Advice for mum of 3 yr old

Share any tips or ideas that you have which make living with dyspraxia easier.(Please start a new thread for each tip)

Advice for mum of 3 yr old

Postby LucyWilkinson » Thu Dec 13, 2012 11:49 am

My 3 year old boy was diagnosed with dyspraxia (DCD) at 2 yrs 5 months. For anyone interested we are writing a blog about our journey http://dyspraxiadcd.wordpress.com/. We hope it might help others and maybe help us too?

At this stage we are aware he has gross motor and language problems. He was late crawling, walking, jumping etc and trips over a lot. Has awkward gait and arms flap when he runs. His speech is delayed but improving. Speech therapist believes he has processing and thought retrieval difficulties. I've noticed he will ask me a question and then ask again. He's either forgotten he's asked the question or forgotten the answer? Paediatrician and neurologist both advise that it's too early to diagnose any other condition. However they don't think he's autistic. He is sociable and understands everything.

At the moment I am struggling to draw the line between normal developmental behavior and dyspraxia associated behavior. I'm really not sure if some of my sons behaviour is because he has dyspraxia and/or some other associated condition or because I let him get away with too much? I don't want to be too hard on him when his behavior is unreasonable in case his melt downs are to do with dyspraxia. For example if he wants something or wants to do something and I say 'you can't have that', or 'not now because,,,,' he frequently cries uncontrolably. If I persist he gets into a real state. I find distraction sometimes works. This isn't always an option though. My dilemma is that he might be behaving like this because I give in too easily. I have a feeling that this is partly the case but not totally.

He sleeps really well. I guess dyspraxia is exhausting! 11 hours every night and 2 to 3 hours a day. Though sometimes he wakes from these sleeps crying for no apparent reason? He cries from his bed 'wake up! Wake up! Wake up!' even though he's free to get up himself, he waits for me to come to him. Occasionally he will get up himself without crying. Sometimes he will continue crying for 30 mins or so. I have found turning on the TV calms him. If he wants a DVD he will request one. I begin to put it on and he starts crying asking for another. I switch to the other and he cries and asks for another. Often going through the whole selection before coming back to the first! What's with that! It's very hard to manage this behavior! Especially when life is busy with my 6 1/2 yr daughter and two children I look after.

He goes to child care two mornings a week. He doesn't like going. Often cries and gets clingy. Though he settles after I've gone. He is outgoing at home and loves playing with the children I look after. At child care he is quiet and reserved. He prefers to play on his own in a quiet place. It breaks my heart to leave him but he can't avoid these situations forever. Speech therapist is referring him for early intervention. Someone will observe him at child care and advise staff how to deal with his behavior.

He goes to Playball to help his gross motor skills. It's a struggle to get him to join in for long and I don't push it too hard. He enjoys the swimming pool though recently he's become scared to leave side of pool. Very happy on the side but clings to me desperately if we move away from edge. This is a recent development as he didn't have a problem before and would even jump in to be caught by me. I can't understand why the change? It co-insides with an overall behavior pattern of being quite clingy. Normal development (many children go through separation anxiety) or dyspraxia related?

I try so hard to be patient. I just wish I knew if I'm being a good parent? I don't want to fail him.

I can't ask my son how he's feeling? I'm hoping someone can relate to anything I've written and share their experience?

Thanks for taking the time to read this :D
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Re: Advice for mum of 3 yr old

Postby Steph » Fri Dec 14, 2012 12:22 pm

I think it's a little too early to tell whether the behaviours are dyspraxia related or part of normal development as a lot of what you suggest (the tantrums and crying) are part of natural toddler development as you already must be aware through your older daughter. The only thing that I would say might be dyspraxia related is the indecisiveness about which DVD to watch. Problems with choices and decision making can be a dyspraxic trait-I struggle in this area. As for him being quite withdrawn at playschool, do the other boys mainly engage in physical activities? I only ask because you would be surprised at how even very young children instinctively know their strengths and weaknesses. Even though he is only 3, your son probably knows that his coordination is poor and so may avoid games and activities that require this skill. If the behaviour continues beyond when it would normally start to reduce, then it would be worth looking into it further but I would leave him to develop at his own pace at the moment.

Hope that helps a bit.
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Re: Advice for mum of 3 yr old

Postby LucyWilkinson » Sat Dec 15, 2012 12:25 am

Hi Steph. Thanks for your post. I figured it was too early to work out what behavior is dyspraxia associated. I was hoping that maybe someone could remember any similar situations. It's hard being a parent at the best of times! I'm sure many of the teens using this forum feel their parents don't understand what it's like for them. Parents can only surmise.

With regard to the child care situation it's not just playing with the boys. Recently he pressed his head up against a cupboard for 10 mins and refused to move. At mat time he buried his head into his neck and turned away. He's generally very quiet. I don't think he has a problem with isolated noise. At home noise doesn't seem to bother him. I'm wondering if he has a problem with lots of talking, crying and laughing going on around him? As he has delayed speech it's not so easy for him to join in. His dribbling increases when he has to really think about something. I know I find it hard to concentrate if there's a lot going on around me. I would imagine that with thought processing issues it's just all too much for my son in a busy environment.

His speech is definitely improving though. It just doesn't come easily for him.
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Re: Advice for mum of 3 yr old

Postby wadey » Sat Dec 15, 2012 9:41 am

Hi, like Steph said it is too early to say if some of his behaviour is dyspraxic realated or not.
I was about 3 years old when i was diagnosed with dyspraxia and like your son i also have speech difficults, I have been told that at nursery i used to distance myself from other children and adults unless it was an 1:1 situation, apparently i used to refuse to join in singing time and other group activtives. Growing up i have found that i do not like being in a group, i not to sure why though!
Is your son learning to use to sign language or makenton? If not it may be an idea to look into it and get your family to learn it and also get child care to use it as well and see if they are happy to teach it to the other children who go there as your son may be anxious/worried that they will not understand him.
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Re: Advice for mum of 3 yr old

Postby Bruce » Sun Sep 29, 2013 4:49 pm

Be VERY patient and beware of bullying.
As your toddler gets older just remember how [Color#BFFF00][/ hard everything is for him.
Make sure he gets proper support in school. I found that joining a scout group helped a lot.
(Although to tell the truth I'm not getting the right support :cry: )
Remember that your child will think differently, (a 'strange' way).
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Re: Advice for mum of 3 yr old

Postby CharlieKnill » Tue Oct 01, 2013 8:41 pm

Hi Lucy!

People with Dyspraxia can have poor memory and a short attention span. Could this be why your son asks the same thing repeatedly?

Problems with gross motor skills (such as tying shoelaces) is common for people with Dyspraxia (Hence the akward gait, arm flapping, bumping in to things and tripping over) but can improve through physiopherapy.

People with Aspergers Syndrome are prone to temper tantrums and violent outbursts but it could be just normal behaviour for a young child.

I find that being around other people with special needs helps to overcome the social aspect as you don't have to hide who you are and are just accepted for being yourself!

If you have any further queries or want to know more about living with Dyspraxia then please do not hesitate to contact me via the Forum.

Kindest regards

Charlie Knill (Dyspraxic and Autistic)
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Re: Advice for mum of 3 yr old

Postby Bruce » Fri Oct 11, 2013 4:17 pm

I'm Dyspraxic and slightly Asperger's.
He probably has Asperger's syndrome as well. My brother, who is (you guessed it) Asperger's has some violent outbursts and is very selfish.
Edit: Oops! I said 'She' not 'He'
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Re: Advice for mum of 3 yr old

Postby Steph » Sun Oct 13, 2013 11:16 am

With respect, Bruce, 3 is far too young to be suggesting Aspergers. There is a reason why Aspergers is not usually diagnosed until around seven or eight at the earliest and that's because lots of typically developing children can be seen as displaying the same characteristics. Also being selfish may be part of your brother's personality but, by no means, is it common in people with Aspergers. I have Aspergers and am very generous and always try to put other people first. I'm sorry if this post sounds like a rant-I just like people to be properly informed about AS.
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Re: Advice for mum of 3 yr old

Postby Bruce » Mon Oct 14, 2013 5:39 pm

Steph wrote:With respect, Bruce, 3 is far too young to be suggesting Aspergers. There is a reason why Aspergers is not usually diagnosed until around seven or eight at the earliest and that's because lots of typically developing children can be seen as displaying the same characteristics. Also being selfish may be part of your brother's personality but, by no means, is it common in people with Aspergers. I have Aspergers and am very generous and always try to put other people first. I'm sorry if this post sounds like a rant-I just like people to be properly informed about AS.

Sorry Steph. I'm such an idiot...
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Re: Advice for mum of 3 yr old

Postby _robyn_ » Mon Oct 14, 2013 9:14 pm

I have High Functioning Autism (formerly known as Aspergers syndrome since they took away that term), and it really can affect people differently. But as Steph said a lot of people are diagnosed later on ( i was diagnosed when I was 13)
I agree that indecisiveness might be a trait- I'm extremely indecisiveness. When my mum asks me what I want for dinner she has to say "do you want pizza" "do you want chips" until she lands on a food I want. If she just asks "what do you want for dinner" I have no idea what to say- and I do sometimes actually get upset because I can't decide.
In terms of swimming, it is common for people with dyspraxia to have troubles being able to swim. However I do not know why there could be the change from being fine in the swimming pool to not.
And I don't think this has anything to do with dyspraxia, but I have had troubles with sleeping since I was really young. I could not sleep unless I was watching something- it is like needed a distraction, otherwise my mind wondered too much and I would not be able to sleep. But also what i watched could not be too interesting or I would not want to fall asleep. Also I use to fall out the bed a lot, it was very frustrating.
Last edited by _robyn_ on Mon Oct 28, 2013 11:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Advice for mum of 3 yr old

Postby Bruce » Thu Oct 17, 2013 5:59 am

I like swimming, but I'm not that good at it...
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Re: Advice for mum of 3 yr old

Postby carebear15 » Sat Oct 19, 2013 2:23 pm

I have autism and don't know hen I was diagnosed but I arm flap . It feels good.
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Re: Advice for mum of 3 yr old

Postby Steph » Thu Oct 24, 2013 10:01 pm

You're not an idiot, Bruce. I wasn't offended by what you said-I just wanted to clear any misunderstanding for any people who might come across this thread. In the online autism community, there are a lot of people whose diagnoses are not believed because they don't come across as typically autistic and one of the common misconceptions is that autistic people don't have any care or regard for others. I hope I didn't upset you-it wasn't my intention.
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