What is Dyspraxia? (The Basics)
Many of you are probably unaware that I suffer from another chronic and incurable condition called Dyspraxia. Throughout the writing blog I shall be posting many articles about my personal experiences living and coping with this condition.
This entry deals with the basics of the disability so will hopefully start to raise awareness. To help me do this I have drawn up a list of the some of the possible questions that people have asked in the past and may ask in the future, and my attempted responses to them.
Right, here they are.
Question 1: What is Dyspraxia?
Dyspraxia is a form of Developmental Coordination Disorder which affects fine and/or gross motor coordination in children and adults. It can also have an impact on speech.
Question 2: What are the demographics of Dyspraxia?
This condition can be diagnosed at any stage from childhood to adulthood.
In recent reasons there has been a rise in number of children identified as having the condition. It is suspected that Dyspraxia can affect up to ten percent of the population in varying degrees. So there could be at least one Dyspraxic child in each classroom.
Question 3: What are the symptoms of Dyspraxia?
People suffering from Dyspraxia vary in how their difficulties present themselves. These may change over time depending on the environment and life experiences.
Although the symptoms have some differences in childhood and adulthood they are usually divided into a number of categories.
› Gross motor coordination skills ‘large movements’ including poor balance, poor hand-eye-coordination, tendency to fall/trip/bump into things and people
› Fine motor coordination skills ‘small movements’ like lack of manual dexterity and poor manipulative skills including using cutlery, handwriting, drawing and playing musical instruments
› Poorly established hand dominance so may use either hand for different tasks at different time
› Speech and language problems such as unable to pronounce certain words
› Eye movements including tracking and poor relocating
› Perception ‘Interpretation of the different senses’ such as lack of awareness of body position, direction, and time/speed/distance/weight
› Learning, thought and memory including poor short term memory and difficulty in planning, organisation and concentration
› Emotion and behaviour like difficulty in listening to people and picking up on non-verbal signals
› Emotions as a result of difficulties experiences for instance stress, anxiety, depression, difficulty sleeping and emotional outbursts
Please remember I have only listed some of the possible symptoms for each category.
Also, those with Dyspraxia will not necessary have all of them but will certainly have a number of coordination and perceptual difficulties.
Those with Dyspraxia may have problems associated with manual dexterity and manipulative skills such as pen grip, tying shoelaces and using cutlery.
Question 4: What is the cause of Dyspraxia?
There is no known cause for Dyspraxia. Research however shows that a disruption in the way messages are transmitted from the brain to the body may affect someone to perform movements in an orderly way.
Question 5: How can Dyspraxia be treated?
Dyspraxia is a chronic and incurable condition meaning it cannot be cured.
Nevertheless with the help of healthcare professions and schools coping mechanisms can be put into place. These can help identity the coordination and motor difficulties someone has and find ways to help deal with them. This helps improve self-esteem levels.
I shall be discussing this in greater detail from a personal perspective because the treatment someone gets varies from person to person.
Question 6: Do you have any last remarks?
While Dyspraxia is a long-term incurable condition, with the right support many will go onto confidence to live happy, fulfilling and successful lives.
Question 7: Where can I find more information?
Of course I have only listed the basics that surround Dyspraxia.
You can find more information on the internet and or by talking to specialists who will often provide you with accurate information.
I suggest the following sites:
› Dyspraxia Foundation: http://www.dyspraxiafoundation.org.uk which is an amazing charity which helps to support those with Dyspraxia. Please do donate generously.
› The National Health Service which will provide information about the condition.
› For Dyspraxia in Children: http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/dyspraxia-(childhood)/pages/introduction.aspx
› For Dyspraxia in Adults: http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/dyspraxia-in-adults/pages/introduction.aspx
› Life Style Coaching (Updated): http://www.lifecoach-directory.org.uk/articles/dyslexia-coaching.html Although dealing more with Dyslexia, Life Style Coaches provides support and guidance to help manage some of the concerns that Dyspraxia often presents.
Thank you very much to everyone who has read this article concerning Dyspraxia.
I shall be sharing my personal experience living with this disability in the near future. The aspects which are not covered here will be found later on in the ‘My Life Collection’ section of the blog.
Please do share this entry so many more people are informed about this lifelong condition.
Thanks for the support.