Dyspraxia is an enigma to many people, both professional and lay alike—what is it, how does it relate to developmental coordination disorder and associated conditions, how common is it, how is it recognised and diagnosed and how should it be managed?
With the appearance of DSM 5, Dyspraxia is a term that will gradually disappear in favour of Developmental Coordination Disoders (and you have probably seen that used on our website for a couple of years now).
So it is probably a good time to re-examine our traditional views on dyspraxia (or DCD). Wikipedia actually has quite a good article on this, and some links to relevant articles (not repeated here).
This is information here about getting involved in sports, how it affects kids, teenagers and adults, and a whole raft of other everyday issues, and although heavily US flavoured provides a great summary of practical information. So grab a cup of coffee and enjoy!
“Dyspraxia?” “Is that like apraxia?” “ No” I is my usual answer, “They are not the same thing” It is then I usually try to explain what dyspraxia is and how it shows itself in our daughter. So many people ask what she has and seem to want to know more. But one of the hardest things is that even though the disorder plays a part in every child who is on the autism spectrum, this disorder is still not as recognized, nor understood as much as it should be.
Here is an interesting article on a group of UK mums learning together about Dyspraxia. The estimate of 1 in 4 children with Dyspraxia is a worry (and an increase - if it now this common, surely it would have more official recognition in New Zealand)...but the article has a great list of possible symptoms at the end of it. If you are worried about a family member or friend, take a look.
Dyspraxia can be hard on parents....but it is harder on our kids. The bullying, the knowledge that you are just different, the feeling that you just don't belong, as well as the physical challenges - and that's before you add in the challenge of being a kid.
The Dyspraxia Foundation in the UK have done an incredible job with it's Dyspraxia Dynamo project, initiated with the goal "to increase the employability and self-advocacy skills of adults with dyspraxia and to raise awareness amongst employers of the challenges faced by people with dyspraxia in the workplace."
"Imagine you're a healthy adult with a good university degree but struggle to pour a drink without spilling it, direct people across a building, or remember what you've just been told clearly. This is a typical picture of someone with dyspraxia. Dyspraxia, or developmental co-ordination disorder (DCD), affects co-ordination, spatial awareness and sensory perception. It's part of an umbrella of conditions known as specific learning differences (SpLD), which are defined as exceptional variations in a person's ability, as well as problems with concentration and short-term memory."