Dyspraxia

What is Dyspraxia & DCD?

 Introduction:

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:

Dyspraxia and DCD Aspects

(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)

Oromotor Dyspraxia
(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. 

The Attributes:

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***

 

Dyspraxia & DCD Chart (v1.2)

 

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 

 

 Symptoms/Attributes

Examples/Explanation  

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
Clumsy Movements  Stumbling
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  
Eye Movement
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  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Crossovers

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.

 >>THE LINK<<

11 thoughts on “What is Dyspraxia & DCD?

  1. Thankyou for doing this, after several years of feeling rther stupid in a classroom after spending every hour of my day re-learning things, i was diagnosed by an ed psych as dyspraxic (after being diagnosed as dyslexic at age 7), however i can’t say i’ve ever really researched it too much, kind of makes me emotional seeing so much of myself in these symptoms. Anyway after literally begging my school, i finally got extra time in my exams and am going to study law next year! Anyway, its so nice to see others with the disability, often get misunderstood, so this is really refreshing!:)

    • Hi Ameliariley, thanks for your response it’s nice to see my blog reaching out to people. I’m glad you’ve got the diagnoses and finally the support you deserve! Hopefully in time more people will understand and having to fight for recognition will be a thing of the past. Thanks!

  2. your resources have been very useful to me in helping my daughter get the right support she deserves.
    thankyou

  3. Our daughter has full diagnosis of Dypraxia, Dyslexia & the Sensory side, shes 9 and in Primary school in the uk. She gets no classroom help whatsoever as the school say she can ‘cope’ We have had to get Childrens mental Health team involved as she clearly isnt coping but that help a little but dint change anything for her in school sadly. She comes home exhausted and frustrated everyday but as the school see her as having no ‘sen’ she is fighting this alone.

    • Hi Vicky,
      Many children with Dyspraxia fight alone, and from first hand experience I can understand your frustration with the school for not doing what they can for your daughter. In fact for a girl Dyspraxia is even harder than in boys considering the differences and the rarity. I suggest the best cause of action is to contact those who diagnosed her and see what they suggest, or contact the Dyspraxia Foundation…they have the resources and mounds of knowledge available to help you and your daughter. If that doesn’t work then maybe a change of school to one more equipped to help is the solution-of course I realise the complications of it and it’s a big decision to make.

  4. Thanks for taking the time to do this. I am a dyspraxic student at Cambridge University in the UK and your website has certainly helped me, and I am sure a great many other people. Keep up the good work.

    • Thanks Ben, I’m glad it’s helped you out. Please feel free to recommend to anyone you think will benefit. Also if you don’t mind do you get the adequate support at Uni?

  5. I will appreciate if you continue this in future. A lot of people will be benefited from your writing.

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