British Association of Behavioural Optometrists


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Hulababy · 14/09/2004 21:17

I am sure sh wouldn't mind at all. I know I don't if parents give me info that can help.

If you do get a laptop, make sure it is fully insured for out of the house and in schools (especially if left unsupervised). And see if school have any specific software they'd prefer you to use.

LIZS · 14/09/2004 21:20

Kangamummy, it sounds to me as if the teacher was harsh and perhaps does not understand your ds' specific problems. If it was just for him not finishing I'd be extremely annoyed too. I really hope you can resolve it quickly. Good luck.

Thanks for that site Hulababy. ds has some dyspraxic tendencies (no official diagnosis) and we have a meeting with his teacher, OT and Learning Support (I suppose the equivalent of SENCO) on Thursday to review his progress and needs, so very timely.

Hulababy · 14/09/2004 21:21

Hope it helps Lizs. I am sure there are no doubt lots more info on the web somewhere too.

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