Dyspraxia (Developmental Coordination Disorder)

Dyspraxia is a Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD). 


On this part of the site, you will find extensive information on:

Child with dyspraxia, falling over with cake trays.

Adorable 7 year old child, falling over with baking tray

What is Dyspraxia?; Definition of Dyspraxia, What Causes Dyspraxia?; Dyspraxia Checklist; Dyspraxia Assessment; Dyspraxia Aids & Equipment; Dyspraxia Treatment – How you can Help; Software for Dyspraxia; Dyspraxia FAQ’s; Employers & Dyspraxia; Handwriting Groups; Help & Advice and a Dyspraxia Book List.

You will also find a section on Looking for schools that specialise in Dyspraxia; People who can test for Dyspraxia; Test Centres for Dyspraxia and how to find an Occupational Therapist (OT) in your area.

 


What is Dyspraxia?

Over the years, Dyspraxia (Dys-prax-eea) has been called several different names, including; ‘Clumsy Child Syndrome’, Dyspraxia and these days (2018) is usually called: ‘Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD)‘.

It is still not certain what causes dyspraxia, but it is thought to be due to an immaturity of neurone development in the brain. Students with dyspraxia may have problems with the simplest of tasks: developmental milestones are often delayed; fine and gross motor skills are affected; threading beads; tying shoelaces; balancing; riding a bike; catching a ball. These problems may also accompanied by difficulties in vision and speech.

Like dyslexia and dyscalculia, the extent to which people are affected varies tremendously. Some people may only be slightly affected, others more seriously – this not surprisingly leads on to difficulties at school.

As with other learning difficulties, it is essential to recognise dyspraxia as soon as possible, before it impacts on a child’s self-esteem. Just as there is no single set of signs that characterise all dyslexics, there is not thought to be one cause of dyspraxia.

Dyspraxia affects approximately 10% of the population, some severely. The overwhelming majority are male.

Definition of Dyspraxia

Over the years, Dyspraxia has been called several different names and is now usually called ‘Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD)‘.

Dyspraxia (pronounced: Dis-prax-eea) affects approximatley 10 per cent of the population. It is a specific learning difficulty in motor-coordination (movement). Student’s with dyspraxia may have problems with the simplest of tasks: developmental milestones are often delayed; fine and gross motor skills are affected.

As with other learning difficulties, it is essential to recognise dyspraxia as soon as possible, before it impacts on a child’s self-esteem. Just as there is no single set of signs that characterise all dyslexics, there is not thought to be one cause of dyspraxia.

Definition of Dyspraxia

‘A serious impairment in the development of motor or movement co-ordination that can’t be explained solely in terms of mental retardation or any other specific inherited or acquired neurological disorder.’

The Medical Journal

What a mouthful! I understand it to be. ‘

‘If they persistently continue to fall over and are clumsy, well after their peers have stopped doing it’.

by Maria Chivers 2005

It is essential to recognise dyspraxia as soon as possible before it impacts on a child’s self-esteem. Just as there is no single set of signs that characterise all dyslexics, there does not appear to be only one cause of dysgraphia.

Dyspraxia Treatment

Occupational and Physiotherapists

Occupational and Physiotherapists can help students with dyspraxia.  They will set out a formal routine to help overcome these problems.

Developing Skills through Play

You can help a student with dyspraxia, by using Multi-Sensory Teaching Methods, developing skills through play and hand strengthening exercises.

What is Multi-Sensory?

I am frequently being asked by parents and students, ‘what does multi-sensory mean?’ Multi-Sensory merely means, using: eyes, ears, touch, taste and smell; using some or all these methods have shown to be the most effective way of teaching students with; dyspraxia, dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia and other Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLD’s).

You can see from the lists below that there are lots of things you can use to help students. Most of these things are free or very cheap to buy. Most of the time the students, especially the younger ones, think they are merely ‘playing’.

Playing with things, like:

• Practising letter formation in sand/salt trays. (I use cat litter trays they are very cheap.)
• Using chalk or coloured pens, to do letter formation on black/whiteboard.
• Shape and pattern copying.
• Pre-formed letter shapes, children follow with their fingers.
• Templates – help to keep the paper in the right place/angle.
• Tracing pictures
• Using ‘Etch a Sketch’ to practice writing – write, shake it and it goes away.
• Tracking objects to their ‘homes’, i.e., ‘Mazes, trace along the line back to the rabbit hutch.
• Colouring in ‘mosaics’ or ‘paint by number’ are excellent to improve ‘fine motor’ control, (much better than merely writing).
• Colouring in old-fashioned ‘doylies’ (for cakes) is another way to improve fine-motor control.
• ‘Colouring by Number’ – helps children stay in lines.
• Threading coloured beads.
• Using ‘Spirograph’ to practice shapes.
• Jigsaws.
• Juggling.

Dysgraphia treatment – Hand Strengthening Techniques:

• Squeeze balls, ‘Squidgie Balls’, Tennis balls.
• Modelling Clay, Play-Doh, Plasticine, Blue Tac.
• Playing: hockey, tennis, swimming etc.

 

Dyspraxia - Touch Typing

Touch Typing Programmes

There are a lot of ‘Touch Typing’ packages available. However, I think for people with dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyspraxia or other learning difficulties (SpLD’s), it is advisable to use programmes that were specially designed with ‘dyslexic’ type problems in mind. The programmes listed below, have been tested and used for years. They are excellent.

Dyslexia – Typing Packages

KAZ – Typing Programme
Children love this because it has a big yellow bird that helps to teach them to type. Designed for children 6+ years (This company now has a Dyslexia Edition which has been developed by the ‘Dyslexia Research Trust’.)
KAZ

‘Nessy Fingers Touch Typing’
‘Nessy Fingers Touch Typing’, helps children improve spelling and keyboard skills. Designed for children between 8-12 years.
Nessy

Touch-type Read and Spell (TTRS)
Children who learn to touch type via a multisensory course like Touch-type Read and Spell also have their phonics skills reinforced.
TTRS

Type to Learn 3
Students embark on time-travel missions to learn keyboarding skills.
Smart Kids

 


Touch Typing Review

KAZ

Why not give your child an advantage over the holidays and get them to touch-type? I am sure you would not mind sitting with them (although you don’t have to) for ¹15 minutes a day for five days.

This will give them an excellent start when they return to school.

KAZ is for children from six years of age, he is a ‘big bird’, and the kids love him.

The programme basically has five phrases, and each sentence will take about fifteen minutes to complete. ¹(Now the caveat on this is there is never any pressure on the child; it may take 15 minutes, 30 or just ten, they have to do it at their own pace.)

When they have completed the five phrases, they will have used all of their fingers and covered the entire keyboard.

After that, it is just practice to increase the speed and to get the whereabouts of the keys to ‘long-term memory’ (that’s my expression, not theirs).

There are also sections for punctuation etc., but they are separate, and you can choose to complete them or not.

My husband and one of our sons can type at 40wpm, using two fingers, so, I don’t necessarily believe in touch-typing per se, but I firmly believe that everyone should know their way around a keyboard well.

If they know the keyboard, when they want to write something, they can just get on and type – it definitely makes writing more accessible.

There are different programmes available; one for children with dyslexia, junior children, and even a version for children with ADHD. Furthermore, it is not just confined to children, so you may want to have a go yourself!

For further information, go to KAZ’s website: KAZ or telephone 01926 423424. The lady on the other end of the phone is Sheraleen Bragenza. She is very easy to talk to, and she can answer any questions you may have.

 

Congratulations to KAZ, they have just been
‘voted #1 Best Typing Tutor of the Year’ for 2018.

by Maria Chivers
2018

Famous People with Dyspraxia

Adorable 7 year old girl baking cookies falling making mess over white background.Dyspraxia affects approximately 10% of the population, some severely. The overwhelming majority are male.

You can find a list of famous people we who have dyspraxia at:

Dyspraxia Kids

 

 

Adults and Dyspraxia - Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD)

Adorable 7 year old girl baking cookies falling making mess over white background.Many adults who have dyspraxia have never been diagnosed as being dyspraxic.

People with dyspraxia often have significant problems in a work environment, filling in forms, completing tasks on time, etc., and they frequently try to hide these difficulties.

A lot of adults with dyspraxia also suffer from low self-esteem, lack of confidence and fall short of their employment ability. They are often relieved to know their lack of progress is due to dyspraxia and once diagnosed; they can receive the right kind of help. Age is no barrier to testing!


Dyspraxia and ‘Workplace Needs Assessment’

Many adults in the workplace have never been assessed for dyspraxia. We get people of all ages, saying they think they have dyspraxia and how can they get help. Many people with dyspraxia also have dyslexia. Age is no barrier to testing!

‘Workplace Needs Assessment’

If you are having problems at work, which you believe is related to your dyspraxia, you can ask for a ‘Workplace Needs Assessment’. The Assessor will go into your workplace at a convenient time and watch you work, take your opinions into account, (and those of management, if necessary).

In the first instance, contact the Dyspraxia Foundation for further advice.


Access to Work Scheme (AtW)

People with dyspraxia should be able to use the Access to Work Scheme (AtW). This scheme (AtW) offers help to place people with learning difficulties (dyspraxia) at work. Under this scheme (AtW), you may also be provided with training facilities to help with your dyspraxia.

The Access to Work (AtW) scheme can similarly provide practical and financial support for people with dyspraxia.

The amount of money you may get is dependent on your circumstances, but these monies do not have to be paid back and will not affect any other benefits.

In the first instance, contact the Dyspraxia Foundation for further advice.

Access to Work Scheme (AtW)

 


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