I had never heard of dyspraxia until a week or so ago. Someone mentioned that their child couldn't do up their shoelaces due to having it and I thought about my 9 year old and how incredibly hard it was to teach him to do his (his lacing attempts still often come undone quickly...). So I googled it and was shocked at how many of the symptoms sound like my clever son!!! I have an appointment with our GP on Tuesday to organise testing as some of his 'behaviours' are starting to affect school, and I'd like to know exactly what is what........
My question is would this have shown up during the testing he did at George Parkyn for the One day School? Would a dyspraxia assessement possibly show anything new??
I have taught a boy in year 10 with dyspraxia. Fine motor skills were a real problem and he could not organise anything- books, notes, utensils. He did not have a high IQ- either tested or functional and my understanding was that kids with dyspraxia weren't usually gifted (though could easily be wrong)
he struggled socially because he took a long time to process and formulate words and his conversations were stilted.
I would have thought it would show up in a ODS assessment with regards to being able to plan a sequence?
Kids can be both gifted and dyspraxic - I have taught 3 such children at ODS, one highly gifted and the others moderately so.
I would be surprised if dyspraxia was not picked up in an ODS assessment, but it may possibly go unnoticed if mild as the ODS assessment test is not a full-scale one - the test is of cognitive abilities only, whereas a full-scale assessment looks at physical skills also. You could phone Chris Herbert at ODS (their chief assessor) and ask her if dyspraxia would be picked up in their assessment - she is lovely and quite happy to speak to parents, including those of ex-ODS students.
I have a bright 12 year old who has been "diagnosed" with dyspraxia. She was 6 at the time. We are still not sure that the diagnosis is correct and just recently Rosie has had blood tests to try to eliminate other possibilities such as MD. Some children with dyspraxia have speech problems (verbal dyspraxia) because their vocal muscles are affected. My daughter was a very early talker and sentence maker but very slow to reach all those early motor skills markers, for example she didn't crawl until she was 11 months and did not walk until she was nearly two. She has continued to find PE and motor skills stuff tiring frustrating etc and even though she knows perfectly well the theory of tying shoelaces the darn things don't stay done up because the hand muscles can't pull them tight enough. We had a psychological assessment done 3-4 years after the diagnosis of dyspraxia, which said she was gifted. This was after years of miserable struggling. Rosie was originally referred to a paediatric physiotherapist and occupational therapist by our paediatrician (I went back to him at the insistence of the plunket nurse - God she was a nag thank you Trish) They referred Rosie to the Starship outpatients clinic where she/we saw a paediatric neurologist who looked at her therapy report and said she had developmental dyspraxia. Depending on where you are this diagnosis can be helpful or not. For example in Auckland where we are, a diagnosis of dyspraxia on it own will not be very helpful. My Rosie is very weak and very tired all the time but dyspraxia on its own will not get her any help because it is defined as a learning disability. Obviously a person who is gifted with poor motor skills does not have a learning disability (they have a physical disability which affects their learning and more importantly their ability to impart what they know) But we cannot access any disability services because we have a learning disability label. They just refer us to GSE(useless) Meanwhile I cannot get a job to pay the fees at the school which has the laptops so that my disabled daughter does not have to try to write because she cannot catch the bus because it would not be safe for her. I have to pick her up and drop her off every day. Oh I'm moaning just be careful, dyspraxia on it's own won't be very useful in terms of getting help/assessment. Not a problem if you can pay for private everything. What is your son's handwriting like? And what is he like at connect the dots-like stuff? Does his hand shake and does the line wobble up and down although you can see where he means it to go? Can you go to school with him and watch what they do and whether he can keep up? Bright children are so good at hiding what they can't do, classrooms are such busy places. I think a good look around at as many kids the same age doing as many different things as you can will give you a good indication of whether you should be concerned, to be honest. If your son is really physically struggling to keep up you'll soon see. My daughter espressed her frustration by crying all the time - boys tend to get angry. I have noticed that angry boys tend to get attention, which is useful. Crying girls are just an embarassment it seems.
Our children were assessed as having developmental dyspraxia by an Paediatric Occupational therapist. The OT wrote to the ministry with a case for her to have a writer in exams . She has just met with my son's primary school and he now uses the class computer for his writing. We are also working with a physio at a sports clinic who understands hypermobility joints and she is working on exercises to help them develop the muscle tone needed to help them get through normal tasks. As Victoria noted the muscles exhaust quickly leading to the tremors in the muscles.
Giselle, Dyspraxia used to be called clumsy child syndrome and i think in some countries comes under the catch all Developmental Co-ordination Disorder. You probably know this! I found some useful information at the MacMaster University Canada Can Child website, you may like to have a look at that. GPs are not in general knowledgeable about giftedness and learning disabilities - they will refer you to someone so make sure that your GP knows that you want physical/motor skills assessment and leave giftedness out of the equation for the meantime, that's been established separately. To be fair my nearly 10 year old son hates tying shoelaces and in fact is not as good at them as his older sister (and she is the one with dyspraxia). It's just that she is a perfectionist and he can't be bothered! He wants to run off and get tribal and who cares if your shoes aren't tied. His do stay done up though (when he ties them at all). Hope you get the right help on Tuesday :)
Not sure . It just adds to the problem for my children. The joints are very flexible and can overextend. The ligaments have more stretch than normal. The physio described it to my daughter as having elastic holding her joints in place where other people have string. From a sensory point of view it means that the ligaments are not sending messages to stop an action early enough and the joints are very reliant on muscles to hold them in place.
Because of the giftedness they find other ways to move which the body isn't designed to do and this has bought problems later . With the writing at school, a person needs to use the arm muscles to hold the shoulder and elbow in place to write. With the hypermobile joints they need more muscle tone to hold the joints in place. When we had learnt about this from my daughters treatment we thought to get ahead with our son and have him do gymnastics so he developed strong arm muscles. Unfortunately he still has the problem because the flexibily affects all joints and this includes the finger joints. We are doing hand exercises with the OT to try and stabilse them otherwise he gets pain through the palm of the hands into the wrist. The OT has now labelled this dysgraphia (significant difference between verbal performance and written performance ) so that he can use a keyboard in class to do his creative writing. Even though my daughter is a good dancer she has enormous problems at school with PE. She has to turn out her feet to give herself balance because of the hip flexibility but to run you need to have the feet pointing ahead. So she has a reputation for always falling over and twisting ankles in PE. On school camps with climbing acitivies - this really stretch the joints giving a lot of pain because she doesn't have the muscle tone to hold the joints in place. The easy exhaustion of the the muscles seem to go with it unless they do specific exercises every day to maintain the tone.
Hi there everyone. I am a mother of two. The youngest child who is three has had a very hard time with life as he was born with severe reflux and now diagnosed with hearing loss on top of this. We thought that after all the hardship we had to go through with him we were sweet with our daughter.... we thought wrong.
My beautiful girl is just 6 years old and like many of those mentioned she has been semi diagnosed with dyspraxia. the reason she has not fully been diagnosed is that they dont like to put a label on it at such a young age.
I have been doing some research on this as I am training to be a secondary teacher and I have a certificate in teaching people with disabilities. I have just discovered a programme called DORE which because I have no luck is not close to us but for those in Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland they are there. I would look into this as you can recieved the disabilitity allowance of $28 per week and you can do this programme (which retrains the brain) for $30 a week. Please I beg you parents in those areas..... look into it and get a free assessment. I am just hoping they come to invercargiil asap!
Another thing you might want to look at is the stiener schools as they really would be interesting to use for children with dyslexia and dyspraxia (which my daughter probably has) the closest one to me is Dunedin unfortunately.
I have hyper-mobility but not dyspraxia - its a pain. Recently my lower leg has started "slipping out of position" (dislocating) and it took me a while to realise that it is because the ligaments around the knees are almost always fully extended now I am looking after a little one. Its MEANT to get better as you get older .... but, if you have seen the "Buy NZ Made" add where the guy is put together then folds up into a box - thats pretty much what I am like at 40 years old. When I "bend" to be at my grandsons eye level (which a much of the time because hes 21kgs) I end up with my knees around my ears LOL. Well actually I still occassionally stick my legs over my shoulders and "walk" around with my hands as my "back legs" and my feet coming down from my shoulders like "front legs".
My neck is probably the most noticable hassle - always getting headaches because my neck is out of alignment but it also impacts upon sleep.
I am TRYING to "retrain myself" to sleep on my back but Im not having much luck - if I sleep on my side my shoulders "roll" right round to my chin and I end up twisted at the waist (even with pillows propping my leg up) so, my sleep is affected and when I get up I am stiff, sore and tired. Lying on my stomach I end up with my hands under my hips to try and keep my back straightish and my shoulders roll forward into the mattress and my neck ends up at a 90 degree angle - not the best way to prevent headaches and get a good nights sleep.
I would expect dyspraxia to be far more prevalent (at the very least) in VS children but wouldnt expect a child to have dyspraxia just because they are VS. If someone tries to teach me a physical task by doing this then this then this (especially when they throw in "lefts" and "rights" as if I am meant to know which is which) - I turn into a clutz pretty smartly - but left to my own devices I am pretty good at mastering tasks.
But, I did have trouble with typing my laces and at 40 its still pretty normal for my laces to come undone if I wear lace-ups (usually I dont - I usually wear barefeet or slippers or light slip-on "boots" of some description).
VS can explain difficulty with sequential physical tasks in the same way it explains difficulty with sequential mental tasks (trust me it can be difficult to "direct" your muscles to perform physical tasks that make no sense to your brain) so, in a VS child I would consider the VS aspect first.
My daughter has had a rough time the last 3 years...she turned 11 in August this year. She developed Epilepsy in Dec 2005 possibly due to a sexual assault trauma which happened at school but that cant 100% be determined...
She never walked til she was nearly 2 and her speech was hard to grasp til she was 4... Kasey doesnt socially fit in with kids her own age and would rather play with younger children at school or would "prefer to be an adult" as she says.
I have always thought there was something extra happening with her at school as she was regressing socially and academically but I was being fobbed off by the teachers. I stuck to my guns though and have just had a SPELD assessment done here in Hawkes bay and a behavioural Optometry test done.....Dyspraxia and a learning disability being the outcome.
I dont know much about Dyspraxia but reading everybodies comments on this page it answers a few questions.
kasey doesnt have a great deal of upper body strength..ie I am the one who tightens the shoelaces! Her hands are always shaking which I put down to her medication for her Epilepsy but that doesnt seem right now..
I got her involved with the RDA as she loves horses...that is a struggle as she physically has trouble holding the reins cause if the horse pulls his head she nearly falls as she cant hang on..The mornings are a curse with me constantly banging my head on a wall trying to get her organised for school....we have a routine but kasey cant follow it.
She also would rather wet herself than go to the toilet if she is doing something else...All these things rolled together make things really frustrating but with a bit of help hopefully we can get things moving . From here I will have to make another appointment with her Paed, who knows.
Does anyone else have the same issues ??? none of my friends etc have any ideas for me and Im not sure whats next??
With regards to wetting herself - both my girls were similar until quite old .... it wasnt that they would actually rather wet themselves though ... it was just that if they were focused on something it wouldnt register consciously that they needed to get themselves too the loo.
Seriously, they could be jiggling about and crossing their legs and even answer you when you told them that they need to go to the toilet .... but none of it processed unless you actually broke their focus from what they were doing (sometimes that was as simple as physical contact such as a hand on the shoulder to bring their conscious minds but to the real, here and now world instead of wherever it was their mind had taken them).
I am sure there are other causes for the same thing (isnt that also a sign of possible sexual trauma?) but, perhaps the same approach could help?
Also, have you considered possible food related issues? I know that food intolerance can affect muscle tone.
"Do this then this then this" type routines .... especially when "timetabled" have NEVER worked for us (myself included) .... but again its due to the Visual Spatial factor ... we need to find our "rythm" rather than trying to force ourselves into a routine (they arent quite the same thing).
Again, even if the reasons for the "difficulties" are different, perhaps the solution may help somewhat?
My daughter aged 10 has never been diagnosed but I am sure we could easily get a dyspraxia diagnosis. She also had glue ear and delayed speech and used to wet her pants, I believe due to late delivery of the message that she needed to go. We chose dietary intervention and removed gluten, dairy and soy from her diet. Glue ear disappeared and the toileting issue only seems to happen when she strays from her diet. Gifted kids suffer disproportionately from food intolerances. You may like to have a look at this site http://www.doctorgluten.com Dr Ford believes there is a strong link between gluten and epilepsy. Also I read a NZAGC note some time ago regarding pyroluria, there are many symptoms including high intelligence and hyper mobile joints, here is a site about it:
http://drkaslow.com/html/pyroluria.html my daughter tested positive and as a result we have now begun a vitamin regime which seems to be helping but it is early days yet. The HANDLE programme is also highly recommended for dyspraxia. You may also find this site interesting: http://www.mindd.org These kids seem to have such sensitive nervous systems and as a result have issues with digestion (their tummy brain). We have also tried to eliminate additives, preservatives and any chemicals from our environment. Hope you may find something useful here. All the best, Gail.
Thanks for your interest.....its funny you say about food intolerances. Kasey has always had a funny tummy etc I believe bread is certainly an issue. Skin sensitivites also. A few years ago our GP who is into a bit of vitamins etc gave her some tablets to sort her "good and bad bugs: in her tummy as we were having problems regularly. There is a lady here in the bay that tests for food intolerances and I have thought about taking her along .
I will look into those websites too.
Dyspraxia, Primitive Reflexes, Pyrolurea and Asbergers
Date: 24-09-08 19:13
My daughter, now 7, has a number of the above mentioned issues. We have recently moved to Australia and fallen onto a couple of exceptionally helpful people who are assisting us to support and understand our daughter better:
1. daughter is mildly Asbergers. The school psych has assessed this and has helped the teachers to accommodate her giftedness (99.9th %ile) and interaction and motor dysfunctions
2. she has retained 'primitive reflexes' which we are working on at an OT type of centre, which works on the foundational movements not next step up like the OT she used in NZ. This accounts for the 'dyspraxic' dysfunction of fine and gross motor skills incl night wet, inability to write/colour-in/draw etc neatly, physical exhaustion at trying to keep up in class and playground, poor swimmer, unable to balance for cycling, not skipping etc etc etc. The Centre owner and treatment developer mentioned to me that there is a high number of caesarian births & Aspies of the children at the centre.
3. Have found a highly sympathetic doctor who has tested dd positive for pyrolurea (Mauve Factor). She's now on supplements from Pfeiffer Centre in the USA and has made a super huge difference in her anxiety levels and interpersonal interactions. The doctor has also trained with DAN (Defeat Austism Now).
I'm not sure if the Asbergers and Pyrolurea go together but would be a great research project for someone.
Hopefully this may help someone. Good luck everyone.
Hi there everyone
my daughter molly was just diagnosed on friday as having dyspraxia, she has all the typical symptoms and i must admit i feel very emotional about it all.
Molly was very late at everything she is 2 1/2 years old and really has not been walking long. Mentally she is as bright as a wee button but unfortunatley her body cant keep up with her mind so she has some bad falls. To everyone she looks like a normal wee girl until she attempts a new task that other kids are doing and really struggles.
I have read that some days can be worse than others and this happens in our case, one day we will say shes improving and the next she is struggling again.
Another interesting aspect is that when molly used to eat she choked alot, this is another characteristc of dyspraxia that she still does every now and then, scarey stuff, this has happened a few times has this happened much to anyone else??
does anyone have any contacts or information about music teaching and dyspraxia? Our eight year old (gifted and has dyspraxia/DCD) has been learning the piano for about a year and his teacher is interested in connecting up with other teachers/musicians etc with an interest in music and dyspraxia.....
My son, aged 7 was recently possibly diagnosed with dyspraxia. On reading the literature about it, Tom seems to fit a lot of the symptoms, i.e. clumsiness, speech slightly unclear and not able to express himself properly, socially immature resulting in no friends at school. We are in central Auckland and the school he goes to is not a good fit for him, i.e. the children all seem to be very advanced socially, therefore he is not fitting in. Unfortunately we are not in a position to go private. Does anyone have any good experiences of an Auckland school that has suited their dyspraxic child?
our daughter goes to Kohia Terrace School in Epsom. She has Aspergers and one of her best friends has dyspraxia. They are both very happy at school. One of the best things about the school, which is very small, is that the children at this age at least (they are 6 -7) are not that "sophisticated". I would definitely recommend it - although it does have a small zone and a lot of out of zone applications.
I've never been specifically diagnosed with this, but all my joints slip all the time. It has actually gotten worse as i've gotten older. When I was a kid, it was just my hips. Now, at 41, I slip knees, shoulders, ankles, wrists and even fingers.
I also have a lot of trouble with headaches, as my ligaments don't hold the neck in place.
I am interested in following up on this to see if there is anything that will help. At least help, getting joints back into place again.
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Primitive reflexes are really worth looking at for low muscle tone and hypermobility. My son has slight dyspraxia with hypotonia (low muscle tone) of the upper body. We are currently doing a reflex inhibition programme as devised by Sally Goddard and Peter Blythe. I found out about this programme several years ago. as far as I know Glynnis in Auckland is the only qualified practioner in NZ, She is a trained teacher with a Masters in Special Ed and a focus on Gifted Education or 2E kids. Her website is Smartlearning nz or something. Well worth googling and getting in touch if you have learning difficulties and dyspraxia, even ADHD or dyslexia.