Motor planning question

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Shari, Jun 14, 2010.

  1. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    The fam went camping and trail riding this past weekend. husband and I had a nice chat about Wee...seems husband is also noticing more of Wee's inability to "lay out a process" to do something.
    I became more concerned about this when he started riding lessons and was completely not able to independently "steer" by pulling one rein without pulling the other. We worked thru that. While not completely alleviated, especially "in the real world" sitaution of riding, he's getting better.
    Then on a recent ride, he was in a buggy with a friend, and I rode up beside them to give him his medications. They were in 2 bottles, which I handed him in the buggy, along with a drink. He took the bottles and the drink. He took the lid off the drink and set the drink between his legs, kept the lid in his hand. He then took the lid off the first bottle, and then was stuck on what to do with the 2 lids he's now holding, and while he's trying to figure out what to do with the lids, he's spilling the pills onto the buggy floor. The lady beside him took the lid and helped him pick up the pills, and then he spilled the pills again when he actually took the one he needed and kept ahold of the bottle while taking a drink to wash the medication down.
    He still goes to the driver's side of the car or truck to get in, even tho I haven't had to put him in from that side in years. I often have to remind him "your side".
    If he finishes with a plate, glass, or bowl, he brings it to me. Doesn't matter if we are camping and it goes in the trash or the fire, or at home and it goes on the counter, and that the answer has been the same for years - he doesn't know what to do next. He'll bring it to me to hold, to which I reply "I'm not a table, take it to the ______". If he is carrying something and wants to pour himself a glass of milk, he will hand me whatever it is he is holding instead of put it on the table while he pours the drink.
    These are just a few examples. But are these motor planning problems? And if so, are my expectations too high for a child in the 5-8 age range?
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2010
  2. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Well...I dont know. Have you read through the milestones lately?

    I get confused with the caps for I think the fact that you can hand him two medication bottles plus a water bottle is commendable! Never say childproof.

    We have been able to have Keyana put stuff up on counters for years but she is a prissy little girl so take that for what its worth. I havent attempted to allow her to pour her own milk though. Im not a fool. She probably can but Im not giving it a go. She just learned to ride her bike and turn it all around so she is slower than normal.
  3. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    There does seem to be something not working right. Most kids are happy to get into "their" door in the car. Part of it is the "I do it myself" and part is that they get into the car so often that it is routine, even if they spent several years with you putting them into the car.

    I could see many kids getting confused in the buggy. That does sound a bit confusing for many kids who are not allowed to eat/drink in the car. My niece wasn't allowed to have a drink in the car for a long time so if they were doing something where they were moving she couldn't handle getting a drink from a water bottle unless they stopped. After just a couple of tries it was no longer a problem.

    Taking plates to you all the time seems VERY Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) to me. sort of along the lines of Marg's son getting an ice cream on the way home from the beach and liking it so much that for years he expected an ice cream after the beach even though they went to the beach a lot and didn't get the ice cream a lot. It may be that it is just a routine or it may be that he really cannot figure out what to do with the plate.

    Instead of telling him you are not a table and where to take his plate, what would happen if you asked him what he should do with the plate? Would he be able to figure it out a few times and then stop bringing it to you? Or would it add a lot of frustration and stress because he simply isn't able to think it through and would either assume he is "dumb" or something else unhelpful and maybe even lead to more meltdowns?

    I seem to remember him using picture schedules at one point. Why not make a "plan" that shows a boy eating then shows the boy putting the plates where they go. If you put a step about scraping the plate off maybe you could show the boy putting the plate in the dishwasher instead of just on the counter? It seems that whatever he learns may stick with him for a LONG time, so really think about what you will want him to do in 5 or 6 years. Adding the steps NOW may not be the easiest now, but they may be the most effective and easiest in the long run. Before he gets his food each time, go over what he will do when he is done eating. You may have to say it before every meal and snack for a while, but it would probably be the best way to make a long term change.

    I do NOT think your expectations are out of line for kids his age. thank you made his own lunch in kindergarten. He refused to eat it if anyone else packed it. Never did know why, but we kept stuff he could pack easily in a certain spot. If they were not there, or we were out of something, he was perfectly capable of finding something else. NOT always what I had in mind, but he figured it out. Most kids can pour if the jug isn't too full, esp by age 8.

    I don't know if it is motor planning, expectations, not having any desire to do things himself, or something else. But it does sound like something is not quite working the way it should. The reins are esp telling in a child who has grown up around horses. I really do not think it is lack of desire for independence even though the outcome may seem that way. Not sure I have a concrete reason for that, it just feels like something else is the problem.

    Start keeping your eye on this. Make a list of all the various things this seems to impact. Then see what the doctor in Tulsa says, and what an Occupational Therapist (OT) says about it.
  4. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Wee was going to rodeos with his big brother by 4 months. He was riding with me on the horse at that age, too. During the week, we were pretty low key, but on the weekends and in the summer when he was little difficult child 1 rodeoed, so we were on the go. Eating in the car is a fact of life, so I don't think that threw him off with it.

    And I actually do tell him "what should you do with it" a lot of the time, and sometimes he knows and sometimes he doesn't. I don't think its a matter of not wanting to, either...some of the things he struggles with are things he very much wants to do and came up with on his own....

    I dunno. Something's stiill just not right. Maybe its the processing problems, maybe its dyspraxia, I dunno. husband noticing it lately, too, just makes it more concerning.
  5. BeyondWeary

    BeyondWeary New Member

    The occupational therapists understand this issue the best I think, NOT the docs. Our family doctor doesn't even know what sensory integration disorder is. It is my understanding that motor planning is the brain's ability to get the body working after the person decides to move his/her body.
  6. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    It doesn't sound right to me, either. He's in second grade? The average second graders I see are able to follow an expected routine; for example, completed papers go in the wire basket, broken pencils go in the can marked "broken" and you take a new pencil from the other can, you may read the books from the bookcase but not the ones on the chalkboard rail...and third graders are even more independent.

    Is this something the doctors in OK can address, or will you need to find someone else?
  7. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    There may be a component of executive function disorder going on also. Chances are there are several parts to the problem. He sure does not have an easy row to hoe, does he? All of these challenges and he STILL understands a lot more than the adults who run his school do!
  8. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Shari - yeah, I see this with Jett too. Certain things have been one way for YEARS, but it doesn't click.

    For instance, I have ALWAYS insisted that everyone (male and female) put the toilet seat and lid down due to cats and chemicals. I figure it's fair, too, everyone has the same amount of work to do. And out of nowhere, on random occasions... The lid... Or the seat and lid... Are left up... Or he urinates without lifting the seat, but he DID lift the lid. Now this would make sense if he either a) lived with BM, not us; or b) had just spent a lot of time with her (i.e., spring break), and she doesn't require it. But that's not it. It's random. This is not a new rule... I've been around since he was 5.

    Same thing with the car doors, too. Always goes to one side - he's still too small to ride in the front seat, so I have him ride behind me unless Onyxx and husband are both in the car (not common...) But... He consistently goes to the passenger side. I would be okay with it, but the back doors on my car won't open unless the front door is - the term for them is "suicide doors". (I love them, personally.)

    I got around the room cleaning thing finally. Instead of giving him a list, or having him come to me 25 times, I start him just inside the door to the left. When he is done straightening his desk and putting things away, then toy bins... Night stand... Bed... Dresser... Shelves... Closet... Floor... DONE! He just moves clockwise. Cut way down on the "I'm done!" when one item had been finished. We'll see if it continues to work, but it was great last weekend. Bathroom, though? He wanted to mop first, before he swept or cleaned sink or toilet. We're working on that one!

    But I digress. You may want to keep watching... If it's minor - he has enough stress going on. But if not... Or it gets worse... Then I'd be concerned. Not worried exactly, but concerned.

    HUGS!!! For both you and Wee.
  9. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    I've seen similar issues with my difficult child 2. Some of his problems got better once we got the medications sorted out. I think what Susie suggests about this being related to executive function might be part of the problem. And while I don't think your expectations are out of line for a neurotypical kid, I do think you need to reevaluate based on the fact that Wee has issues, and like BW suggests, an Occupational Therapist (OT) should be able to help with this to some extent.

    I still have to cue difficult child 2 when he has a particular task to do and gets stuck or lost on the next step by asking him "What do you do when...?" This usually gets him thinking about the process, but I can see that it's not an automatic thing for him yet. His brain is not on the same track for maturation as my easy child's is. Some days I can accept that and other days I forget and get very frustrated with him.
  10. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    I guess what I meant by expectations was are these things typical 8 year olds can do....and you guys have clearly answered that. Thanks.

    We adjust what we ask and expect of much so that we are pretty sure we'd thoroughly screw up an NT child if we had one...we don't know what "normal" is anymore! It just seems that the issues are getting more pronounced, or, possibly, as he is getting older, they are just becoming more visible.

    Right now, just watching him on the playground with a bunch of other kids, you'd never suspect a thing is off with him other than he's a little odd. Then he'll get tired or frustrated, and then he just looks like a spoiled brat that's used to getting his way. To watch him right now, to think this kid is capable of blowing his top to the point that adults fear him seems ludicrous right now... To think he struggles with steering a horse that he's grown up think it absolutely takes everything he's got to read a 3 letter word or wrote his name...

    He looks so "normal". He excels at some thought processes. And then...there's the rest of the story.

    Oh well. I'll bother the Occupational Therapist (OT) some more. Thanks.