Vision & Performance
What is Dyspraxia?
Developmental dyspraxia is an impairment or immaturity of the organisation of movement. It is an immaturity in the way that the brain processes information, which results in messages not being properly or fully transmitted. The term dyspraxia comes from the word praxis, which means ‘doing, acting’. Dyspraxia affects the planning of what to do and how to do it. It is associated with problems of perception, language and thought.
Dyspraxia is thought to affect up to ten per cent of the population and up to two per cent severely. Males are four times more likely to be affected than females. Dyspraxia sometimes runs in families. There may be an overlap with related conditions.
Other names for dyspraxia include Developmental Co-ordination Disorder (DCD), Perceptuo-Motor Dysfunction, and Motor Learning Difficulties. It used to be known as Minimal Brain Damage and Clumsy Child Syndrome.
Statistically, it is likely that there is one child in every class of 30 children. We need to make sure that everyone understands and knows how best to help this significant minority.
How would I recognise a child with Dyspraxia?
The pre-school child
Is late in reaching milestones e.g. rolling over, sitting, standing, walking, and speaking
May not be able to run, hop, jump, or catch or kick a ball although their peers can do so
Has difficulty in keeping friends; or judging how to behave in company
Has little understanding of concepts such as ‘in’, ‘on’, ‘in front of’ etc
Has difficulty in walking up and down stairs
Poor at dressing
Slow and hesitant in most actions
Appears not to be able to learn anything instinctively but must be taught skills
Falls over frequently
Poor pencil grip
Cannot do jigsaws or shape sorting games
Artwork is very immature
Often anxious and easily distracted
The school age child
Probably has all the difficulties experienced by the pre-school child with dyspraxia, with little or no improvement
Avoids PE and games
Does badly in class but significantly better on a one-to -one basis
Reacts to all stimuli without discrimination and attention span is poor
May have trouble with maths and writing structured stories
Experiences great difficulty in copying from the blackboard
Writes laboriously and immaturely
Unable to remember and /or follow instructions
Is generally poorly organised
Because vision is so inextricably and intimately linked to movement, a Full Visual Assessment will reveal where significant help can be given.