Deborah talks about her experience of supporting her 16 year old son
My son was diagnosed with dyspraxia at the early age of 5. Once diagnosed we had fantastic help from a wonderful Occupational Therapist. We did have to change primary schools as the first school were insisting that my son was naughty for not doing his work, when they weren’t presenting it to him in a way that he could easily understand. After the change in school, my son flourished, so much so that he passed the selective test for our local Grammar School.
Playing football as a goalkeeper really helped with his coordination and he continued to do well in his education. He does have quite a temper and over the years he has been taught strategies to help him deal with his feelings. School helped him by allowing the use of a laptop in English and this was also allowed in his GCSE exams. In his final year at school, he did begin to struggle and we found we were constantly having to push them to give him extra support. Thankfully, we finally got a teacher who listened and helped. I didn’t want him having to attend extra sessions as the lessons were hard to begin with and extra lessons would be like a punishment, so we compromised and he did a little extra work at home. He passed 10 out of 11 GCSE’s at grade 5 or above and has started a BTEC Extended Diploma in Sport.
As dyspraxia is not a well known condition, I have found it difficult when trying to explain to people what it really is, as it can vary so much from person to person. My husband and other son find it difficult to understand and often think that I use dyspraxia as an excuse. If they don’t understand it as people who live with him, how can I expect others to understand. I support my son by talking things through with him so that hopefully frustrations don’t build up enough to cause a temper outburst. My son understands that there are many everyday things that come easy to some people that he has to work extra hard to achieve. However, he is a fighter and doesn’t back down from a challenge – the next one being learning to drive!