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Wednesday, January 2, 2013

When SPD returns to school...

Wow was this morning a tough one.  My poor Brayden was up half the night fretting about returning to school. His anxiety began on Saturday when he was able to count the days in his head and realized his break was coming to an end on Wednesday.  Every night he whined about not wanting to go to school.  Last night and this morning he just sobbed.  It broke my heart to send him to school.  It's times like this that I debate whether homeschooling would be better for him.  I do know that it would not be the solution to his problems and here is why.

Brayden has an impairment in his proprioceptive senses.  The proprioceptive system is the one that tells us where our body parts are in relation to each other.  It also signals how much effort we need to move our body, or objects.  For example, when you lift a box, you use this system to determine how much strength you need from your legs and arms to hoist it up.  A subtype of Brayden's motor delay in his proprioceptive system is called Dyspraxia.  This means he has trouble translating sensory information into physical movement, including planning.  It takes significant effort just for him to plan how to move through his classroom to place an assignment on his teacher's desk.  This most significantly effects Brayden's oral motor movement as evident by his eating disorder.  But it also makes it extremely difficult for him to get out of bed, get dressed and physically get to school.  At age 7, we still dress him on school mornings or it would literally take 15 minutes for him to do it.

This effects every part of his school life as it impacts his gross motor, fine motor and oral motor abilities.  Brayden is an exceptional artist yet he can't color inside the lines because his fine motor planning is so poor.  He absolutely hates gym class because he can't coordinate his movements to dance or play sports.  This effects his self esteem as he doesn't want to be different from the other kids.  Brayden's hardest struggle at school right now is math.  This is a puzzle to everyone as to what is causing him so much stress in this area.  He flips all his numbers still and becomes frustrated when told to write "backwards" as he sees it.  He is very good at math as evident from his MAP scores and his ability to yell out math problems at me all the time but writing it is very stressful.

This is just the tip of the iceberg as to why school is so difficult for Brayden.  His body need constant movement throughout the day to keep his nervous system aroused.  Unfortunately, his current class does not afford that opportunity.  Our school has just completed a full evaluation on Brayden and I will get those results tomorrow with a school meeting on Monday.  I am eager to see if he qualifies for interventions to help him.  My heart just aches for him today and I know how hard this day must be!

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