Could this be Dyspraxia

(17 Posts)
twofalls Wed 18-Jun-14 14:14:50

I hope you don't mind me posting here. My DD is 8 and in YR3 and really struggles with certain things like cutlery and buttons. She cannot ride a bike and her handwriting is very poor. She is extremely disorganised (her PE kit is always strewn across the cloakroom and she is always loosing her coat, cardigan etc), and seems to be in a dreamworld a lot of the time. I have to ask her at least 4 times for her to do anything (shoes on, coat on, get in the car, come down for tea etc). She has struggled socially at school since day 1 but is fine in a one to one situation - in groups she just doesn't seem to know what to do or how to act.

Her ability to learn seems fine - her literacy and mathes are at level 4. So is she just a bit scatty and uncoordinated or could it be a mild form of dyspraxia. I can't talk to her teacher because she has been off sick for the best part of the last two terms and the fill in teacher has left.

If it could be Dyspraxia, where do I go from here and how do I best help her. I have looked on the Dyspraxia website but would be good to get some first hand views.

Thanks

JoffreyBaratheon Wed 18-Jun-14 14:38:14

twofalls, I used to run one of the local groups for the Dyspraxia Foundation and have three dyspraxic kids. And yes, reading that, it does sound possible.

Where do you go from here? Straight to your GP and say you are wondering if this is dyspraxia and whether your child can see a paediatrician or similar and get a firm diagnosis.

Any info from the Dyspraxia Foundation will help you. As a local group we made a checklist of possible indicators, which helped many parents feel more confident they should be going for diagnosis. Also try and see if there is a local group and give them a ring for more info.

Once you have a diagnosis, if it's dyspraxia, then sometimes occupational, speech and/or physiotherapy will be appropriate. Depends largely on your area and what is available which again is why it is a good reason to tap into your local group as only they will know what is likely. Ask the school whether statementing/an Ed Psych report would help. Two of my three dyspraxic kids were statemented. This then meant they could access the help needed much more easily.

There are lots of practical strategies for organisation, and things that can help.

Socially, it varies child to child so one of my sons was always a bit isolated (he now has a very high flying job as a web developer - taking his fascination with computers and turning it into something very positive). Another son is extremely popular and capable (good at football despite the fine motor problems). The third had trouble making friends as a child but as a young adult is very popular and has many friends. So don't take how your daughter is now as the way she is 'fated' to be...

I'm here for support if you need me. But first port of call - you must get diagnosis (it might not be dyspraxia of course, so diagnosis is vital). Also get in contact with the Dyspraxia Foundation and your local group Co-ordinator. Girls can experience dyspraxia differently to boys - a friend who ran the group with me had a severely dyspraxic daughter and she encountered all kinds of situations we didn't with our sons, and vice versa.

twofalls Wed 18-Jun-14 14:55:34

Thank you so much, that is really helpful. Will make an appointment and seek out our local group. Well done to your boys smile

JoffreyBaratheon Wed 18-Jun-14 17:07:20

Ah let us know how you get on - and hopefully someone else will be along here with their experiences. I remember in the early days when son 1 and then son 2 were diagnosed, we felt close to despair some days. And when I worked on the help line, I had so many calls from distraught parents who were finding it hard to get info, or just struggling to cope with the effects of it all on their child... So I wanted to post straight away to give you the positives.

Forgot to say but my second dyspraxic son is also autistic and he just got a place at uni for later this year. When they were little kids, we worried so much about their futures - but they got diagnosis, so got support. Self esteem is a key thing. DF should have some good resources for you.

twofalls Wed 18-Jun-14 20:23:27

Thank you, I will do. Am going to try and talk to school tomorrow. It's only since she has reached 8 and I see how different she is to many of her friends I have realised there could be a problem. I will keep you posted.

Good luck with school.

I suspect DS2 is Dyspraxic - but school are not interested in trying to help get a diagnosis, because he is achieving "enough" that they are not concerned. Never mind the fact that with the correct diagnosis and support he could fly.

<bitter>

twofalls Wed 18-Jun-14 22:56:40

I have a feeling I could get the same response. Dd is already above average and doing well academically so I can't imagine they will take my concerns seriously. There are a lot if children in our school with special needs (it's known to be good with children with ASD) and the SENCO is kept extremely busy.

Sorry you are in this situation.

Madcatgirl Wed 18-Jun-14 23:00:48

Ds1 is getting his assessment next week, so can we all join in together for support? School flagged it, but we've been back and to between school, ed psych and gp before anyone would refer him! Good luck OP. Ds is also 8.

JoffreyBaratheon Wed 18-Jun-14 23:09:16

It's worth knowing that academic ability/intellect has nothing to do with dyspraxia. One of my dyspraxic sons has a fairly low IQ, one is average, and one had an IQ measured at "over 160", pretty well off the scale...

If the school does not understand this, you need to educate them!

I would go down the medical route first. Establish a diagnosis, if it is dyspraxia, with the medics (my thirs dyspraxic son was diagnosed several years ago, my older sons in the 1990s - and it seemed a lot smoother this time round). GP referred us to a specialist at a local clinic and he didn't hesitate to diagnose, once he saw and spoke to my son and us and ran a few tests. At the time, the school he went to was unsupportive. It was quite a snobby church school and the Head seemed reluctant to get any child a 'label' or a statement. As a former teacher myself and parent of dyspraxic kids, I know labels are useful in that once you have it, you can access the help. Ed Psych assessment in school and statement if appropriate (and it isn't always). School were in denial as Son 4 was good a PE - he did have fine motor problems, but not the gross motor. They didn't really understand the nature of dyspraxia. Or want to as she wanted no kids with those kind of difficulties on the books - I dunno why. The school he moved to later was much, much more open minded and helpful.

What I'm saying in a longwinded way is - the school don't matter. The doctors... do. Once you have a firm diagnosis the school HAVE to act.

I did go to the doctors last year, but in his words "well if the school don't think it's an issue I can't/won't refer him". I tried 2 different doctors at the same practice!

We can't afford private either . sad

JoffreyBaratheon Thu 19-Jun-14 09:28:41

Ah it must be different in different areas, as my 13 year old's doctor didn't even contact the school initially - or ask what they thought (just as well because they didn't want to co-operate). Doctor did a few tests and went on what we reported. I'd ring the Dyspraxia Foundation and ask what routes are available. Maybe someone in the group local to your area could recommend an enlightened GPs' practice?

Thanks, I will contact them today - and I think I will head back to the doctors and try again.

Madcatgirl Thu 19-Jun-14 14:42:10

Good luck manky. It's so frustrating isn't it?

Twofalls do you have any news? I am having an initial telephone consultation with a different doctor about DS on Friday morning, while he is in school. Hopefully she will listen to me and ask me to bring him in. I need to get my list of niggles and concerns written out

I have just spoken to the GP, and they have asked me to bring DS into the surgery, they have asked me to book a double appointment so I can chat to them and then bring DS in from the waiting area.

I think I will tell him its just for a chat and to look at his bendiness - I will be asking for a physio referral for his Hyper Mobility anyway.

Hopefully when I see the doctor face to face the will take my concerns seriously this time.

But I have to wait til Monday to get an appointment as the new appointment rosters come out then.

I got myself so worked up about the phone consultation and now I feel like I am in Limbo. confused

Just an update - the GP initially said she would refer him for investigation for Hypermobility to a Rhuematologist, the same one as DD - she felt some of his issues may be because of his lack of strength and bendiness. She did say that she felt school should be doing further investigation and referral in terms of how he is in school, as the GP's tended not to get involved in that side of things.

Since then I have had a cal lto "choose and book" at the Childrens Hospital - not with a Rhuematologist, but with the general Pediatrics clinic.

So I'm not sure what to expect but I think the general clinic may be a better starting point.

Does any one else have any updates?

rocketjam Thu 17-Jul-14 10:25:51

The thing with dyspraxia is that your child doesn't have to 'tick' all the boxes to be diagnosed. It will say something like 'your child may have speech difficulties' and 'you child may have problems with balance', etc

DS was diagnosed at 6, and now at 7 he is high achiever at school, can ride bike, has excellent balance, good handwriting, but dyspraxia affects mostly his speech and his face. He is also double jointed (hypermobile) and hypotonia (low muscle tone). He hates sports day, he trips on his own feet when walking (his feet, knees and hips are pointing inwards a bit).

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