Showing posts with label dyspraxia. Show all posts
Showing posts with label dyspraxia. Show all posts

Your Child's Vestibular System: The Fidgeting, Zoning Out System

When your kid has dyspraxia, sensory processing disorders, and/ or ADHD, the vestibular system plays a huge a role.  When you understand this medically, you cannot blame the child.  My daughter did not ever get a monthly "terrific kid" award in all her years in school.  Her grades were pretty good and I was never told anything bad about her behavior (and I asked- A LOT!) but she was consistently marked down on her report card for "zoning out," "not following directions," "fidgeting," and "losing focus."

Zoning Out is something that cannot be helped.  Info just stops getting through for a bit.

Not Following Directions when you have an auditory processing disorder is usually due to not hearing all the directions.

Fidgeting is actually great for kids with dyspraxia, ADHD, and sensory processing disorders because it helps them keep focus and balanced.

Losing Focus happens when you have to put all your energy into being still.

It wasn't just the monthly awards- my daughter also went from being in enrichment to being left out of it and her grades were impacted because of the check marks given to her in these social-behaviorial categories.  My daughter's school was one of the first to use the new common core report card which I hated because it seemed to be more based on teacher opinion than facts.  With the old report cards you added numbers together and averaged them for your grade.  With this one it was all about interpretation.  You were graded 1-4 with 4 being the best, but the teachers said you could never really expect to get a 4 unless you creatively applied the information outside of just what happens in the classroom.  My daughter does this all the time, but the teachers said they did not see it and the behavior check marks seemed to impact the numbers...

Anyway, here is a video that explains in terms anyone can understand how the Vestibular System works.  Share this with your kids' teachers!

Read more ...

My Own Experience With Dyspraxia

I saw this picture on Facebook posted by Dyspraxic Me via Fixers UK.  The UK is light years ahead of us with Dyspraxia.  They have it out in the open and talk about it all the time.  They have a good understanding of what people with dyspraxia go through and they are learning to tolerate it and work with people on it.

Here in the US, a lot of the doctors we have seen have no idea what dyspraxia even is!  The first developmental pediatrician I saw kept asking me, "Where did you even get this word from?"  She diagnosed A with ADHD.  She said even if it was dyspraxia A would get more services with an ADHD diagnosis.  She said I should go to an OT for a dyspraxia diagnosis.  OT's seem better versed in dyspraxia and when we finally got in with one after an endless waiting list they did think it was dyspraxia, as I had, only they said that only a doctor could diagnosis, so we had to start over again!  It was very frustrating!

Anyway, when I saw this picture I said to myself, "Yup that's me!"  Once I drove I learned my right from left better because I was able to associate right with up on the blinker and left with down.  Then I could look at the arrows to see which way to go.  Eventually, I learned that when you go left you cross over and when you go right you are on the same side of the street.  I got my license at 19, but I really had no business driving until I was about 23 or 24.  Things did not really click in until then.  If I am not driving, I sometimes still have to hesitate a second before I know which way is right and which way is left.  I have more awareness now than I ever did, but I am 38 now.  It took this long.

It also took this long for me to roller skate (slowly) and be able to do an aerobics DVD and actually somewhat keep up with the people on screen.  I used to get chewed out by teachers for my messy desk and horrible handwriting.  I mean, I was humiliated in front of the whole class.  It did not matter that I got all A's in everything else, the teachers would call me a slob and hold up my messy work in front of everyone.

I'd get yelled at in gym class by teachers and by students who had the misfortune of being on my team.  I'd get yelled at by my dad when we played catch in the backyard. I could not even walk from one place to the other without being taunted for how I did that. I stopped being active to avoid the embarrassment. 

I tried cheer leading, softball, art, baton twirling.  I could never get it and the embarrassment was too much to bear so I quit.  People were not understanding. They laughed at me or yelled at me.  I never learned to swim above water and I was unable to dance.  I wanted to disappear.

I remember feeling so worthless, so fat, so ugly.  Only now looking back do I see that I wasn't any of those things.
The talents and gifts that I did have I threw away because I thought they were no good just like the rest of me.  I thought people were just trying to make me feel better because I was so defective.  I tried to hide myself, camouflage myself in other people.

When you have dyspraxia you have such little awareness of your body.  Yet you have an over abundance of awareness in your head.  You are so self conscious it's painful.  You pick up on so much around you, every snicker, every giggle at your expense.  What I would have given to be blissfully ignorant! I read and watched a lot of TV to escape.  When I got older I was a phone-aholic.  Even older and I became a trouble maker to ease my mind. Lashing out felt good.

It kills me to see my daughter suffering with dyspraxia now.  I am trying everything to make sure she does not wind up like me.  I want people to learn about this neurological difference and understand it.  I tried hard, probably too hard, to get her to learn things early to avoid the scrutiny that I suffered.  I think that was a mistake, too much pressure.  She was in dance at age 2.  Swimming lessons, drama class, soccer all by age 4 or 5.  I did not know about dyspraxia then.  I just thought if I started her early she would get it and be better off than I was.  I think all I did was succeed in making her feel bad about herself early on.

The last couple of years were so hard on her in school and I recognized this. I never thought she'd suffer like I did because she has so much of what I don't.  She is outgoing, funny, cool, independent, brave, and determined.  Yet still I saw that same pain.

I only wish my husband could understand.  He thinks homeschooling was wrong.  He thinks because I am not a licensed professional that I cannot give her a good education and he is against just about anything outside of the status quo.  He doesn't know that if I had been homeschooled that I'd be a brain surgeon right now or a physicist.  He doesn't know that if I had avoided all those things that made me feel worthless and scared I would have let my creativity come through in writing and art.

My daughter learned more this year than in all her school years combined!  She also gained confidence.  At first, she thought she could never do math, ride a bike, or play music, but she has done all these things this year and more.

Anyway, the purpose of this post is to inform people about Dyspraxia and inspire them to learn more. Teachers- don't be so hard on students.  Even if it does not look like there is something wrong with them per say, sometimes they cannot help what they do and they simply cannot do any better, not yet.  Parents, be patient and be kind.  Kids- stop being cruel.  Don't hurt others just because it's easy.

If you care and want to help, next time you order from Amazon, go to Amazon Smile and choose Dyspraxia USA as your charity.  You do not have to pay anything, but when you order Amazon will give to them.  Friend Dyspraxia USA and other organizations focused on Dyspraxia on Facebook and share their information.  Look it up for yourself, read the symptoms, and spread the word.

Read more ...


I am very proud of my son.  He is a natural athlete, makes friends easily, and does great in school.  His teacher even makes it a point to thank me for raising such a respectful boy!  He has his challenges in life- speech is a hurdle for him that he tries to conquer in therapy and he is prone to anxiety and sensitivity (like his mom), but he doesn't let anything get in his way.  He is awesome and he makes me smile every single day.

It's harder sometimes to brag about kids with learning disabilities.  My daughter "A" is so very creative and I see this in her, but because she loses focus or her ideas are too big for her current skill set, not everyone can see her genius yet like I can and she often doubts herself. Sometimes her life is so peppered with frustration, it is hard to see the kind and beautiful soul that was so apparent before she became school aged.

Today I am beaming with pride about A and this is based on her determination.  When A was in first grade, she would come home frustrated because she was not in as high of a reading group as her friends.  Her teacher assured me she was on track, but A insisted she wanted to do better.  It was already late in the year so I arranged for her to have tutoring over the summer from my aunt, a former teacher.  This was not enough for A.  For two straight weeks, she would arrive home from school and angrily state, "I want to READ!"  She would then sit on the floor in her room, pull out books from her bookcase, and just stare at them.  When my aunt went into the school to meet with A's teacher and grab some resources for the summer tutoring, her teacher informed us that Abs had actually just jumped up three reading levels in the last month.

A has always loved aquatics but she had a hard time learning to swim above water.  After watching the 2012 Summer Olympics, she decided she was going to swim.  She took just six weeks of lessons and tried out for the swim team and made it.  Being on the team was extremely challenging for her with the coordination issues, but she beat her previous score at every meet.

Now with the bike riding I see this fierce persistence again.  We started riding again a couple of days ago.  It was a little rough as I wrote here.  She is not giving up this time though. All day she told me, "I need to get back on my bike.  You need to take me on my bike after school."

My son had to see a doctor after school and it was only in the 30's today, so I thought we could put a pin in the riding.  However, as soon as we pulled in the driveway she was in the shed pulling out her bike and strapping on her helmet.  Nevermind that her hands were red with cold or that she was wearing leather boots!

She did pretty well.  She is still having some issues with riding straight and getting scared, but nothing is going to stop her.  She has made up her mind and when A makes up her mind there is no going back!

I cannot express how much I admire and even envy this quality in her.  I am a very proud mom.

Read more ...

It's As Easy As Riding a Bike?

I have posted a lot about Dyspraxia and its many symptoms, but in case you missed it this condition affects balance and coordination among other things, such as executive function.  My daughter has a lot of anxiety and fear especially in regards to physical things as a result of this neurological difference.

A is going to be 10 in eleven days.  I know this because she has been counting down for quite some time.  She is just like any other "tween."  She plays with her iPod, wants American Girl stuff, has sleepovers, and likes to shop at Justice.  You would never know, unless you were her mom or an insightful occupational therapist, that she "has" anything.  I had/have the same thing but when I was a kid it was just called being uncoordinated, or clumsy.  Clinically, they even called it "clumsy child syndrome."

Anyway, every year in the spring A and I decide that we are going to have her master the two wheeled bike.  We vow that we are going to ride every day.  It usually winds up to be once a week or so until it gets too cold in the fall.  Sometimes it is even less than that due to frustration.

A actually CAN ride her bike.  She got the hang of the balance part finally last year.  She has not ridden since the fall but today when she got on her bike she rode about a quarter of the way down the street right off the bat.  However, then she inexplicably turned the wheel instead of staying straight on the sidewalk and went into the grass and stopped.

That was her longest run.  She continued to get scared and turn her wheel into the grass throughout the half hour ride.  When she sees a turn coming up ahead, even though it is a good distance away, she starts turning her wheel this way and that instead of going in a straight line.  Sometimes, she realizes she has been riding for a while and then she gets nervous and thinks of something bad happening like her crashing and then she goes and crashes.

It is hard for her to plan.  It is problematic for her to judge distance.  It is difficult for her to be fearless.  Going uphill is a nightmare for her because of her low muscle tone.

It is challenging for me to help her, especially when I am also helping my six year old son who is probably going to surpass her on the bike this summer.  It is also difficult for me because I turn into my dad and find myself doing to her what he did to me: acting angry to try and push her to do well or constantly critiquing.  I start to feel as frustrated as her.  I try not to show it, but I know it comes through sometimes.  I act tough like a coach, "Okay this time I want you to keep the wheel STRAIGHT!  You CAN do this!  The grass is hot lava!"  None of this helps.  It just puts more pressure on her.

Now that she has mastered the balance, we really just need to conquer her own thoughts.  I am not sure how to do that except to try and make our practice time as stress free as possible.  I am not sure how to help her with steering or judging distance.  The only advice I can give her is not to think about it too much.  She'll turn when she needs to just like when she walks.  So far, telling her this has not worked.  I think I need to ask an OT.

To learn balance last year, it helped for her to sit on the bike but walk instead of pedal and every now and again lift up her legs and glide.  If she felt like she was going to fall she could just put her feet down.  This was less scary than me running along with her holding the bike and then letting go.  She was able to master balance at her own pace.

Since we have been finishing school early lately, I am going to try and do the bike with her every day if I can and if she is willing.  My son is in public school so this way it will be just the two of us.

Anyway, riding a bike is not easy and I think the phrase "As easy as riding a bike," is ridiculous!  There are a whole lot of skills to be mastered in order to ride.  Some can do this without thinking and once they get it down it becomes second nature, but that's not the case for everyone!
Read more ...

Symptoms of Dyspraxia

I think in the US, many kids who have dyspraxia may be getting misdiagnosed with ADHD.  This happened to us with A.  Many doctors did not even know about dyspraxia or DCD. I kept being asked where I learned of this.  I was also told that ADHD would be a better diagnosis to go with in order to get services through the school and because it can be medicated.  There is no pill for dyspraxia and I think that might be why in the US it gets ignored so much.

Dyspraxia can be treated though with occupational therapy.  It is also often either outgrown or learned to be coped with.  When I was about 19 years old I suddenly felt everything come together for me.  I knew my right from left then and I could do things with my body I had never been able to do before like dance a bit better or perform certain exercises that used to seem impossible.  I also became more organized.  I felt "normal" (or at least normal-er).

There are definite differences between ADHD and Dyspraxia.  You will find ADHD symptoms all over the web, but dyspraxia does not share the same level of awareness.  Here are the symptoms of Dyspraxia, also known as DCD, as taken from The Dyspraxia Foundation.

What is Dyspraxia?

Dyspraxia is recognized as an impairment or delay of the organization of movement. With this may come problems of language, perception and thought. Other names for dyspraxic include Clumsy Child Syndrome; Developmental Co-ordination Disorder (DCD); Minimal Brain Dysfunction: Motor learning Difficulty; and Pereceptuo-motor Dysfunction.
My notes: Personally, I see Dyspraxia as a neurological difference.  The Dyspraxic brain works differently than the typical brain.  It's not as good with the body, but it's excellent mentally in making connections and using imagination.

What causes Dyspraxia?
There is usually no known cause. Current research suggests that it is due to an immaturity of neuron development in the brain rather than to brain damage.

How would I recognize a child with Dyspraxia?
The pre-school child
  • Is late in reaching milestones.  (My Note: Neither me nor my child were late in early milestones)
  • May not be able to run, hop, jump, or catch or kick a ball although their peers can do so
  • Displays difficulty in keeping friends; or judging how to behave socially
  • Has little understanding of concepts such as ‘in’, ‘on’, ‘in front of’ etc (My Notes: We did not have this issue)
  • Has difficulty in walking up and down stairs
  • Poor at dressing
  • Slow and hesitant in most actions
  • Appears not to be able to learn anything instinctively but must be taught skills
  • Falls over frequently
  • Poor pencil grip
  • Cannot do jigsaws or shape sorting games
  • Artwork is very immature
  • Often anxious and easily distracted
The school age child
  • Probably has all the difficulties experienced by the pre-school child with dyspraxia, with little or no improvement (I did not note any difficulties until this time)
  • Avoids PE and games
  • Does badly in class but significantly better on a one-to -one basis (My Notes: Good in class but not to full potential)
  • Reacts to all stimuli without discrimination and attention span is poor (My Note: This sounds a lot like audotory processing which is often also present)
  • May have trouble with maths and writing structured stories
  • Experiences great difficulty in copying from the blackboard
  • Writes laboriously and immaturely
  • Unable to remember and /or follow instructions
  • Is generally poorly organized My Note: *EXTREMELY*
My Note: By the way, your child does not have to have ALL of these symptoms.  Not at all.  My daughter spoke really early and had no speech difficulties.  It manifests slightly different for everyone.

And here is what they describe as symptoms of dyspraxic adults (but I see this in a lot of the kids as well):

Dyspraxia in Adults - Symptoms

People who have dyspraxia often find the routine tasks of daily life such as driving, household chores, cooking and grooming difficult. They can also find coping at work is hard. People with dyspraxia usually have a combination of problems, including:
Gross motor co-ordination skills (large movements):
  • Poor balance. Difficulty in riding a bicycle, going up and down hills
  • Poor posture and fatigue. Difficulty in standing for a long time as a result of weak muscle tone. Floppy, unstable round the joints. Some people with dyspraxia may have flat feet
  • Poor integration of the two sides of the body. Difficulty with some sports involving jumping and cycling
  • Poor hand-eye co-ordination. Difficulty with team sports especially those which involve catching a ball and batting. Difficulties with driving a car
  • Lack of rhythm when dancing, doing aerobics
  • Clumsy gait and movement. Difficulty changing direction, stopping and starting actions
  • Exaggerated ‘accessory movements’ such as flapping arms when running
  • Tendency to fall, trip, bump into things and people
Fine motor co-ordination skills (small movements):
  • Lack of manual dexterity. Poor at two-handed tasks, causing problems with using cutlery, cleaning, cooking, ironing, craft work, playing musical instruments
  • Poor manipulative skills. Difficulty with typing, handwriting and drawing. May have a poor pen grip, press too hard when writing and have difficulty when writing along a line
  • Inadequate grasp. Difficulty using tools and domestic implements, locks and keys
  • Difficulty with dressing and grooming activities, such as putting on makeup, shaving, doing hair, fastening clothes and tying shoelaces
Poorly established hand dominance:
  • May use either hand for different tasks at different times
Speech and language:
  • May talk continuously and repeat themselves. Some people with dyspraxia have difficulty with organizing the content and sequence of their language
  • May have unclear speech and be unable to pronounce some words
  • Speech may have uncontrolled pitch, volume and rate
Eye movements:
  • Tracking. Difficulty in following a moving object smoothly with eyes without moving head excessively. Tendency to lose the place while reading
  • Poor relocating. Cannot look quickly and effectively from one object to another (for example, looking from a TV to a magazine)
Perception (interpretation of the different senses):
  • Poor visual perception
  • Over-sensitive to light
  • Difficulty in distinguishing sounds from background noise. Tendency to be over-sensitive to noise
  • Over- or under-sensitive to touch. Can result in dislike of being touched and/or aversion to over-loose or tight clothing – tactile defensiveness
  • Over- or under-sensitive to smell and taste, temperature and pain
  • Lack of awareness of body position in space and spatial relationships. Can result in bumping into and tripping over things and people, dropping and spilling things
  • Little sense of time, speed, distance or weight. Leading to difficulties driving, cooking
  • Inadequate sense of direction. Difficulty distinguishing right from left means map reading skills are poor
Learning, thought and memory:
  • Difficulty in planning and organising thought
  • Poor memory, especially short-term memory. May forget and lose things
  • Unfocused and erratic. Can be messy and cluttered
  • Poor sequencing causes problems with maths, reading and spelling and writing reports at work
  • Accuracy problems. Difficulty with copying sounds, writing, movements, proofreading
  • Difficulty in following instructions, especially more than one at a time
  • Difficulty with concentration. May be easily distracted
  • May do only one thing at a time properly, though may try to do many things at once
  • Slow to finish a task. May daydream and wander about aimlessly
Emotion and behaviour:
  • Difficulty in listening to people, especially in large groups. Can be tactless, interrupt frequently. Problems with team work
  • Difficulty in picking up non-verbal signals or in judging tone or pitch of voice in themselves and or others. Tendency to take things literally. May listen but not understand
  • Slow to adapt to new or unpredictable situations. Sometimes avoids them altogether
  • Impulsive. Tendency to be easily frustrated, wanting immediate gratification
  • Tendency to be erratic ñ have ‘good and bad days’
  • Tendency to opt out of things that are too difficult
Emotions as a result of difficulties experienced:
  • Tend to get stressed, depressed and anxious easily
  • May have difficulty sleeping
  • Prone to low self-esteem, emotional outbursts, phobias, fears, obsessions, compulsions and addictive behaviour
Many of these characteristics are not unique to people with dyspraxia and not even the most severe case will have all the above characteristics. But adults with dyspraxia will tend to have more than their fair share of co-ordination and perceptual difficulties.
If you think that you may have dyspraxia click here to find out what to do. The Dyspraxia Foundation Adult Support Group represents adults, some of whom have only been diagnosed as having dyspraxia recently and are coming to terms with this knowledge.
The Adult Support Group has published Living with Dyspraxia, a practical guide to living with and coping with dyspraxia as an adult. 

My Note: If you think your child has dyspraxia, seek out a developmental pediatrician, but when you call to make the appointment find out if they are familiar with the condition!  I have found more OT's that are familiar with the disorder than doctors (of course that is just in this little bubble that I live in here.  It may be different elsewhere.)  If you need advice or support go to the Dyspraxia USA Facebook Page and post there.  People will help you out!

Read more ...

Dyspraxia and Self Esteem

When you have dyspraxia you feel different from everyone else.  You feel less than because everyone else seems to be able to do all the simple things with ease that you struggle with.  You get singled out a lot, people get frustrated with you, and you never win.

I know this because although I was never diagnosed, I am sure I had this as well.  My daughter has it now.

When you have dyspraxia you can't make your body do what you want it to do.  You also have little sense of direction and you have faulty spatial awareness.  It's almost like you are not fully in your body.  As a result, you are in your head more, you daydream.

My daughter is floppy and hyper flexible.  It makes her tired to sit up with good posture.  People think she is lazy. They don't know how hard she works to just sit up straight.

In addition to the dyspraxia, she was lucky enough to also have been given an auditory processing disorder, a visual perception disorder, and dyscalculia.  She even has some sensory processing issues when it comes to touch and taste.  So, she never feels like anything she does in any arena is quite right.

In reality, she is amazing.  In school, despite her difficulties, she made the Principal's list and was awarded a star student award at the end of the year.  She made it onto the swim team and beat her time each week.  She is in dance, girl scouts, band, she does plays, participates in events at the library, and much more.  She has had an article published in a magazine already.  Twice, she was invited to display her work at a board of ed meeting and she won a poster contest.  She has always had a pretty active social life, too.  She is very accomplished.

She doesn't see this though.  She sees that in 5 years of school she is the only one of any of her friends to never receive the monthly Terrific Kid Award.  She sees that her teachers were always annoyed with her for putting her head down, daydreaming, or making "careless" mistakes.  She can't seem to keep her shoes tied or her desk (or room) clean.  She always came in last place in swimming.  She thinks she is the worst in her dance class and her music class.  She thinks she is fat.  She thinks she is stupid.  She feels defective.

Sometimes she tries to make others feel as bad as she does.  Then we get mad at her.  Then she feels even worse.

I have been trying to build up her self esteem.  We all know that for girls self esteem usually plummets at puberty.  So, I sort of feel like I need to pack her with an immense amount of self esteem now to try and get her through those years.  Yet, it seems that as soon as she starts feeling good, something happens to make her feel bad again.

Some of it is her just being negative.  Like she feels like she is on top of the world because she is getting her math problems right.  Then as soon as she makes one mistake she feels awful and like a failure.

Other times, I really feel like it comes from the outside world.  Like I received an email from her dancing school.  It was sent to all the students stating that anyone ages 4 and up are welcome to join the dance competition team.  A was really excited about this but then got a bit guarded and said, "But I'll probably make them lose."  I said that wasn't true and they would not have invited her if they felt that way.  I told them she'd be signing up and their response was, "Welllll.....she is welcome to try, but it might be too hard for her.  We'll see how it goes."  This was not at all what I expected after getting the email that everyone was welcome regardless of their age or class.  Did they mean everyone except my daughter?  I offered her art classes instead and thankfully she was interested in that.  I certainly did not want her to join the team and possibly be asked to leave it.

Just a few days after this, at her weekly band class, the teacher asked me to sit next to my daughter during class.  I am usually in there but I sit in the back.  I thought A did okay in band. I think she sounds great when she practices at home.  She zones out once in a while in class but I did not think it was anything terrible.  But the teacher told me that she (the teacher) gets frustrated because A loses her place or does not hear the directions.  She also does not clap loud enough or in sync with the notes when they clap the sheet music.

You might not think having your parent sit next to you is a big deal but it is.  She is the only one who has to have her mom sit with her during class.  You can feel the embarrassment coming off of her.  She seems less focused now because all she can think of during class is how humiliated she feels.  She feels this is proof that she is "the worst in the class."  She feels less than normal again.

I tried to explain this to the teacher but she was insistent that it has to be this way.  Seriously, my kid is not one that acts up or is a distraction to anyone. She really just loses her place sometimes and has some issues with tracking when reading the music.  The teacher said to me, "Your daughter needs you!"  I felt like saying, "Yeah I know.  That's why I quit my jobs and spend 6-7 hours focused completely on her every single day." It's not like I'm not there for her. Also, I'm not planning to homeschool her til college.  This is a one year deal for us.  I am trying to instill coping skills and techniques so she can stand on her own with confidence when she goes back to school.  I am not trying to make her dependent on me.

I just want my daughter to have one place she can go where she feels normal!  Of course, she wants to quit music now.  That day as soon as we left the class and we hit the parking lot she broke down and cried and it tore at my heart.

When I was a kid I quit everything because I hated being embarrassed due to the fact that I could not do a cartwheel, was uncoordinated, and had poor motor skills.  I did not feel like I fit anywhere until I met a group of friends in junior high school who I wound up getting into lots of trouble with.  I pretty much dropped out of everything.  I don't want that for my daughter but I can see how and why it happens.

Kids need to feel good about themselves.  It's more important than anything.  They need to be treated equally and made to feel normal and okay.  Furthermore, every kid has something special about them.  That needs to be identified and magnified while they are young before it's too late.

This video is called Dyspraxia is a Pain.  The poem they recite was written by a nine year old girl, much like  my A.

Read more ...

Tired and Painful

Now that I am working with A so closely, I can see why she started rushing through work and hating school.  It literally hurts her to sit up straight and to write for long periods of time.

Having dyspraxia, she has low muscle tone and weak upper body strength.  She also has a delay in motor skills and poor coordination.  She is smart as a whip and loves to learn, but the physical demands of school were too much for her.  Even being at home, it may be too much, so I am trying to accommodate her.

Once her arm starts hurting I have a tray for a laptop.  It has a pillow on the bottom of it. When I put this on the desk or on the floor, it is on a slant.  Writing on a slanted surface does not tire her arm out as much.

When I see her getting tired and slouching I put a blanket down on the floor and let her lay on her tummy and work. Now actually doing this is strengthening her upper body, but it feels better because now she is using different muscles for a while.

I let her type some of her work on the computer.  Not all of it, because I want her to develop her skills and muscles, but when she needs a break I do it.

She really does not complain.  Not nearly as much as I would.  All the doctors and specialists we have seen are always impressed by how much she pushes herself and how much she accomplishes.  I am impressed, too.  For instance, she insisted on doing ballet again this year.  She will not do an easier dance.  I see her holding those poses and her body tiring out, but she just keeps trying and pushing through it.  I would have given up.  In fact, I did give up. I am pretty sure I had dyspraxia as well when I was a kid and I bowed out of anything physical because I was so bad at everything. I did not even try because I was a coward and I did not want to be embarrassed.  My daughter is awesome.

Read more ...
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...