Dauntless is the perfect word to sum up my little boy, Harry. He shows fearlessness and determination in everything he does, which has stood him in good stead since being giving a working diagnosis of Dyspraxia.
Dyspraxia, as stated by the Dyspraxia Foundation, is a form of developmental co-ordination disorder (DCD), which can effect both fine and gross motor skills, that is, co-ordination of small and large muscles, which leads to difficulty in tasks using these skills, such as handwriting and using cutlery.
Other symptoms can include falling over frequently, and dropping objects, or spilling drinks – often attributed to clumsiness, especially as it is more likely to affect boys than girls. More information on the wide range of problems caused by dyspraxia, can be found here.
It did come as quite a shock when 18 months ago, Harry’s teacher raised his suspicions that Harry might be suffering from Dyspraxia, as I myself had put his constant fidgeting and the fact that he often fell over fresh air down to him just being a ‘typical’ boy.
We have found the process of diagnosis to get him the help he needs a long one, with having to wait over 12 months before being able to even get him into the system to be assessed. Strangely, the onset of Coronavirus has actually helped our cause, as cancellations of appointments meant Harry jumped up the list.
The longer we had to wait, the more I saw how it is so important he gets support in school, particularly with his handwriting. I saw after working more closely with him during the months of home schooling – a time most of us would like to forget about!- how difficult and at times, painful he finds writing.
He is a clever little boy and as he gets older, his school’s main concern was that the content of his work was being undermined by his quite frankly, through no fault of his own, atrocious handwriting.
Recently he has had his second assessment, which involved a full hour of activities designed to test his memory and concentration. This will be followed up by a physical assessment which should be more fun – testing his hopping, jumping and catching skills.
Harry, in defiance of this disorder, and true to character, plays football in defence for Cheshire Vikings, is at Stage 5 in his swimming lessons at the local leisure centre and can confidently ride a bike without stabilisers, all activities he should struggle with, with this diagnosis.
Now, don’t get me wrong, he is no Andy Robertson, but he goes out there and gives it his all – apart from when he is made to run laps in training!!
We are currently working on his touch typing skills, as it is likely he will need a laptop in class, and are using the BBC touch typing programme on BBC Bitesize, which he is taking in his stride.
His attitude to life at the tender age of 8 years old, is one matched by other fellow sufferers such as Daniel Radcliffe, Florence Welch, of Florence and the Machines, the photographer David Bailey and Albert Einstein, who is now thought of as being dyspraxic, as the condition was not recognised in his lifetime.
Harry lets nothing stop him, already following the advice given by Daniel Radcliffe in this morning’s post, and is an inspiration to me as his Mum, and I hope to others around him as he gets older too.