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I have a child who really struggles to get changed into and out of PE kit. He leaves clothes on floor, puts clothes on in wrong order and always ends up with his t-shirt on backwards (even when I help and lay out his t-shirt for him). He also has delayed fine-motor skills, doesn't show hand preference and finds it difficult to walk down stairs (although he has got a little quicker and appears a little more confident walking downstairs). I was concerned about his hips and one leg turning in. Mum took him to doctor on my advice but doctor said there is nothing wrong with his hips. He often sits in w shape (I ask him to have legs out straight or try to cross his legs = he says the latter hurts).

This child is 4 and I wondered if anyone could share their experiences of children with similar issues. Does anyone have experience of dyspraxia? I have found a SALT (trained in England) who will be coming in to assess his speech and language, particularly speech sounds and syntax (he is bilingual though). He also has a short attention span (shorter than most in class). He has high average receptive language (tested in English - using BPVS).


First thing I want to do is help him getting changed for PE - to make him more independent. I want to make him a visual and written checklist of order to take off and then put on clothes. Has anyone done something similar? What is best order? Something like this:

1) Take PE clothes out of bag and put on chair.

2) Take off shoes and socks. Put socks inside shoes.

3) Put shoes inside PE bag.

4) Take off trousers. Put in PE bag.

5) Put on PE shorts.

6) Take off blue school t-shirt and put in PE bag. (CAN ANYONE HELP WITH BEST WAY TO EXPLAIN TO HIM HOW TO DO THIS)

7) Put on white PE t-shirt.

8) Put on clean socks.

9) Put on trainers. (Should I add something about checking left/right foot)

10) Take PE bag back to cloakroom and hang it on your peg.


I am not going to ask him to fold his clothes at this stage (others in class are folding their clothes before putting into PE bag). I think I need to break steps down further (the way portage tend to do). Any help greatly appreciated.


I am SENCO and we are overseas, so no EPs to consult.


Thank you for reading my long post - hope you can help!



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my son has dysprixia and has trouble with dressing and undressing also has trouble with writing.my son need help with his time management. this involves us having to have visual routines for all task and he also needs to have a diary of what he needs to do each day as he also finds it hard to cope with change. as a mum I have had to send time playing pe with my son to teach him to dress and undress himself. can you tallk to his parents about giving him time to do these skills whilst at home.

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Thanks for such a quick reply. I have asked parents to let him try to get dressed and undressed by himself but don't know if it is happening often. I will make a point of asking Mum how it is going.


He holds a pencil in palmer grasp still and finds writing letter shapes and numbers difficult but is happy to try. I remind him how to hold the triangular pencil or put a grip onto his pencil, to help him.


Wellerkaren, can you tell me the order you taught your son to put on clothes. How did you explain how to pull off his t-shirt. My child finds it extremely difficult. I have to talk him through it every time but don't know if I am teaching him the easiest way to get his t-shirt off!

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Hi there Leedwa,


my son has dyspraxia too - just as a useful item for younger children who we have taught, including my son, we use the Cleverhands and Writedance physical programmes to help enhance coordination.


I'd also maybe see if mum still has a health visitor involved who may be able to push forward past an unhelpful gp.


Timelines certainly do work - maybe having a length of velcro taped onto a long piece of card and pictures of T-shirt, shorts etc in the order they come off and go on so the child can take off their T shirt and pull the picture off of the velcro timeline.


Did I explain that ok - sorry, getting late and the brain's not working well.


Hope that helps.


Just as a final thing - my son was diagnosed in year three! Far too late and I wish as a mum that this had been done earlier as we are now pushing to get him to see a paediatrician and even my gp isn't keen (tough luck now as I'm insistent) . . . stick to your guns as it is something that needs support so that the child feel comfy at school. Good luck :-)

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This is a really old document I made for a difficult cohort-in fact its in my Reception 04 file !! It maybe the kind of thing you are thinking of. I didn't realise how far my IT skills have come as it now seems a bit basic. I think if I was making it now I'd be using my digital camera.


I've had to re save from a back-up disc so its now on vista

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Thank you for all the replies. Thank you for sharing Biccy, great. Think I will try your idea of taking digital photos.


We are a private British school overseas. Parents have private medical insurance - bupa/medilink, paid for through the company they work for. So, unfortunately no health visitors, O/Ts, EPS etc. I have found a good physiotherapy centre and a speech and language therapist who works in the university and a local clinic. There are good optometrists but that is all I have found so far! Also, quite a transient population, families tend to only stay 2 - 3 years and are then moved on to their next post (wherever the oil is)!!


Great school, great families but I miss the co-ordinated approach in England to support children. Families tend to go back to UK (or home country) to see specialists (dyslexia, independent EPs etc), paying for their services.


Thanks again for advice. Any more insights would be greatly received.

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Forgot to say that it is an Arabic country, so hospitals and university deal mainly in Arabic but majority also speak very good English. I want to do the best for the children in my care and believe whole-heartedly in early intervention but although I am knowledgeable in some areas of SEN, I am by no means an expert and feeling a little frustrated. If he was in England, I would have got more advice from EP, OT by now.




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