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Help needed to 'invent' a resource for dyspraxic children

Discussion in 'Teaching assistants' started by edenhendry, Feb 17, 2011.

  1. edenhendry

    edenhendry New commenter

    I'm currently attending a Level 3 course on Dyspraxia. I'm halfway through and part of this month's assignment is to create (physically) a resource to help a child with dyspraxic tendencies. (i.e. disorganised, clumsy, poor handwriting, difficulty with ideation and motor planning).
    I want to look at children in the Year 6 age range, as those are the ones I work with - I also think that the older kids tend to be forgotten about. There seems to be lots of resources for KS1, but it all gets a bit 'babyish' as they are nearing secondary age.
    Creating a visual timetable or personalised pencil case (as our school provide equipment, not the kids, and pens/pencils/rulers are stored in different places in the classroom) are the obvious choices, but I want to think a bit deeper about this.
    I will have to evaluate the resource and it's effectiveness as part of the assignment.
    I wondered if there were any ideas from you guys as to what resources would be useful, so that I can develop them into something practical.
  2. edenhendry

    edenhendry New commenter

    Hello? Anyone out there?
  3. Timetable idea seems a good one -especially as it could be continued in secondary school. A5 size, spiral bound, coloured tabs for each day so it can be opened at the correct day at the start of the day. Maybe a pocket for notes home or homework which parent empties and responds to daily? They won't get their equipment provided at secondary so this needs looking at .. Maybe a cloth pouch (denim?) with pockets that rolls up with a velcro tab?
  4. edenhendry

    edenhendry New commenter

    Some good ideas there. I was only thinking a one sheet timetable - but having a book version makes great sense. It would mean other important info could be included. The notes to home section would be brilliant. That has got my mind thinking about how it could be personalised to the child i have in mind.
    Thank you for your help.

  5. Why a 'visual' timetable? Dyspraxic children are perfectly capable of reading.
    I would be looking at something more targeted to developing motor skills.
  6. And please! *** is 'ideation'? Don't people speak English any more?
  7. *Shrug* I know that ideational dyspraxia is the inability to follow sequential instructions, or to plan ahead the 'now'... if that makes sense. [​IMG]
  8. Hmm... googled it:
    Sadly it seems that its usage as a noun is becoming less rare... what a hideous word.

  9. edenhendry

    edenhendry New commenter

    Yes, ideation is a horrid word - however, it is the jargon I have to be able to recognise when deciphering OT reports [​IMG]
    Ideation is the process that goes on in your head when you are planning a task. For example, if I were to ask you to cut some play doh into discs, 'most' people would roll the dough into a sausage shape and then slice it. Children who have problems wtih 'ideation' would just start cutting the dough, and then realise it was just in lumps, before beginning to understand that it had to be rolled first to create discs.
    And yes, 'dyspraxic' (or DCD as it is now termed) kids can read - however, reading words and interpreting them is an extra task for the brain, when a simple prompt may be all they need. An example of this is one child who has problems with organising themselves, has a morning task which involves several steps. He does the same task every morning, but is very slow at doing it as he has to have breaks where his mind can recall the next step. If there is a simple visual prompt, it'll nudge him along quicker.
    I can heartily recommend Dyspraxia and motor skills training. It is valid to loads of kids other than those suspected or diagnosed as having dyspraxia. There are a few government funded courses floating about at the moment (but for how long!). The Level 3 one that I am on only cost the school £5!
  10. edenhendry

    edenhendry New commenter

    Yes, this is another area I am looking at. However, dyspraxia doesn't just affect motor skills - it has a huge impact on organisation skills which will get more important as they hit adulthood. As CKK mentions, it would be good to offer something more useful for a Year 6 child to be able to go into secondary with.
  11. I know this is not your doing, you are just repeating what you have been taught, but I fail to see how interpreting a picture is any simpler than reading a word.
    I find it very disturbing that a whole section of children could be being deliberately disabled (because inability to read is a disablement and if the skill isn't consolidated through use and practice it will not be secure) by this kind of intervention.
    I also find it highly amusing that 'dyspraxia' is hi-jacking some of 'dyslexia's' supposed traits - i.e 'disorganisation', though with more justification, I think...
  12. edenhendry

    edenhendry New commenter

    very condescending - I am attending a course, but it is fully backed up by both my SENco and my own experiences with children. This isn't some new-fangled teaching by some quack.
    Dyspraxia falls under an umbrella containing many other 'disorders' including dyslexia, dyscalculia, and ADHD. There are similarities between these disorders and overlapping between individuals. There are also many people (not just children) who have traits from one or more of these disorders.
    Dyspraxia is not hijacking any of dyslexia's traits. They are similar in some of their traits, just as dyscalculia and ADHD overlap too.
    In no way is anyone suggesting that children showing Dyspraxia, Dyslexia or any other disorder be taught how to 'avoid' reading. However, in certain situations, visual aids are better - hence why we use warning signs for quicker impact, than a worded warning. Reading and writing are still very much a part of the child's education and they participate in class just as any of their peers.
    There are times when any struggles they may have can be eased by certain strategies.
    I'd highly recommend some background reading in this area so you can fully appreciate how these disorders overlap, how it can affect children and adults, and what TAs and Teachers can do to help them.


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