This is the bulk of the Blog; the fruit in a fruit salad, the sun of any solar system. This holds all the cold, hard facts of Dyspraxia & DCD and, for easy-reading, I have broken it down into various categories and chapters. The biggest question that those with Dyspraxia get asked is ‘What is Dyspraxia?’ This page is dedicated to answering that very question.
Dyspraxia in a Nutshell:
Dyspraxia is an impairment or immaturity of the brain which results in information not being transmitted properly.
The Aspects of Dyspraxia:
Dyspraxia can affect some or all of the following areas of development:
(Click image to enlarge.) Sensory, Coordination, Speech & Language, Physical & Stamina Emotions, Planning & Organisation and Processing.
Sensory: Dyspraxia can have an effect on the senses, either making the brain over react or under react to certain sensory triggers. For example, light is overwhelming and causes pain.
Further reading: There are at least 21 senses in the human body, all which can be affected by Dyspraxia. For detailed Intel click this link: Senses Page
Coordination: The main one. Those with Dyspraxia can have difficulty with coordination, whether it is small movements (like the finger movements, etc) or big movements (like walking) all those with Dyspraxia are affected differently.
Speech and Language: This is a combination of ‘Planning and Organisation’ and ‘Coorindation’ aspects in a way. Speech is planning out words and saying them, those with Dyspraxia can struggle with planning thought and that’s why sometimes we jumble up words. Also, the voice box uses coordination and with those specific difficulties, it can be difficult to speak clearly.
Social: Social is a tricky business. With Dyspraxia we are quite different and unique, people can see this as ‘weird’ and use that as an excuse not to socialise with us. The other problem is saying things out of turn and general awkwardness comes naturally to us Dyspraxics and that makes it hard for us to socialise.
Processing: Sensory is one part of processing our brains can have difficulty with. Another part is other types of information that brain has to process, like verbal instructions, for example, information can be easily forgotten – especially when there’s a lot to remember.
Planning and Organisation:
Emotions: I would say that we Dyspraxics are more in tune with our emotions, we can feel strong happiness and strong sadness – a double edged sword really. The thing is we can feel emotions for generally no reason, wake up feeling sad for example. Also, our emotions can be exaggerated more than it should be. Ontop of all that our self esteem is very brittlem so it can be very easy to put us into a state of anxiety and sadness.
Physical & Stamina:
Different Dyspraxias and Apraxias
The major difference between Dyspraxia and Apraxia is, Dyspraxia is when the person is born with it, while Apraxia is a loss of a function (due to an injury, stroke etc). However, the conditions are much the same.
There are different types of Dyspraxia and Apraxia which I have listed below:
Ideomotor Apraxia (IMA):
Affects single use motor skills (like waving, and using tools)
Ideational Apraxia (IA):
Affects a sequence of movements (like getting dressed)
(AKA Verbal Apraxia/Apraxia of Speech/Developmental Verbal Dyspraxia)
Effects speech, difficulty in pronouncing words, and being understood.
Constructional apraxia: Affects the ability to build and draw, despite understanding the task at hand – it’s just the doing part.
Below are two forms to explain what Dyspraxics struggle with. First one is a Brainstorm and just below that is a table. (Hopefully in the near future I’ll get a video of someone explaining Dyspraxia!) Please note this is not for self diagnoses but if you find yourself ticking off several attributes then you should arrange to get checked out by a professional, like an Occupational Therapist. (Speak to your GP to arrange a referral)
Also bare in mind that Dyspraxics may not be affected by all that is stated below. Because Dyspraxia is a wide spectrum of different areas of problems and degrees they can suffer with each one it is very important to understand that each Dyspraxic person is different from the last. While most other learning differences the people with them are fairly similar in the way you can help, with Dyspraxia each individual could be vastly different from the last . If you are going to help someone with Dyspraxia this knowledge is half the battle.
***NOTE: Due to the layout of this table it works well on a computer but some mobile/tablet devices may cut off the end of the table…if that is the case then click here for a different format***
Table of Dyspraxia Symptoms:
I love tables! Call it a compulsion but whenever I make a document or project then there has to be a table somewhere with it as well! I find them easy to read, crisp, professional and clear. So below is a neat table of what Dyspraxics can face. If you’re having trouble reading the table there is another version here: Click Here
|Gross Motor Control Co-Ordination Skills|
|Poor Balance||Example- Falling over, disorientation etc|
|Poor Posture||Weak muscle tone and may even have flat feet|
|Poor Integration of the two sides of the body||(Basically difficulty with the whole body working together as one)|
|Poor hand-to-eye co-ordination||Example-Difficulty catching a ball, driving a car etc|
|Lack of rhythm||Problems with dancing, etc|
|Exaggerated Additional Movements||Arms flapping while running|
|Lack of spacial awareness|
|Tend to trip, fall, bump in things and people|
|Fine Motor Control Co-Ordination Skills|
|Lacking in manual dexterity||(The skill in using hands)|
|Poor hand controlling skills||Poor pen grip and find writing across a line difficult|
|Difficulty grasping-Too hard/too soft||Difficulty with tools and other implements (Cutlery, Mathematical instruments etc.)|
|Difficulty with dressing & similar actions||Doing up buttons, tying shoelaces, cleaning teeth|
|Poorly Established Hand Dominance|
|Difficulty in Hand Dominance||May use different hands for different tasks or switch during tasks|
|Speech & Language|
|May talk continuously & repeat themselves|
|Difficulty in organising content and sequence of speech||Make say wrong words or speak words in the wrong order|
|Unclear speech or unable to pronounce some words|
|Speech having an uncontrollable pitch, volume and rate|
|Tracking (The act of moving just the eyes)||Difficulty in following moving objects with eyes-may move head excessively. Tend to lose place while reading. Also eyes may not move smoothly but ‘jump’|
|Poor relocation||Cannot look quickly from one object to another (Like TV to magazine etc)|
|Perception-Interpretation of Different Senses|
|Poor visual perception|
|Over sensitive to light||Painful/uncomfortable in bright environments|
|Under/over sensitive to touch||Dislike in being touched and/or loose or tight clothing (Tactile defensiveness)|
|Under/over sensitive to smell and taste|
|Under/Over sensitive to temperature and pain|
|Difficulty in disguising sounds from background noise||Like on the telephone and cannot hear the other person because of sounds (music, construction, office noises etc)|
|Lack of spacial awareness||Can result in clumsiness (see clumsy)|
|Lacking in sense of direction, time, distances, weight, speed etc||Can result in difficulty driving, cooking etc|
|Lacking in sense of direction; difficulty knowing left from right||Map reading skills are poor, giving/receiving directions is difficult|
|Learning, Thought and Memory|
|Difficulty in planning and organising thought||Faced with multiple/several things to be done and don’t know what to do in what order|
|Poor memory-especially short term||May lose/forget things often|
|Difficulty in staying focused/staying on task||Can be messy/cluttered|
|Slow to start and finish a task|
|Difficulty with concentration-easily distracted||May wonder about aimlessly/daydream|
|Poor sequencing||Maths, reading, spelling, writing etc can be hindered|
|May only do things properly one at a time but try to do many things at once|
|Difficulty in following instructions||Especially when multiple instructions are given at the same time|
|Accuracy problems||Difficulty with copying writing, movement, sounds etc|
|Emotion & Behaviour|
|Difficulty in listening, maybe tactless and interrupt frequently||Especially in large groups|
|Difficulty in reading body language/picking up non-verbal clues|
|Poor judgement of personal and others’ voice, tone, pitch and rate|
|May take things literally also difficulty in understanding jokes|
|Slow to adapt to new/unpredictable situations||May even ovoid the situation(s) altogether|
|Easily frustrated-wants immediately gratitude||Frustration when things go wrong|
|Tend to opt out of difficult situations/tasks|
|Tendency to have ‘Good days’ and ‘Bad days’|
|Tend to get stressed, depressed and anxious easily|
|May have difficulty sleeping|
|Prone to low self esteem & emotional outbursts|
|Prone to phobias & fears|
|Prone to obsessions, compulsions & addictive behaviour|
With the above attributes they do cross over to other types of Learning Differences (such as Dyslexia, Autism etc) Click the link below to see a list of these and a short description.