What can I do as a parent to support my child with…Developmental Co-ordination Disorder (dyspraxia)?

General points

  • Consider how to adapt the school uniform to suit your child’s needs such as velcro rather than laces. Practice skills such as laces/buttons zips at home.
  • Give advanced warning of any changes to the school day, such as work experience, a training day or any exams, so your child knows what to expect.
  • Give physical demonstrations of tasks you’d like your child to complete, such as putting their washing on or taking the bins out. Showing (rather than telling) is important to help them see the individual components to the bigger task. 
  • Give your child opportunities to practise generating ideas – could they come up with some ideas of what to do at the weekend / what to have for dinner?

Before school

  • Talk through the steps in your morning routine aloud and model why you have made those choices, for example, ‘I will have my breakfast before I brush my teeth, because if I brushed them before breakfast I would have food in my teeth all day’’ etc. This helps your child start to plan what they will do and why they will make those planning decisions 

After school

  • Signpost your child to activities that will help with their coordination and dexterity as well as making new friends. 

What can I do to help myself with… Developmental Co-ordination Disorder (dyspraxia)?

Before school

  • Use a checklist to make sure I have packed everything I need for school. Pack my school bag the night before to help me be organised with what I need.

During the school day

  • Finish one task before I start another. This will help me to stay focused and concentrate.
  • Attend a lunchtime club or an after school club to help me make new friends.

After school

  • Try listening to audiobooks and podcasts if I find reading tiring and too strenuous for long periods. 
  • Find a sport / activity that I enjoy doing that will help me with my coordination and dexterity, such as computer games, bowling, swimming, walking and rock climbing. 
  • Keep my planner up to date with what homework needs doing by when. Be organised with when I will do my homework and if I’m finding it difficult go to homework club where people can help me. 

Do any sport/activity that might improve your coordination and manual dexterity such as computer games, bowling, swimming, rock climbing, walking and aqua aerobics. Find something that you really enjoy doing.

What are we doing as a school to help students with: Developmental Coordination Disorder (dyspraxia)?

Before the student arrives at Archbishop Holgate’s

  • Meg Holmes, the school’s SENDCo, attends the student’s last EHCP / SEN Support review of Year 6 to ensure a smooth transition to secondary school.
  • If a child’s developmental coordination disorder impacts their daily school life we can add them to the SEND register to make all teachers aware of their needs.

During the school day

  • Visual timetables are available if needed
  • Use of a Chromebook if needed to make writing in lessons easier
  • We would look into Access Arrangements for exams and assessments in line with JCQ guidelines. Having a diagnosis of DCD does not automatically entitle a student to access arrangements but it would be good to talk through your child’s needs with the SEND team.

Key Resources:

  • Dyspraxia foundation: https://dyspraxiafoundation.org.uk/ 
  • Caged in Chaos: A Dyspraxic Guide to Breaking Free by Victoria Biggs
  • Key information should be offered to you by the GP/Occupational Therapist/Physiotherapist as needed.