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. skipping, throwing and catching, riding a bike
- Spatial awareness e.g. being clumsy, finding driving difficult, getting lost
- Balance and posture
- Understanding body language
- Adapting to new situations
- Organisational skills and time-management
- Short-term memory
As you can see, weaknesses related to dyspraxia are not restricted to motor skills. Those with dyspraxia often have some of the same difficulties with literacy skills as those with dyslexia because a similar pattern of cognitive (mental) strengths and weaknesses may be found in both conditions.
What is dyspraxia?
‘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?
- A questionnaire is 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 and literacy skills are assessed.
- Throughout the assessment, there is a focus upon motor coordination, visual-perceptual skills, spatial awareness and information processing.
- It is usually possible to determine whether a client is dyspraxic on the day of an assessment.
- A detailed report is produced explaining the findings of the assessment and providing recommendations.
Further information about dyspraxia is available from the Dyspraxia Foundation.