Number 3 was diagnosed with dyspraxia a while ago and as he’s getting older he’s displaying all the classic symptoms, not to mention being incredibly frustrating.
Dyspraxia is a developmental disorder that affects someone for their whole life. The symptoms include being fidgetty, a lack of concentration, having difficulty adapting to new situations, frustration (with the associated mood swings) and poor co-ordination. Here’s an everyday example of dyspraxia in action with #3: send him to his room to get dressed, he starts to put his clothes on (eventually) and can’t find his socks. Rather than carry on getting dressed and asking for socks afterwards he’ll sit on the floor and wait until someone comes to find him or he’ll wander off half dressed and do something else. Once he’s figured out how he’s going to do something, if he can’t do it in that order he can’t get his head around the rest of it.
We were lucky because #3 was diagnosed early and because I’m the sort of person who makes sure that they get what I want whenever possible, we got help from the local authority. Not too much help, mind, but they’ve made some effort. They’ve been in to see #3 at school and done assessments and helped his teacher to come up with ways to help him. The most simple thing was giving him a chunky, three sided pencil which is the difference between squashed spider and legible handwriting.
Like I said, the local authority have made an effort but there’s still more they could be doing. We only know what the symptoms of dyspraxia are because we’ve been on the internet and found them out. The realisation that we’d been punishing him or getting frustrated with him over things that aren’t his fault wasn’t a nice moment but nobody told us what to expect or how to deal with it and believe me, when a 6 year old child is standing in front of you laughing hysterically when you’re telling them off for something, it’s hard to stay calm!
Have any of my readers had to cope with a child with dyspraxia? Got any tips?
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