Dyspraxia (DCD) - Help, Support & Resources

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 (DCD)?

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.

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.

 

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.

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)

 


Alli Can't Write - A Storybook for Children with Handwriting Difficulties

Ally Can't Write

Ally Can’t Write

 

Alli Can’t Write
A Storybook for Children with
Handwriting Difficulties –
Including those with:
Dyslexia, Dysgraphia, Dyscalculia, Dyspraxia & ADHD

This delightful fun book, with beautifully hand-drawn and creative illustrations for children ages 6 – 10 is about, an alligator, called Alli, who has problems writing and has to deal with the frustrations, shame and despair of not being able to write.

He lives in the Everglade Lakes, Florida where he goes to school with his friends; the opossums, racoons, Red-turtle and Amy-deer.

Alli has terrific ideas, but he can’t write his thoughts down on paper because of his problems with handwriting.

People with dysgraphia have difficulties, with things like writing, getting their ideas down on paper, and in the correct order (processing) particularly hard.

Skunky bullies Alli, because he can write beautifully with his tail! The book discusses how peers can be cruel to anyone that is different; it will help to explain to young children about the nature of diversity and acceptance; throughout not just in the classroom but society.

With help from loveable supportive characters; Dr Dolphin, educational psychologist, his teacher Miss Panther and Miss Snake and Mummy and Daddy-Alligator; Alli learns to overcome his difficulties with his for writing.

This book should be read by children, parents, educators, and anyone who has a loved one struggling with a learning disability. It’s a story of resilience and hope.

The author explains what dysgraphia is and provides extensive information, help, practical strategies and useful tips to help students with difficulties meet their full potential.

Maria Chivers is an International Author on Dyslexia, Dysgraphia, Dyscalculia, Dyspraxia, ADHD and other Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLD’s).

The majority of the animals in this book are on the ‘Threatened or Endangered’ species list.

This exciting book is available from,  Amazon.
Check Our Alli’s, Facebook Page, Alli’s Facebook Page

 


Dyslexia and other Learning Difficulties Book‘Dyslexia and Other Learning Difficulties – The Essential Guide’  

This book: ‘Dyslexia and Other Learning Difficulties – A Parent’s Guide’ has been very well received over the years.  It is useful for both parents and teachers. It contains extensive information on dyslexia, dyscalculia, dysgraphia and other specific learning difficulties (SpLDs).

For a fuller description of ‘Dyslexia and Other Learning Difficulties – The Essential Guide‘ please go to Amazon.


Dyslexia and Alternative Therapies

‘Dyslexia and Alternative Therapies’

This book: ‘Dyslexia and Alternative Therapies‘ contains information on a wide range of alternative therapies and the way they can help people with dyslexia, dyscalculia, dysgraphia and other specific learning difficulties (SpLDs)

Available in softback or ebook.

For a fuller description of ‘Dyslexia and Alternative Therapies, please go to Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

 

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