What is Dyspraxia?

Dyspraxia is a common neurological or brain-related disorder, which affects movement and coordination. People suffering from Dyspraxia face problems in everything that needs coordination. For example, playing games or learning to drive. It does not affect your intelligence, but it does affect your fine motor skills which can include writing or using small objects.

           This disorder affects a person’s capacity to make smooth and easy movements. Sometimes if a baby is born earlier than the normal time, there are more chances of the child developing this disorder. Studies also show that Dyspraxia is more common among men than women.

Symptoms Of Dyspraxia:

Some symptoms of this disorder have been explained on the Nation Health Service (NHS) website of the UK. It can have different effects on different people and keeps changing with time. A person can face many problems due to this disease. Some of them are listed below.

  • Problem in coordination, balance and movement
  • Problem in learning a new thing, which includes remembering information
  • Daily routine issues, like wearing clothes or preparing food
  • Issues in writing, using keyboard and in holding small items
  • Social awkwardness or lack of self-confidence and difficulty in dealing with emotions
  • Bad time management and organizational skills
  • Some people may also suffer from memory, perception and processing situation

          There is no treatment for Dyspraxia but therapy helps people cope with the issues they face in daily life. Occupational therapy is used to find ways to enable a person to be independent and perform daily chores like writing or cooking. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) named talking therapy is used to help people change their way of thinking and behaving and start managing their problems.

           Do regular exercise to remain fit and healthy, use laptop or computer in case of problems in writing, use of a calendar, dairy or pp to organize things and thinking positively may help. It is not unusual for a person to be suffering from other issues along with Dyspraxia like ADH, Autism spectrum disorder, childhood apraxia of speech, dyscalculia and dyslexia.

Diagnosis of Dyspraxia:

A diagnosis of dyspraxia can be made by a clinical psychologist, an educational psychologist, a pediatrician, or an occupational therapist   Any parent who suspects their child may have dyspraxia should see doctor. 

When carrying out an assessment, details will be required regarding the child’s developmental history, intellectual ability, and gross and fine motor skills:

  • Gross motor skills – how well the child uses large muscles that coordinate body movement, including jumping, throwing, walking, running, and maintaining balance.
  • Fine motor skills – how well the child can use smaller muscles, including tying shoelaces, doing up buttons, cutting out shapes with a pair of scissors, and writing.

The evaluator will need to know when and how developmental milestones, such as walking, crawling, and speaking were reached. The child will be evaluated for balance, touch sensitivity, and variations on walking activities.

Treatments for dyspraxia:

Although dyspraxia is not curable, with treatment, the individual can improve. However, the earlier a child is diagnosed, the better their prognosis will be. The following specialists most commonly treat people with dyspraxia:

  • Occupational therapy:

An occupational therapist will evaluate how the child manages with everyday functions both at home and at school. They will then help the child develop skills specific to daily activities which they find difficult.

  • Speech and language therapy:

The speech-language pathologist will conduct an assessment of the            child’s speech, and then implement a treatment plan to help them to communicate more effectively.

  • Perceptual motor training:

This involves improving the child’s language, visual, movement, and auditory skills. The individual is set a series of tasks that gradually become more advanced – the aim is to challenge the child so that they improve, but not so much that it becomes frustrating or stressful.

  • Active Play

Experts say the active play any play that involves physical activity –which can be outdoors or inside the home, helps improve motor activity. Play is a way children learn about the environment and about themselves, and particularly for children aged 3-5; it is a crucial part of their learning.

Active play is where a very young child’s physical and emotional learning, their development of language, their special awareness, the development of what their senses are, all come together.The more children are involved in active play, the better they will become at interacting with other children successfully.