Dyspraxia can cause co-ordination problems, writing issues, and difficulty in social situations – but what exactly is dyspraxia and how do you know if you have it?
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Dyspraxia is a condition that affects movement and co-ordination, it is also known as developmental co-ordination disorder (DCD).
It does not affect someone’s intelligence but can also affect their fine motor skills — this can include writing or using small objects.
There is no exact reason why people get dyspraxia “but it is thought to be caused by a disruption in the way messages from the brain are transmitted to the body.
“This affects a person’s ability to perform movements in a smooth, coordinated way, as explained on the Dyspraxia Foundation website.
Sometimes if a child is born prematurely they may be at higher risk of developing dyspraxia.
Studies have also shown that dyspraxia is more common in men than women and can often run in the family.
Signs you have dyspraxia
Some of the signs of dyspraxia are explained on the NHS website. The effects can vary between individuals and will change over time.
If someone has dyspraxia it could cause:
- Co-ordination, balance, and movement issues
- Issues with learning new skills — including remembering information
- Challenges with daily living skills, such as dressing or preparing meals
- Difficulty writing or using a keyboard, drawing or grasping small objects
- Issues in social situations — social awkwardness or lack of confidence
- Difficulty dealing with emotions
- Poor time management, planning and personal organisation skills
Many people with dyspraxia can also struggle with memory, perception, and processing situations.
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Treatment for Dyspraxia
There is no treatment for dyspraxia but therapy is often used to help people deal with their condition through day-to-day life.
Occupational therapy is used to help find ways the individual can remain independent and participate in everyday tasks such as cooking or writing.
Talking therapy called cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is also used to help people manage their difficulties by changing their way of thinking and behaving.
The NHS website states that it can also help people with dyspraxia if they:
- Stay fit and healthy, regular exercise can help co-ordination
- Using a laptop or computer if writing becomes difficult
- Using a calendar, diary or app to help organisation
- Learning how to talk positively about challenges and how they’re overcome
- Securing support from programs such as Access to Work
It is not uncommon for people to suffer from other conditions alongside dyspraxia such as ADH, autism spectrum disorder, childhood apraxia of speech, dyscalculia, and dyslexia.
Anyone with symptoms of dyspraxia can speak to a medical professional who will be able to diagnose the condition.
They will perform observation and standardised tests that measure movement, hand-eye coordination, and sensory perception.
They will also look at medical history and is carried out by specially trained occupational therapists.