Advice - Dyspraxic son

A place to talk about your experience of living with Dyspraxia

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Limegirl
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Advice - Dyspraxic son

Post by Limegirl » Sat Feb 02, 2019 7:51 pm

Hello,

I hope you don’t mind me joining this forum - I’m looking for advice from grown-ups with Dyspraxia.

My 7 year old was diagnosed with dyspraxia and hyper mobile joints 2 years ago. It mainly affects his gross motor skills and he does have some difficulties with fine motor skills such as handwriting. He’s also very disorganised though is a very logical thinker.

He’s a really happy chap and isn’t aware that he has this condition at the moment. It’s hard with things like PE in school and football in the playground and he does sometimes get upset. I can see this getting to be more of an issue when he gets older and the discrepancy between what he’s able to do in PE/playground and what the average child can do grows.

What I’m toying with is when to tell him he’s got this condition? I don’t want him to feel that he’s ‘different’ and shouldn’t try stuff but equally I dont want him beating himself up over something he’s unable to control. He’s extremely bright and logical and I wonder if knowing his brain works slightly differently to the neurotypical brain would help him rationalise his difficulties with sports and general coordination.

I’d be incredibly grateful for any opinions/experiences that adults with dyspraxia would be willing to share? When did you find out and was it helpful?

Many thanks and sorry if I’ve intruded in your group,

LG

EnigmaticLila
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Re: Advice - Dyspraxic son

Post by EnigmaticLila » Sat Feb 02, 2019 10:03 pm

Hi

So I knew from a young age I was different and I started getting discouraged from playing from the time I hit primary school. I kept getting asked by everyone what was wrong or why I couldn't just do something like running, walking straight or cutting properly. I only found out now that I'm 23 that I have this problem and I had for years been hating myself for not keeping up. I think its important for him to know that he has a different brain and even moreso important that you do exercises with him to help him overcome some of the difficulties.

You don't need him to be mocked and teased and take it to heart that he's a failure. Help him understand what's going on. Let him know that he doesn't need to share it with others if he doesn't want to but can if he feels safe enough to share.

Teach him to be patient with himself, teach him to have a positive mindset about it and be involved in helping him develop the motor planning muscle. You might need to take him to occupational therapy or to an educational psychologist.

Limegirl
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Re: Advice - Dyspraxic son

Post by Limegirl » Sun Feb 03, 2019 8:07 pm

Thank you, I really appreciate the reply. We do excersises with him and we also do a fair amount of solo sport like golf and trampolining (recomended by a paediatrician).

You’ve given me some food for thought and I think backed up my thought that he needs to understand that his brain works differently.

Thanks once again,
LG

Tom fod
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Re: Advice - Dyspraxic son

Post by Tom fod » Mon Feb 04, 2019 12:59 am

Limegirl wrote:
Sat Feb 02, 2019 7:51 pm
Hello,

I hope you don’t mind me joining this forum - I’m looking for advice from grown-ups with Dyspraxia.

My 7 year old was diagnosed with dyspraxia and hyper mobile joints 2 years ago. It mainly affects his gross motor skills and he does have some difficulties with fine motor skills such as handwriting. He’s also very disorganised though is a very logical thinker.

He’s a really happy chap and isn’t aware that he has this condition at the moment. It’s hard with things like PE in school and football in the playground and he does sometimes get upset. I can see this getting to be more of an issue when he gets older and the discrepancy between what he’s able to do in PE/playground and what the average child can do grows.

What I’m toying with is when to tell him he’s got this condition? I don’t want him to feel that he’s ‘different’ and shouldn’t try stuff but equally I dont want him beating himself up over something he’s unable to control. He’s extremely bright and logical and I wonder if knowing his brain works slightly differently to the neurotypical brain would help him rationalise his difficulties with sports and general coordination.

I’d be incredibly grateful for any opinions/experiences that adults with dyspraxia would be willing to share? When did you find out and was it helpful?

Many thanks and sorry if I’ve intruded in your group,

LG
Hi there not at all. We do try to promote awareness and help family members with questions.

The fact that the world and other people have their own logic that doesn’t correspond to ours can be distressing sometimes as we don’t always see things the same as others do. This can be both a blessing and a.curse.

I didn’t find out until I was around 35 and went through school and career feeling useless/stupid at times as they mostly tried to address my visual impairment. That said I”m not sure I would have listened had or if they tried. While the revelation did at last explain why,it took some coming to terms with to accept and understandi my “new label” and what it meant for me, and how and when I might want to disclose it to others.

It can be distressing when we don’t conform to what we/our peers consider the norms. I guess diversity is better explained now but that sadly doesn’t stop some feeling or being rejected by classmates.
Tom
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allesandro
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Re: Advice - Dyspraxic son

Post by allesandro » Mon Feb 04, 2019 1:49 am

Welcome! I did not know that I was dyspraxic growing up. But then again, I'm in my 60's, and I don't even know if they knew what it was back then.
I think it would be helpful for him to know that everyone's brain works differently and to capitalize on his strength in order to build self esteem.
Building his ego strength based on his talents, will make it easier to tolerate his shortcomings. But also, I assume he has an occupational therapist because and physical therapist because at that age it is critical to develop the brain while the neuroplacticity still exists.

EnigmaticLila
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Re: Advice - Dyspraxic son

Post by EnigmaticLila » Mon Feb 04, 2019 8:06 am

Limegirl wrote:
Sun Feb 03, 2019 8:07 pm
Thank you, I really appreciate the reply. We do excersises with him and we also do a fair amount of solo sport like golf and trampolining (recomended by a paediatrician).

You’ve given me some food for thought and I think backed up my thought that he needs to understand that his brain works differently.

Thanks once again,
LG
Absolute pleasure.

I'd also recommend something like playing the piano or video games - any activity that requires both hands doing the same amount of work to help bridge connections between the brain hemispheres. It'll improve coordination and rhythm. Dancing is also extremely good for this - or things like zumba - but he'll need extra time to lean dance moves and recalling steps in the right order doesn't happen so maybe do a fun dance at home with him. The cha cha slide is easy and a good start.

james92
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Re: Advice - Dyspraxic son

Post by james92 » Mon Feb 04, 2019 8:59 pm

Hello,

I was diagnosed at 11 and was given the word dyspraxia and that I was dyspraxic, although I didn’t understand the true meaning of the word until my late teens it was helpful that the school was aware of the condition so we’re supportive. It was something that I also discussed with my peers at the time so although I didn’t know what it was I did understand that I thought/acted differently to everyone else.

My advice would be based on past experience would be to talk about it to everyone, friends family school and work in later years as it’s not something to be ashamed about. Unfortunately I didn’t start opening up about it until my mid 20’s and wish I had earlier. You can feel very isolated if it’s not handled correctly.

I believe Dyspraxia needs to be spoken about more openly to improve awareness.

Hope this helps,

J.

Muninn
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Re: Advice - Dyspraxic son

Post by Muninn » Wed Feb 06, 2019 4:24 pm

Hi Limegirl,

First of all, it's great to see parents like you doing the research and asking others about dyspraxia; I can see you care very much about your son and I just had to sign up here to respond to your post.

As an adult with dyspraxia who was diagnosed early on in life (just a little younger than your son's age) my view is that you should tell him about it. He may not fully understand what this odd Greek word means just yet, but if he has trouble doing some things it's better to put a name to it than leave him to think that he's "lazy", "slow" or somehow inadequate compared to his peers.

The first step in tackling any problem is in knowing what it is, and from there you can help him overcome his difficulties and fight for whatever allowances are needed from the school - for me I got extra time in exams, and every so often a physiotherapist would visit me in school; a welcome relief from regular lessons! Wish I still got to take time out of answering calls at work to fit shapes together and practice standing on one leg.

If you are met with some grief or ignorance from the school then there are various ways to counter this - remember that dyspraxia is a recognised disability and that your son's institution has a duty under various anti-discrimination legislation to make reasonable adjustments.

An important thing to remember is that while dyspraxia does make certain things more difficult, it does not make them impossible. If your son wants to do something then there's no reason why he shouldn't give it a try despite what the literature says (within reason of course, no chainsaw juggling please), although getting good may take extra work and practice.

Rejoice for it is a better time to be dyspraxic than it's ever been. When I was growing up it had only just been recognised by the WHO and I was constantly having to explain what dyspraxia was, prove that I wasn't making it up or get lumped in with the dyslexics with people remarking that there was nothing wrong with my spelling. The generation before me were labeled with "clumsy child syndrome", "minor brain damage" (yikes), or more often not at all. Now your son gets to grow up in a world where awareness is increasing, neurodiversity is being openly discussed, and we have a main character travelling across time and space in Doctor Who in front of a global audience of millions!

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