What Is Dyspraxia? Understanding This Common Developmental Disorder

Dyspraxia Understanding

What Is Dyspraxia?

Dyspraxia is defined as a lifelong developmental disorder that affects coordination, body awareness and language processing. It is also sometimes known as Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) or Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS). The disorder affects a person’s ability to plan and coordinate their movements which include activities such as swimming, cutting, drawing, writing and even speaking.

Despite the fact that Dyspraxia is a common disorder, it is not well known. People who have dyspraxia can experience difficulties in a range of areas including motor tasks, language, organization and social interaction. Dyspraxia is usually diagnosed between the ages of 5 to 6, however, it can be present in younger children.

Understanding Common Signs of Dyspraxia

Common signs of Dyspraxia can vary from person to person, however some of the most common signs may include:

  • Clumsy, uncoordinated movements – Due to difficulties in planning and controlling movements, individuals with dyspraxia may find activities such as writing, drawing, and cutting with scissors difficult, and may appear clumsy or have difficulty with things such as balancing, jumping and running.
  • Delayed speech – Individuals with dyspraxia may have difficulty in learning to talk.
  • Issues with organization and problem solving – People with dyspraxia often have difficulties with problem solving and task organization.
  • Problems with gross motor coordination – People with Dyspraxia often have difficulty in gross motor activities such as running and bicycling.
  • Sensory processing issues – People with Dyspraxia often have difficulty in processing sensory input, such as touch and sound.

Understanding Dyspraxia

It is important to understand that Dyspraxia is a complex developmental disorder, and no two individuals will experience the same difficulties. It is important to recognize the signs and seek professional help as soon as possible, so children with Dyspraxia can get the support that they need to help manage the disorder.

Early recognition and intervention for Dyspraxia can be beneficial for the child and family, as treatment approaches such as physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy can help develop the child’s coordination and fine motor skills, as well as increase their confidence and self-esteem.

Support for Dyspraxia

It is important to seek support if you or someone you know has Dyspraxia. There are a range of organizations and support groups that can offer information and advice on living with Dyspraxia.

Organisations

  • Dyspraxia Foundation – A UK based charity that provides information and support for those living with dyspraxia
  • Dyspraxia Association of Ireland – An Irish charity that provides information and support for those living with dyspraxia
  • The Dyspraxia Program – Offers classes for children with dyspraxia in the US
  • International Dyspraxia Association – Offers resources and support for people with dyspraxia

Support Groups

  • DysTalk – Online support group for those living with dyspraxia in the UK
  • Dyspraxia Foundation Ireland – Online support group for those living with dyspraxia in Ireland
  • Dyspraxia USA – Online support group for those living with dyspraxia in the US

Conclusion

Dyspraxia is a common developmental disorder that affects coordination, body awareness and language processing. Understanding the signs and seeking professional help and support is an essential part of managing Dyspraxia. There are a number of organizations and support groups that can provide information, advice and support in living with Dyspraxia.

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