Very little is known about the causes of dyspraxia, despite it being quite a common condition. Many experts suggest that the reason is associated with poor linkages between nerve cells. However, some researchers are now suggesting poor cerebellum function could well be part of the cause. Scientific research has identified that the cerebellum, the brain’s ‘skill centre’, plays a major role in the process of learning and automating of skills, allowing us to perform everyday tasks, like reading, writing, riding a bike, or tying a shoelace, ‘without thinking’. When the cerebellum is not working as efficiently as it should, it does not communicate adequately with all the major centres of the brain, especially the cerebrum – your ‘thinking centre’. Hence, the simplest of tasks can become ordeals.
Many premature babies later suffer with dyspraxia and it is widely recognised that one of the major areas of the brain most vulnerable to premature birth is the cerebellum.
There will undoubtedly be a number of different causes of dyspraxia, depending on the symptoms and age of onset. A notable finding is that many dyspraxics have no problems early on when crawling and taking their first steps, yet later on they become clumsy and awkward. A likely explanation is that these people have poor cerebellum function, as this part of the brain is not fully connected and does little in the first year or two of life.
Early milestones, like rolling, crawling, standing and taking steps are, in fact, natural abilities, skills which are inborn from day one. These, therefore, are not affected by and do not really reflect the ‘learning through practice’ systems. Once the cerebellum is working efficiently, it normally allows the more complex motor skills to gradually develop and become automatic – but those with dyspraxic tendencies generally find life a little harder.
Fundamental to the Programme
Improving the efficiency of the cerebellum is fundamental to the Dore Programme’s treatment of dyspraxia. It’s the focus of the personalised, exercise-based programme created for each and every Dore participant, designed to achieve greater responsiveness in the skill centre and develop the links between it and other parts of the brain. It takes perseverance, dedication and effort, but the results are worth it – and we can prove it.