Welcome to the bulk of the Blog. Much like the fruit in a fruit salad or the sun of any solar system, this is the central part of this site and its most important page. This is where the blight side of dyspraxia is outlined. While my main focus of Dyspraxic Fantastic is to take the stigma out of dyspraxia and make it clear that we can still succeed it would be undignified to ignore the struggles we have to face on a daily basis. The cold, hard facts of Dyspraxia & DCD are found here split up across different categories for easy reading.
The biggest question we 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.
How each Aspect is affected by Dyspraxia:
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. For detailed Intel click this link: Senses Page
One of the main ones for those with dyspraxia. Co-ordination difficulties are split into 2 main categories; fine motor skills and gross motor skills. Fine motor skills are the minor movements, such as clicking, tying shoelaces, etc. Gross motor skills are the major movements, like walking and moving arms/legs etc. Those with Dyspraxia are affected differently by coordination in different ways and degrees.
Another of the main ones for dyspraxia and the reason we can be clumsy. Spatial Awareness is part of the processing and co-ordination tag. The way our brains process the world it can have a ‘hiccup’ and get it wrong. We can have trouble perceiving where our body is in relation to the space surrounding us, which is why we knock into people and things easily
Speech and Language:
This is a combination of ‘Planning and Organisation’ and ‘Co-ordination’ aspects in a way. People with dyspraxia can struggle to plan and say words out loud. That’s why we sometimes wumble up jords… I mean jumble up words! Also, the voice box uses coordination and with those specific difficulties, it can be difficult to speak clearly.
Social situations are a tricky business. This crosses over with autism as struggling with social interaction is one of the main difficulties for them. Like autism, those with dyspraxia can be seen as different, unique, or odd. People can see this as ‘weird’ and use that as an excuse not to socialise with us. The problem stems from us saying things out of turn and general awkwardness comes naturally to us. We can also miss social cues and take things literally, so sarcasm can go over our heads. With all these pieces combined, social interaction is a challenge. It’s why you find that dyspraxics have fierce loyalty to those around us, it takes a lot of effort to make friends so we aim to keep them!
Sensory is one part of processing our brains can have difficulty with. Our brains can get overworked by processing too much. Other types of information can be difficult for the brain to process too. An example of this are verbal instructions; where information can be easily forgotten right after we’re told.
Planning and Organisation:
When it comes to planning, those with dyspraxia can have certain difficulties with it. It is also why we can struggle with starting a task because it’s difficult to plan it out. When faced with a huge task it can cause the brain to overwork itself. This anxiety can cause us to shut down and avoid the task. Having the task broken down into chunks makes it easier for us to handle. It doesn’t mean others have to break it down for us though, as we can learn to do it ourselves. It does mean that certain individuals with dyspraxia may need some extra guidance and understanding.
I would argue that our emotions can get the better of us. This can be because we can have overwhelming emotions at times ~ especially negative. There are times where we can have feelings of strong happiness or sadness – a double edged sword really. Sometimes, the little things can get to us and leave us in a state of despair. Our self-esteem is brittle, so states of anxiety and sadness can hit us badly. It’s why we are prone to phobias, stress, anxiety, and even depression.
Physical & Stamina:
Dyspraxia can also affect the physical side of life. I feel that this is more of a mental thing (because of a low pain threshold) but also our minds are working extremely hard to cope. With over-stimulation from the environment it makes us tire easily. I can have plenty of energy but this can quickly deplete. Certain environments can be raining in different ways.
The Symptoms of Dyspraxia and DCD:
I have created an introductory brainstorm that outlines some of the main issues we face and just makes for an easier introduction. The table below the brainstorm goes into depth on all the possible attributes of Dyspraxia. (I’ll be aiming to get a video of explaining Dyspraxia at some point).
Please note: This is for reference only and isn’t a tool for self-diagnosis. However, if you find that many of the attributes apply to you then I suggest proceeding through the proper channels. Talk to your GP or doctor to arrange an appointment with a specialist.
Dyspraxia is a wide spectrum because of the different areas of problems. The degrees in which we are afflicted by each trait also makes it challenging. That’s why it is vital to understand each dyspraxic person is different from the last. If you are going to help someone with Dyspraxia this knowledge is half the battle.
I love tables! Call it a compulsion but whenever I make a document or a project then there has to be a table somewhere in it. I find them easy to read, crisp, professional, and clear which is so much better than just a wall of text. Below you’ll find a table of what Dyspraxics can face. You may save and share them if you so choose. If you’re having trouble reading the table there is a text version here: Click Here [/responsivevoice]
Different types of Dyspraxia and Apraxia
The major difference between them is that dyspraxia is when the person is born with it, while apraxia is a loss of a function due to an injury or stroke etc. However, the conditions are much the same in principle.
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.
Affects the ability to build and draw, despite understanding the task at hand – it’s just the doing part.
You may notice that many of the symptoms with dyspraxia cross over to other types of Learning Differences (such as Dyslexia, Autism, ADHD/ADD, etc). To help boost understanding I have dedicated pages to other condition here: >>THE LINK<<
‘The Empty Fruit Salad Bowl’
And so this is the end of this page, many thanks for having a read through and I hope it has been a good insight into what Dyspraxia and DCD is. The Dyspraxia Foundation is a great place to seek out additional information, so get check out their site: www.dyspraxiafoundation.org.uk.
What I have outlined above are the negative attributes of dyspraxia, it’s the challenges we face and the issues we have to tackle. On the other hand, despite the negatives, we can be strong individuals with a unique set of skills and mentality. For an insight into the positive side check out this page: dyspraxicfantastic.com/the-positives/
Other than that, thanks for visiting one of the most important pages of my blog!