Kids with dyspraxia and some tips to help them

As I said in my last blog, I wanted to give some advice to kids with dyspraxia who are doing sports, as when I got diagnosed, my parents were told that I wouldn’t probably play any sports and that was quite upsetting.

So my parents and I decided to prove those people who said I couldn’t, wrong!

So here’s a few tips I’d suggest:
*You have to practice more than others, you have to learn by easy steps and keep trying…and you will get there!
* Some days are more harder than others and there are even times when I get something, and then the next day Ive forgotten how I did it, so have to start over!
* When I start in a new team my parents always tell the coach I have dyspraxia, so that he can help me, and my parents give him tips on what works best with my learning.
* I also do extra training for certain skills, like for example when I had to learn cricket and batting. I got my older brother Jack to help me and he would bowl at me really quickly and it was good as I learnt ways to improve. So I suggest you get people you trust, like your family to teach you things.

I’m proud of my sporting achievements so far, I play football and I like being the goalie the most. My other sport is cricket and I like fielding and batting.
Some sports are a bit tricky for me like gymnastics and swimming, but I went to lessons and now feel confident in deep water.

So lastly even though learning new skills and sport can be hard and frustrating at times, its worth it, as I have fun, am with my friends and feel much more confident now that I can participate.
I hope that helps, Max

How I was diagnosed with Dyspraxia

My mum and i thought it would be useful to explain how and when I was diagnosed with dyspraxia as this might help others who have the condition and might not yet know and also to explain where kids and their parents can go to get help in New Zealand.

My mum says that when I was about 18 months old she thought I was developing a bit differently than other kids my age, and that some things i was taking a bit longer to do. My speaking was quite delayed, I was still saying one word answers when other kids my age were starting to say sentences. I also got quite upset if things weren’t the same routine and I liked things in order, such as I would line up my cars and trucks in a pattern and if anyone moved one, without me knowing, then I would know which one and would get upset! Kind of like kids with autism.

So we went to see some doctors who said I was fine and that I was “just a lazy boy” and would catch up soon. I also started seeing a speech therapist for 3 years to help me and it did a bit, but mum and dad were still worried.

So then mum and dad took me when I was 4 to an occupational therapist who specialises in things like dyspraxia and she luckily worked out which I had. i had to do all these tests, which were fun, doing puzzles, drawing, playing football and basket ball etc, took 2 hours but at the end we knew what I had.

Mum said she was really pleased once we knew at it meant that I could finally get the help I needed at creche and we could prepare for school. Dad was a bit funny and didn’t think that I needed help, but finally he came around and accepted that I had it.

Some people are a bit funny you see about having a label or a tag that says you have something, they think that once you say you have a development disorder that people might treat you differently but I don’t feel that at all. I find once we tell people then they are quite supportive and will help me when I am struggling. Doesn’t make me stupid, just that I am different and do things my way…not necessarily the way others might. Makes me an individual and I’m proud of that!

So if you think that maybe you are struggling then the best advice my mum and I could give is to go to a kids doctor and they will refer you to a specialist or an occupational therapist in your town. Or you could contact the dyspraxia society in christchurch and they could help you, or just google dyspraxia help in NZ and lots of options come up.

It’s a bit of a hard one as dyspraxia specialists are not as common in NZ, there is more help for dyslexia, ADHD or autism and the confusing thing is, is that all of these things are on what doctors call the same spectrum….and you might have some traits from each.

Once I got to school then we had my specialist Dianne come to school and teach my teachers some ways to help me, which was really good. She would come every 6 months and check on my progress and it was a good way to learn new techniques for everybody.

I hope this helps, next time I’m gona write about how to help kids with dyspraxia do sports as I was told when I was 4 that I might never play football or any sports given I had dyspraxia and I have proved them all wrong!

things i know about dyspraxia

Dyspraxia doesnt mean that I’m stupid, it just means that I learn things and do things differently and the way I learn is not sometimes the same as others. Dyspraxia has some similarities as dyslexia, such as wanting to be organised, not liking being late, not liking school work all the time, finding it hard sometimes at school and when I was younger I’d pretend I was sick to stay home! Taking instructions takes me longer. I find writing very hard and have to concentrate more than others….I also sometimes fall over alot and can be clumsy.
I found out that another name for Dyspraxia is clumsy child syndrome and that makes sense to me, as sometimes I fall over for no reason, and I have to work harder as things like writing (which is small motor skills) and also (gross motor skills) are used for playing sports. But I can do it, for example. I am a goalie, play football and cricket! I just have to practice lots to get it, but when I do its very cool.
My wish is that other people know what dyspraxia is, lots of people know dyslexia, but if I say I have dyspraxia, they dont get it and its frustrating. I think more education needs to be done and I’d like to help with that.


hi my name is max and im 11 years old and  this is my first  post for my dyspraxia blog and i’m was born with dyspraxia and that’s way i’m doing this blog a here’s a link for a dyspaxia site

I sometimes struggle to do things that other kids take for granted and so wanted to write this blog to help kids with dyspaxia get some ideas and tips on what helps me and my parents.  I also wrote this to help teachers with kids in their class who have dyspraxia.

Some of the things I have trouble with are:

* sensitive to loud noises

*struggle with writing

*sometimes I have trouble speaking and get some words around the wrong way

* I cant do more than two things at once

* I sometimes get a bit scared talking to new people

* I dont like change too much

* It takes me much longer to learn new things, like riding a bike

* I like to be organised when I do stuff

* I Do NOt like being late


Things I do to help me with these things are:

*When meeting new people I have practised looking them in the eye

*When going anywhere, I get everything organised in advance, like my football gear is all packed the night before

*I like being told to do things one thing at a time, I then do it, then get the next instruction

* I am really good on computers and so to help with my writing I use them alot and then I can teach others

* I have to practice alot if giving a speech so I feel confident, practice makes perfect my mum says

* If I have to learn something new, I take a bit longer so again practice lots!

* When I’m frustrated I know to walk away, let me leave for a few minutes to have space and then I come back, it really works


Tips for teachers:

* Give students a seat where they can see the board and hear the teacher

* If you have a reliever teacher its ok to tell them you have dyspraxia as when you dont they sometimes think I’m naughty when really I’m struggling

* Having tests really stresses me out, I dont mind doing them, but if they are timed I really struggle, may be a quiet space to do tests would be good, so I dont get distracted

* Having a class buddy is helpful, when its a teachers aid, I used to get embarrassed and feel different, so having a helper who helps everyone is good

* If I’m frustrated let the kid have a few minutes to have some space, sometimes I just need it and when I’m ready I’ll come back




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