What is dyspraxia?

The clues are in the word, which comes from the Greek. Dys meaning impaired and Praxis, referring to action or deed.

So dyspraxia also known as DCD (Developmental Coordination Disorder) is a disorder which can affect all types of skills, including manual dexterity, balance and ‘motor’ movement, which is why sufferers demonstrate poor physical coordination and appear clumsy and awkward.

Some dyspraxics also experience sensory problems with touch, joint position awareness and vision, often having difficulty responding physically to information the brain receives. Other ‘motor’ areas affected can be the oral-verbal functions, making speech or eating foods difficult.

Coexisting conditions

Almost certainly, dyspraxia is connected to problems within the cerebellum, the brain’s ‘skill centre’. It also seems to coexist with the symptoms of other disorders, so it’s all part of the syndrome that can cause difficulties with reading, attention or emotional control.

It is now highly likely that there is a big overlap between the symptoms of different learning difficulties and the severity of those symptoms. Any combination of symptoms is possible, so whichever ‘label’ you’re given depends on your worst symptoms and your Specialist’s opinion as to which ‘box’ he attributes your condition.

This is why Dore considers the whole person and insists on treating individual symptoms rather than just working with the dyspraxia ‘label’.

Dyspraxia is a life-long condition which is more common in males than females. The current estimate of its incidence in the population ranges from 5% – 10%, but at least 2% are affected severely.

People with symptoms of Dyspraxia show signs of clumsiness and poor coordination and can have difficulties with:

  • controlling a pen or pencil
  • threading beads
  • tying shoelaces
  • zipping trousers
  • doing up buttons
  • using cutlery
  • catching, throwing or kicking a ball
  • riding a bike
  • balance and coordination
  • assembling puzzles or building models
  • printing or writing
  • emotional and behavioural problems
  • sensitivity to touch and sound
  • speech

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