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What is dyspraxia?
Dyspraxia is a development co-ordination disorder (DCD) which affects movement and co-ordination. It is to do with the way the brain processes information and the messages in the brain may not be fully transmitted. Associated with this there may be problems of speech, perception and thought.

Movement- individual's with dyspraxia have difficulties with the gross and fine motor skills. They may seem to be clumsy or lack coordination. They may find motor skills (tasks involving movement) hard to learn and difficult to retain.

Speech- speech involves the body organising and carrying out movements to create sound, so therefore speech may be impaired or delayed.

Thought- individuals with dyspraxia may have difficulty in planning and organising thoughts and ideas.

Living with dyspraxia
Individuals may appear to be clumsy or lack co-ordination, seem disorganised, untidy and sometimes disorientated in their physical environment ie. they may get lost easily. They may find physical tasks or activities difficult, such as catching or kicking a football or using stairs. Young people with dyspraxia may try to avoid physical activity.

Young people with dyspraxia find it difficult to put their ideas and thoughts on paper. They have problems settling down to tasks and often disturbing others before starting tasks. They may also have difficulties with handwriting and using scissors.

Some young people may have poor memory functions, for example having difficulty remembering where they left possessions and recalling information. Parents/ carers often report that their child or young person has forgotten instructions.

Some young people may have difficulty amusing themselves. They may show some loss of creativity in play and leisure situations, and need some prompting. They may also have a limited concentration span.

Practical tips
Get to know the individual and their unique needs. Identify ways in which you can meet their needs.

Emphasise what they can do, not what they cannot. Avoid making comparisons with other young people.

Allow young people time to organise their thoughts and complete their task.

Gauge how long the young person can concentrate on a task. Make reasonable adjustments to avoid them losing concentration or becoming frustrated.

Develop a partnership with the parents/ carers to gain a detailed understanding of the young person's needs and any practical tips they may be able to offer.

Further information/ support

Dyspraxia Foundation

Helpline: 014 6245 4986 (Monday- Friday 10am-1pm)

Email: dyspraxia@dyspraxiafoundation.org.uk

Website: www.dyspraxiafoundation.org.uk

NHS website: Dyspraxia (children)


Contact a Family

Telephone: 020 7608 8700

Helpline: 080 8808 3555

Email: info@cafamily.org.uk

Website: www.cafamily.org.uk



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