Forgetfulness is a part of dyspraxia and Jack has always been a little forgetful, but this week he has been more so than usual, and its really starting to get to him.
On Monday when Jack came home from school he had his usual homework to do. He was given four words which he had to put into sentences. He only managed to get one of the words written down in time. This has happened a few times before but he usually remembers them so it hasn’t been a problem, but today he could only remember one word. When he realised that he had forgotten, he got really upset about it. I tried to calm him down, I told him not to worry and that we will just do the two that he has, and I will explain to his teacher, but he was still really bothered by it.
One thing I am learning about dyspraxia is, as that as well as working on strengthening the weaknesses, it is also about finding ways around obstacles and difficulties.
As Jack gets the same homework most days, I set out his journal in advance, so each day he only has to write down the four words instead of the whole instruction. Hopefully, this will make life a little easier for him.
Also this week, I sent a note to school with Jack, and each day he has come home with the note, as he had forgotten to give it to his teacher. The first day I put it in his pencil case, knowing that he uses that every day, so he would see it when using his pencils. The second day, I put it into his homework journal so he would see it when writing in his homework, and the third day I stapled it to his homework copy book, which the teacher apparently checks every day, but of course this particular day he didn’t check it. I ended up handing the note to the teacher myself to ensure that he got it.
I was beginning to wonder if there was something else going on, did Jack not want to take the note to his teacher? Was he too shy to give it to him? He says not, and that he just forgot. I didn’t want to make too much of a big deal about it so I said no more about it
On Thursday Jack came home from school and I asked him if he had any homework, and he said that he had none, which sometimes happens. I didn’t check as Jack would always say if he had homework, and he has never forgotten before. 8 am on Friday morning he pulls out a book and says “Mummy I need to do this”. He forgot that he had to do it. What had happened was that the teacher hadn’t given them their usual four words to put into sentences, but had given them homework to do from a workbook instead, but all he could remember is that he didn’t have his sentences to do. We managed to get the homework done and it was all sorted, but he was really upset with himself for forgetting.
Lessons were learned here, and I will check myself in future. It is like he has regressed over the Christmas holidays. I am now wondering if I should have been doing some work with him over the holidays to keep his brain more active.
Jack has a fantastic memory when it comes to certain things, such as, directions, people’s birthdays, he can tell you the name of every teacher in his school and what class they teach. He is very good at spelling and reading. It’s just when it comes down to remembering daily activities, like remembering his school bag when we are leaving in the morning, or giving a note to his teacher, or bringing his pencil case home from school.
Whilst forgetfulness has always been a bit of a problem for Jack, it is only recently that he has started getting annoyed with himself over it, and that is really heartbreaking to see in a seven-year-old boy.
This is definitely, a learn as you go, experience for me, and it is teaching me to be more organised, anyone that has ever known me will tell you that organisation has never been one of my strong points. I have got better since becoming a parent, I think you have to, or life will just be total chaos. With Jack’s dyspraxia it is really important that I am on the ball and whilst I don’t want to be doing everything for him, as I don’t think that will beneficial to him, I need to be able to give him gentle reminders about what he is supposed to have or what he is supposed to be doing.
I wish there was more personal guidance with this condition. Jack is getting speech therapy, which he gets in blocks, but there could be months in-between these blocks. He received one block of physiotherapy and then was discharged from the service, and now I am left to do a home program with him, which is fine, as I will do what I need to do to help him, but it can be challenging as he doesn’t take it as seriously from me. Thankfully, his occupational therapy sessions will be coming up soon, but we are still waiting on a psychology assessment.
It would be beneficial to have an assigned case worker, who has an overall knowledge of the condition, to check in with us on a regular basis, to discuss concerns and Jack’s development with, and also to get some feedback on whether I am doing things correctly. I could go to to the GP but every time I go there, I feel like I am wasting his time.
I am looking forward to the occupational therapy course starting, firstly to help Jack of course, but it will also put me in regular contact with someone to discuss things with.