How to teach something "physical" to someone w/ Dyspraxia?

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DisgruntledGirlie
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How to teach something "physical" to someone w/ Dyspraxia?

Post by DisgruntledGirlie » Fri Aug 30, 2019 6:08 pm

Hi. First post here.

I'm an assistant instructor for Karate and also believe to myself be somewhat afflicted with dyspraxia (have difficulty with direction (up/down, left right etc)... have difficulty following more than about 3 verbal instructions at a time, generally a lil awkward, those kinds of things), but generally speaking, as long as I went home and "practiced enough", I got by just fine at karate, though looked slightly more awkward than some others who had been doing it for less time than I had. This, I am all fine with and seems I have developed my own "coping strategies" that work well enough in the long term (but still have short term difficulties when others dont understand why it takes me longer to learn something that we were "just taught", even though I may be a "more advanced" rank).

However, there is a girl in our class now, about 15 years old, who is SUPREMELY awkward. She's reached the rank shes at primarily though persistence and continuity, but to get her "black belt"... there might be a lil more required than just plain dedication. A certain level of skill and understanding will need to be visibly demonstrated.

For myself and my issues, as long as I see the body part that is "doing wrong", I'll usually adjust it on my own and practice more so it happens less... she on the other hand is unaware of her "wrongs" even when told sometimes. Directions of forward, backward, up, down, left, right, centered, inward, outward... all seem to allude her. She has lots of speed, but nothing she does "looks right" and is executed very awkwardly (with her not "really" realizing how much so) to the point that her next grading may be either delayed, or she may fail.

Because I figured out what I needed on my own, I'm not sure what strategies to try on someone whose issues seem much more severe than my own. We both seem to have a certain level of social awkwardness as well... mine, oddly enough, worse than hers I think and we are "culturally" a bit different as well with I being white, her black, me Christian, her Muslim... which I don't think should inhibit anything too much really, but I'm just not really the type to "take someone under my wing", particularly when its even more awkward to do so... but I don't think the other "leaders" in our group really recognize her issues as being anything more than being "more awkward" than average and maybe needs to "try harder", when I think what she really needs, is more ~specific~ strategies/methods to try, since she's clearly not really developing her own.

Hope yall get where I'm coming from and can help me figure out strategies for helping a teen with "athletic endeavours"

Thanks

Tom fod
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Re: How to teach something "physical" to someone w/ Dyspraxia?

Post by Tom fod » Sat Aug 31, 2019 5:07 pm

DisgruntledGirlie wrote:
Fri Aug 30, 2019 6:08 pm
Hi. First post here.

I'm an assistant instructor for Karate and also believe to myself be somewhat afflicted with dyspraxia (have difficulty with direction (up/down, left right etc)... have difficulty following more than about 3 verbal instructions at a time, generally a lil awkward, those kinds of things), but generally speaking, as long as I went home and "practiced enough", I got by just fine at karate, though looked slightly more awkward than some others who had been doing it for less time than I had. This, I am all fine with and seems I have developed my own "coping strategies" that work well enough in the long term (but still have short term difficulties when others dont understand why it takes me longer to learn something that we were "just taught", even though I may be a "more advanced" rank).

However, there is a girl in our class now, about 15 years old, who is SUPREMELY awkward. She's reached the rank shes at primarily though persistence and continuity, but to get her "black belt"... there might be a lil more required than just plain dedication. A certain level of skill and understanding will need to be visibly demonstrated.

For myself and my issues, as long as I see the body part that is "doing wrong", I'll usually adjust it on my own and practice more so it happens less... she on the other hand is unaware of her "wrongs" even when told sometimes. Directions of forward, backward, up, down, left, right, centered, inward, outward... all seem to allude her. She has lots of speed, but nothing she does "looks right" and is executed very awkwardly (with her not "really" realizing how much so) to the point that her next grading may be either delayed, or she may fail.

Because I figured out what I needed on my own, I'm not sure what strategies to try on someone whose issues seem much more severe than my own. We both seem to have a certain level of social awkwardness as well... mine, oddly enough, worse than hers I think and we are "culturally" a bit different as well with I being white, her black, me Christian, her Muslim... which I don't think should inhibit anything too much really, but I'm just not really the type to "take someone under my wing", particularly when its even more awkward to do so... but I don't think the other "leaders" in our group really recognize her issues as being anything more than being "more awkward" than average and maybe needs to "try harder", when I think what she really needs, is more ~specific~ strategies/methods to try, since she's clearly not really developing her own.

Hope yall get where I'm coming from and can help me figure out strategies for helping a teen with "athletic endeavours"

Thanks
Is she particularly hungry to proceed up the rankings and does she particularly care that she is not always 'text book' in her execution of the moves?
Is she aware she has/may have dyspraxia? Has she ever asked for additional help or been upset with her own or others frustrations about her execution of moves and progress up the gradings?

I feel that the answers to these questions are needed to inform what next steps are taken.
Tom
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With a foot full of bullets I tried to run faster but I just hobbled on to the next disaster.
(from Peter and the Test Tube Babies, Foot Full of Bullets)

DisgruntledGirlie
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Re: How to teach something "physical" to someone w/ Dyspraxia?

Post by DisgruntledGirlie » Sun Sep 01, 2019 1:16 am

She does wish to proceed as she has cried once (like not bawled, but shed a tear or two), when she tested and did not receive the next full rank up (we occasionally give something the equivalent of a “half rank” if you did not succeed in doing well enough to get the next full rank, but do not quite deserve a “fail” either... unless you do not try at all, it’s hard to fail “outright” until going for blackbelt or higher ).

I’m almost certain that she does not know she has dyspraxia... *I* do not know with any certainty that she does, but she was homeschooled until recently, so it’s possible that being taught a by “someone you know” for so long, any peculiarities may have gone overlooked (also, it’s somewhat unlikely that something like that would be readily identified in our country’s school system anyway)

I would say that she does not even know that she is not textbook in her execution of the moves, but cares that she tries and tries and tries when corrected by our Sensei, but still can’t pick up something as “simple” as “punch to the center of the chest”, and instead punches to the left/right/face level etc.

She has indeed never asked for additional help. But she comes with two cousins and has never seemed to “befriend”/ shoot the breeze with anyone like the other children/adults usually do by now. I’ve tried to a time or two when I was asked to work with her rank students, tell her that she need never work on speed... as she’s got that in spades when others struggle with that (I myself... actually *should* work on speed/power more)... if anything she needed to work on slowing things down so that she could be more accurate and to practice the movement over and over in front of a mirror at home so she could see where her punch lands and if her elbow leaves the side of her body (it shouldn’t, but always does) etc.... I do not think she ever heeded that advice though, as her focus is still only on speed. It’s possible that she’s forgotten that advice by now though as we all get some level of criticism on things we do wrong on a regular basis, so it’s possible that slipped through the cracks in her mind by now

Tom fod
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Re: How to teach something "physical" to someone w/ Dyspraxia?

Post by Tom fod » Sun Sep 01, 2019 9:55 pm

If she has only been home schooled she may still need time to develop more confidence in her interactions with others. Dyspraxia regrettably tends to inhibit our confidence in ourselves.

Being recognised is harder if there aren't peers to be compared too, not that it is really objective to make such comparisons.

Could a written reminder of the aspects she needs to practise help? If she's not a reader are there you You Tube videos that go through finer points?
Tom
Moderator/Administrator

With a foot full of bullets I tried to run faster but I just hobbled on to the next disaster.
(from Peter and the Test Tube Babies, Foot Full of Bullets)

DisgruntledGirlie
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Joined: Fri Aug 30, 2019 5:33 pm

Re: How to teach something "physical" to someone w/ Dyspraxia?

Post by DisgruntledGirlie » Sun Sep 08, 2019 8:58 pm

I’ve thought of putting something together for her and even started framing it out in Word... what I discovered was, if I do do this, it will take an almost overwhelming amount of time... which I’m cool with doing if she actually even tried to use it, I just worry if it might “embarrass” her as we are both a lil awkward.

I just feel like I can visibly see what is confusing for her, even though I don’t think I’m as bad. I just feel like if she is to improve, that work needs to be done at home without the pressure, as that is what I’ve had to do, even when I was in school, I had to create my own study guides so things made “sense” to me and I could memorize things easier. Even now, I memorize as much as possible at home so I don’t have to “understand” it in the moment.

I’ve showed the Sensei my first stab at explaining just one technique for her to work on and asked if he thought it might be embarrassing, but he had no real input other than if I wanted to put it together, he’d have no problem with me giving it to her. So 🤷🏻‍♀️

Tom fod
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Re: How to teach something "physical" to someone w/ Dyspraxia?

Post by Tom fod » Sun Sep 08, 2019 10:09 pm

Could you open with somethkng along lines of: "You likely won't believe it, but I used to sttuggle similarly.

I have some ideas for strategies you might try to improve your moves but it will involve a fair amount of extra practise at home.

We all learn in different ways so there may be some trial and error and progress may not be as fast as you might hope but you can still get there?
Tom
Moderator/Administrator

With a foot full of bullets I tried to run faster but I just hobbled on to the next disaster.
(from Peter and the Test Tube Babies, Foot Full of Bullets)

DisgruntledGirlie
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Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Aug 30, 2019 5:33 pm

Re: How to teach something "physical" to someone w/ Dyspraxia?

Post by DisgruntledGirlie » Mon Sep 09, 2019 6:25 pm

Thanks.

I think I will need to get through a decent chunk of the writups, some with pictures, before I approach her on it (just cus I might in-fact find it to be too overwhelming a task) .

But some variant of your suggestion may very well be the kind of tact I should try to use.

Thanks again

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