Dyspraxia - Breurn abbey - looks fab...but my son is only 6 ...

(32 Posts)
Oxfordmummy Mon 11-Feb-13 15:23:11

So...my son has just been diagnosed with dyspraxia ....the school which looks the most suitable is breurn but as our son is only 6 what on earth do we do with him until he is old enough to go there - assuming of course he gets in...? He loves his current prep school but....slowly but surely his confidence is being eroded and he spends half of his time with the reception class as he can't keep up with his year group ...give it another six months and he will I'm sure be less confident than he is now
To be fair to his current school they have been fabulous and were in fact the ones who have worked out with the support of an education psyc of what was "wrong" but do I therefore have to leave him there for another 18 months to two years...? What has anyone else done to bridge this gap? Love to hear from someone who has had the same challenge as I have now got...!

acebaby Sat 23-Feb-13 23:17:06

From your name, I think you might be within reach of the Unicorn school in Abingdon. I have heard that they work wonders with children with specific learning difficulties. I know a couple of children who went there, and their parents speak very highly of it.

Might be worth a look? I think they take children from year 2.

Oxfordmummy Sat 23-Feb-13 09:57:47

Thank you everyone for all your advice...meeting with school scheduled now for a couple of weeks time armed with lots more opinions and thoughts is very helpful....thank you all!

Callthemidlife Wed 13-Feb-13 23:45:58

My DS dyslexic and dyspraxic. TBH your school sounds as if it is in the dark ages. DCs school is also an academic prep. He is in yr, comfortably keeping up (albeit with 'd's for quality of written work and some pretty poor games reports). He is withdrawn from class (he does not do Latin, in earlier years he used to skip some morning assemblies, some art classes) and he uses this time for 1-1 (sometimes free 'group' work, and sometimes i pay extra if external therapists used). We have a written plan in place and all his teachers know to give him leeway for rocking in late to class, for forgetting to bring the right equipment, for forgetting to write down homework, etc. in a way he is really lucky, he drifts round with that 'head in the clouds' persona and is allowed to be excessively 'boyish' and he still benefits from a rigorous academic environment. But that what I pay for. And what I expect. And when a musical instrument was recommended for his fine motor skills, it was timetabled in to ensure he didn't miss key lessons. Likewise when I went in and asked for more typing support I got it.

Schools should,be judged on what they do for those outside the bell curve, not for those inside it, and you are a paying customer with choices. You really need to go in with guns blazing, asking why your school is not doing what other private schools are, because it ain't rocket science.

Also you may want to look to occ therapists, run your DS past a behavioural optometrist and take a look at some of the oddball places like tinsley house. Definitely buy 'the out of synch child' book from amazon. A smorgasbord approach has - in our experience - benefitted more than relying on just one route forward. The SN boards on MN are very good (but sometimes very strident). Lots of mums have trodden your path, and its tough, but ok. The key is to - as others have said - narrow down the specific issues or your son (you only have the headline at the moment), because that is the key to unlocking the right combination of therapies.

I would reiterate that I am appalled by your school's actions so far. Even without an assessment it is a very blunt approach.

mrz Wed 13-Feb-13 21:17:23

I teach in a standard state school but have had training to deliver appropriate therapy for DCD which would not involve teaching a child out of year group for three months or three minutes!

Shallishanti Wed 13-Feb-13 21:11:40

My ds went to a fairly standard state primary and now secondary, he hasn't been excluded from his peer group, but withdrawn into small groups (same age) for extra support - in primary- in secondary he had a TA giving 1-1 support in all lessons where a lot of writing was required, he had a detailed IEP which was communicated to all his teachers. And a laptop, a scribe, and extra time in exams.
Have just asked DS what he thinks about what your school has done, he thinks he will end up being bullied by his peers
I'm sorry but I feel quite upset for him, the school is failing him big time

neolara Wed 13-Feb-13 21:08:54

What did the EP's report say? What tests did she use?

mrz Wed 13-Feb-13 21:07:30

three months!

Oxfordmummy Wed 13-Feb-13 21:06:47

Thank you....

mrz Wed 13-Feb-13 21:04:56

I suggest a good paediatric occupational therapy service

Oxfordmummy Wed 13-Feb-13 21:03:53

He has been with reception for the mornings for about three months.....

Oxfordmummy Wed 13-Feb-13 21:02:58

I know ...but what I have found since the diagnosis is trying to get people to u debts and what needs to be done..and I don't know enough yet - will get school meeting out of the way...

Then make the next move. But yes you are right - we are lucky enough to be affording private education....and we will make sure this is well spent and support our ds the best way possible.

mrz Wed 13-Feb-13 21:01:12

The diagnosis is recent so how long has he been working in reception on an afternoon instead of with his peers?

Shallishanti Wed 13-Feb-13 20:49:45

what???? he's in reception- that's appalling- and you think they 'don't really want him there'? and you are paying for this, is that right?
I'm sure it's been said already, but chicldren with dyspraxia are very vulnerable to low self esteem, that is bound to make it worse poor thing

Oxfordmummy Wed 13-Feb-13 20:44:41

The diagnosis is recent ...Your responses have all been most thought provoking. I think what I need to understand is what their plan is now going forward as until our ds was diagnosed they werent seeing what the issues were - none of us did and the plan is to discuss and how they are going to support him....there is a part of me that suspects that they will be wonderfully supportive but at the same time..possibly not really want him there as it is a very successful,school academically ...and not structured to help my ds in the way he needs.

I might be entirely wrong but next week will reveal all....

But thank you again all...I think I will see what his current school says...if not satisfied I will talk to breurn and I think also get an alternative assessment done.

mrz Wed 13-Feb-13 18:24:23

Does he receive occupational therapy for his dyspraxia?

auntevil Wed 13-Feb-13 17:03:58

Agree LIZS . Your DS didn't pick it up the first time in reception, what is making them think that doing the same teaching again is going to work? He sounds like he needs a good intervention programme and to be taken out of class for very small chunks of learning so he can keep apace with his peers.
As far as reading goes, there is a great deal of commonality between dyspraxia and dyslexia. I read that approx 75% of children with dyspraxia also have some problems with dyslexia,
This does need further assessment as you need to know specifically which areas are weak as opposed to generic reading/writing. For example, DS1 has somatodyspraxia. His ability to put requests/thoughts into physical action is 0.5 percentile. His weakness in handwriting is the physical process, he does not have issues with letter shaping, phonics etc, so working on his muscle control is the way forward. Likewise with his dyslexia, when he 'catches' the letters he can de-code them, he just needs them to stay still.
Until you know the nature of the beast, it's hard to know how to train it.

LIZS Wed 13-Feb-13 08:08:02

Been thinking further about this and feel angry on your and your ds' behalf. What the school are trying to do is similar to those who in speaking to a foreign visitor repeat the same phrase in English at ever increasing volumes - the message still doesn't get through and it causes frustration and humiliation. What other strategies are they trying or can they use? He is only 6 but early intervention is so important for self esteem and confidence to learn.

difficultpickle Tue 12-Feb-13 22:32:48

I would also recommend contacting bibic who could give you advice and support as well as an assessment, if needed.

difficultpickle Tue 12-Feb-13 22:30:19

Couldn't you speak to Bruern and find out if there are any local schools they could recommend?

beautifulgirls Tue 12-Feb-13 22:06:53

Are you certain that dyspraxia is the only issue here. Has he seen a developmental paediatrician?

LIZS Tue 12-Feb-13 20:55:55

Sorry but being taught with Reception is not the answer. His needs sound more complex than simple phonics revision is going to resolve, reiterating things the same way isn't allowing him the opportunity to learn through alternative approaches and isn't them being supportive. Have they tried programmes for dyslexics for example.

He will see younger children making more progress and will become demoralised. Being dyspraxic does not mean his scope for learning should be limited like this and if the SENCO cannot grasp this then this is not the school for him. He needs to experience school as a happy relaxed environment , not stressful and punitive. What did the Ed Psych assess his underlying IQ scores as ? What other support is in place for his needs, in and out of school?

Oxfordmummy Tue 12-Feb-13 20:26:18

Thank you so much for your replies...it's comforting to hear some feedback - you do feel a somewhat stranded parent in this sort of situation.... Anyway his school have him in his year group but every day he spends three hours every morning with the reception class as they are at an earlier stage of phonics ie at the basic handwriting and basic letter recognition stage. My ds can't grasp his basic letters at all and putting them to paper is if not carefully done a tearful task for both him and me if doing it at home. At school his whole year group other than him are writing sentences and stories ...he can't write his name.

Reading the same - he has short term memory issues so will sound a word and get it ...in the next sentence ie three words later same word...can't remember it and has to start all over again...so reading three simple sentences can take an hour...So the school have placed him with the reception in the hope he might catch up which of course we now understand he perhaps won't ...or will be at a lower speed. He can't place words on paper - has no awareness of letter sizes and will cry in the frustration

And because he is with reception for an extended time each day he is then falling behind the other things his year group are doing...so gets upset that he isn't able to the drawing and technology stuff they are doing.

Can't ride a bike, walks on tiptoe all the time... can't do jigsaws BUT he is the smiliest happiest little boy...he is the friend of the reception class all the younger children look up to him....he looks after them...he protects them. At home he is kind he is sociable he interacts with adults and children and all my family and friends say what a fabulous boy he is...I don't want to lose this....so with the right attention and teaching I am sure we can help him to place which will develop him...just scared if I leave him where he is where I still think best intentions by the school are okay but in my mind don't work...

So take him out ...or soldier on and then 2 years to breurn? But I don't want him broken on the way.... Sorry for waffling but I am sure you can see how anxious I am to make sure I do the right thing....

auntevil Tue 12-Feb-13 17:27:04

Since when has dyspraxia (dysfunction of the motor/co-ordination development) affected academic ability? Never!
Unless there are other learning difficulties, I would tell the school (if you plan on keeping your DS there) that he needs to be in an age appropriate learning environment. The school then needs to find ways to adapt for your DS in any areas that he finds difficulty.
My DS3 (5) is being assessed for dyspraxia, DS1 (10) already dx. DS3 is one of the youngest in Y1. He can quite ably keep up with his peers. When there are issues with writing, and he needs to make a word quickly, he has access to either magnetic letters on a white board ( when class are using whiteboards) or tablet, if the work needs to be saved/printed.
Staff are aware so that during any physical activity he can participate.
Yes, we struggle sometimes with not all staff realising that not being able to process instructions in a timely/accurate way does not equate to wilfulness, but on the whole, DS3 is treated just like his peers.

rabbitstew Tue 12-Feb-13 09:00:54

The worst thing about dyspraxia is the risk of low self esteem. Move heaven and earth to ensure he does not lose that!
If you describe your ds's symptoms on the special needs board (children section, obviously), you're bound to get all sorts of helpful tips from people on things that have helped their children - but you need to be specific on the type of dyspraxia, whether he has low tone/hypermobility/muscle weakness/poor sequencing skills/poor working memory/slow processing/poor co-ordination/any issues with social and emotional skills/sensory hyper- or hypo-sensitivity/poor proprioception etc, because "dyspraxia" covers a colossal possible range of symptoms and no child has all of them.

LIZS Tue 12-Feb-13 08:42:17

It probably depends on the nature of the problems but with infant class size restrictions they cannot add an extra child here and there without additional staffing. Alternative might be a mixed R/Y1 class where differentiation is perhaps less obvious to peers. However dubious as to whether in the state sector they would have put forward him for diagnosis so young unless difficulties were very pronounced. Some prep schools might use it as a lever to suggest that they cannot offer appropriate support and your ds might be better off elsewhere ...

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