Dyspraxia - Developmental Co-ordination Disorder
Does your child already have a diagnosis of Dyspraxia or do they simply find many areas concerned with movement, balance and spatial awareness difficult?
Do they find some of the following challenging?
Key Stage 1 & 2 (5 - 11 years)
Fine Motor Skills
Buttons and zips
Letter formation and spacing
Copying from board to book
Gross Motor Skills
Tripping up and bumping into things
Poor spatial awareness
Timing of movement difficult
Having everything needed for school
Dressing and undressing for PE or swimming
Sequencing information whether thinking, written, speech or movement
Unable to concentrate with background noise
Left / Right awareness
Challenges with scissors, knife and fork, unscrewing lids
Confusion of left and right
Not able to ride a two wheeled bike
Coordinating movements on the left and right side of the body
Key Stage 3 & 4 (11 - 16 years)
Difficulty copying or making notes from the board
Relatively slow writing ability. May print letters rather then write cursively
Poor organisation and planning – arriving late, missing materials, homework etc
Easily distracted, can appear to daydream
Problems with spatial awareness, rhythm and sequencing can have wide impacts upon team sports
Swimming may be the sport of choice
Dyspraxia is a term often used in the UK but the more widely used term is Developmental Coordination Disorder.
Developmental Coordination Disorder includes these diagnostic features: -
• Motor skills are substantially below expected levels, given the person’s chronological age and previous opportunities for skill acquisition.
• The motor skill deficit is significant and interferes with activities in daily life, impacting school, leisure and play activities.
•The deficit cannot be explained by intellectual disability or visual impairment and is not linked to a neurological condition affecting movement such as Cerebral Palsy
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5; APA 2013)
“Too often the ‘primary’ presenting difficulty is identified and supported while the underlying causes remain untreated”•
Madeleine Portwood – Understanding Developmental Dyspraxia
The challenge when faced with a diagnosis of dyspraxia or in fact any other label, is that we focus upon the matter in hand. This may be that your child has poor handwriting, is unable to copy from the board or has poor listening skills. Offering support, adjustments and coping strategies will be very important but this should not be at the expense of also helping them to develop more fundamental skills that underpin the diagnosis. These can include sensory and auditory processing problems and other areas of developmental delay.
There has been a wide range of research to understand many of the challenges associated with Dyspraxia. These include:
• Predicting how to perform a movement
• Challenges with timing and rhythm
• Executive function
• Dynamic control of posture and gait
• Visual spatial problems and other cross sensory issues
• Kinaesthetic perception – grip, force, pressure
• Deficits in motor control, learning and cognition
• Vestibular function, proprioception and spatial awareness
At Learning Solutions, we work with the underpinning sensory processing challenges and areas of developmental delay that can really help your child to progress.