Posted , 5 users are following.
I am an SEN teacher with over 20 years experience in UK secondary mainstream schools. I have worked closely with several dyspraxics, some statemented, some at school action plus. i have noticed considerable difficulties and similarities in their responses to puberty and the demands of the national curriculum. In boys the principle problems revolve around frustration, this manifests itself as temper outbursts, often completely draining the sufferer leading to crying or dislocation from their situation. Boys are easily influenced by peers and dyspraxic boys are often scapegoats for others behaviour or led into situations which they cannot foresee the outcomes of. Dyspraxic boys tend to be untidy and their presentation of work is very poor. Concentration can be variable, they are often thought of as lazy because on some days they can be better than on others. Items of uniform are another bone of contention as is homework. The opposite sex cause problems for dyspraxic boys. Being generally more immature and timid in this respect they, sometimes by their natures, they can be manipulated by girls then dropped like stones, something they cannot rationalize easily leading to great frustration and hurt. Some boys with dyspraxia have a problem with the notion of personal space, invading it without knowing ,leading to unfair and cruel labelling by girls as perverts or similar. Some dyspraxic boys also seem to have more than average issues around their gender, exploring masturbation more obviously than their peers. Probably because subtlety is alien to the condition not that they are any more fascinated by sex than any other adolescent.
Dyspraxic girls seem to have similar problems with adolescence around the issues that ordinary teenagers struggle with. Again the personal space issues, often losing friends because they cannot keep up with the newly acquired language and status around adolescent behaviour. They struggle with the obsession with fashion and looking good which becomes paramount with their peers. Poor personal hygiene is often a feature of adolescent dyspraxic girls. Periods and body odour combine to make these vulnerable girls even more repellent to their peers at a time when they need most to feel accepted. Dyspraxic girls also seem to struggle with gender/sexual issues. Some seem to become tomboys as a way to put off the issues they so struggle with. Others go out of their way to try and attract the opposite sex, often in inappropriate and alarming ways which can lead to a precocious and inappropriate interest in the sexual act. These girls, particularly, need careful contraception advice and one to one support to lead them towards more appropriate and acceptable sexual behaviour. This category of dyspraxic girls are very vulnerable indeed.
Parents of dyspraxic boys and girls need to engage support around sexual health early. Connexions advisers, teaching assistants and family support in schools should be engaged along with support from GPs.
1 like, 5 replies