What does dyspraxia look like?

Those with dyspraxia often have difficulties in the following areas:

• Fine motor skills e.g. handwriting, drawing, using scissors, tying shoe laces
• Gross motor skills e.g. sports involving hand-eye coordination, dancing
• Balance and posture e.g. riding a bike, becoming tired when standing
• Spatial awareness e.g. being clumsy, finding driving difficult, getting lost

The key feature of dyspraxia relate to motor skills but it is not uncommon for those with dyspraxia to have cooccurring dyslexia, ADHD and/or autism.

What is dyspraxia?

A definition:

‘Developmental Co-ordination Disorder (DCD), also known as dyspraxia in the UK, is a common disorder affecting fine or gross motor co-ordination in children and adults. This lifelong condition is formally recognised by international organisations including the World Health Organisation.  DCD is distinct from other motor disorders such as cerebral palsy and stroke and occurs across the range of intellectual abilities.  Individuals may vary in how their difficulties present; these may change over time depending on environmental demands and life experience.

An individual’s co-ordination difficulties may affect participation and functioning of everyday life skills in education, work and employment.

Children may present with difficulties with self-care, writing, typing, riding a bike and play as well as other educational and recreational activities. In adulthood many of these difficulties will continue, as well as learning new skills at home, in education and work, such as driving a car and DIY.

There may be a range of co-occurring difficulties which can also have serious negative impacts on daily life. These include social and emotional difficulties as well as problems with time management, planning and personal organisation and these may also affect an adult’s education or employment experiences.’

(Source – Movement Matters UK, 2012)

What does an assessment involve?

• Questionnaires are completed before the assessment to gather information about a client’s background, current situation and strengths and weaknesses.
• This information is discussed in more detail during the assessment.
• Cognitive abilities, literacy skills and fine motor skills are assessed.
• It is usually possible to determine whether a client is dyspraxic on the day of an assessment.
• The assessment will also identify dyslexia.
• A detailed report is produced explaining the findings of the assessment and providing recommendations.

Further information about dyspraxia is available from the Dyspraxia Foundation.

Call Louise on 07702 797484

Louise Hilliar is a Chartered Psychologist based near Bristol who provides assessments for dyspraxia. Please contact Louise if you would like further details.