DCD – Developmental Coordination Disorder
Dyspraxia is a disorder expressed in impaired ability to make coordinated movements and in speech. It is not only expressed in the movement ability itself but also in the ability to plan movement and the skilful performance of unfamiliar actions, in the planning of fine motor activity such as writing, and in difficulties with speech and conceptualization.
Dyspraxia may impair the development of learning and attention skills.
Dyspraxia is a developmental problem caused by disruption in the brain’s wiring due to underdevelopment of the nervous system.
The definition of learning disorders applies also to Dyspraxia; the adult/child has normal intelligence or higher.
The difficulties stem from a developmental gap created at a certain point in the sequence of growth and development causing disruption in the brain’s wiring.
Types of Dyspraxia
A person suffering from Dyspraxia does not display all the difficulties but rather an individual combination of several types of syndromes.
Difficulty maintaining the body’s centre of gravity (postural), instability, difficulty coordinating movement, difficulties with balance, adjusting movement, fine motor skills and others. Those suffering from this disorder have difficulty transferring information about movement from one state to another. For example: A normal child who has acquired the movement skills of climbing stairs will know how to adjust that knowledge to climbing circular stairs. The dyspraxic child who knows how to climb ordinary stairs will have to learn how to climb circular stairs as a new movement behavior.
Difficulty creating, collecting, connecting or assembling parts so as to arrive at a complete structure. Those suffering from this condition have difficulty assembling equipment parts and using accessories as well as difficulty analyzing the conditions of a task and forming a plan to perform it.
For example: Difficulty assembling a piece of furniture according to do-it-yourself instructions, or avoidance of constructional toys such as Lego.
Difficulty understanding the symbolic representation of the use of tools and instruments according to instruction or by imitation, for example: Those suffering from this condition will have difficulty reading a plan or understanding instrument operating manuals. Children will find it difficult to interpret the meaning of traffic signs.
Oral and Verbal Dyspraxia
A speech and pronunciation disorder that also affects non-language oral activities such as chewing and licking.
- Complications and clumsiness in mobility and movement;
- Bumping into items and knocking them over;
- A child who comes down stairs one at a time holding onto the handrail;
- Spreading food around when eating, “likes to eat with his hands”;
- Speech complications, difficulty expressing certain phonetic phrases;
- Taking a lot of time to perform simple tasks;
- Low or high muscle tension expressed in an overly soft or stiff shoulder girdle, for example: Leaning elbows on the table when eating; a child who lies on the table and leans on his arm while writing;
- Writing difficulties: Unclear handwriting
- Learning and attention difficulties
- Difficulties with social behavior