What is dyspraxia? – Symptoms, Causes And Treatments

A person with dyspraxia has problems with movement, coordination, judgment, processing, memory and some other cognitive abilities, it also affects the immune and nervous systems of the body.

What is dyspraxia?

It is also known as a developmental coordination disorder that begins in childhood, it is known to affect movement planning and coordination as a result of brain messages that are not transmitted accurately to the body and deficiencies in skillful motor movements according to the chronological age of In a child who must interfere with activities of daily living, this disorder progresses into adulthood, therefore it is a lifelong condition.

People can vary in the way their difficulties are presented, these can change over time depending on environmental demands and life experiences. An individual’s coordination difficulties can affect participation and functioning of everyday life skills in education, work, and employment.

Children may have difficulty caring for themselves, writing, cycling, and playing, as well as other educational and recreational activities. In adulthood, many of these difficulties will continue, as well as learning new skills at home, in education, and at work, such as driving a car. There can be a variety of concurrent difficulties that can also have serious negative impacts on daily life, these include social and emotional difficulties, as well as problems with time management, planning and personal organization, they can also affect an adult’s education or employment experiences.

Many people experience difficulties with memory , perception and processing, although this disorder is often considered as a generic term to cover motor coordination difficulties, dyspraxia refers to those people who have additional problems planning, organizing and carrying out perform the movements in the correct order in everyday situations.

Symptoms of dyspraxia

Various areas of development can be affected by developmental coordination disorder and these will persist into adulthood as there is no cure.

In addition to physical impairments, it is associated with memory problems, especially working memory, this usually results in difficulty remembering instructions, difficulty organizing time and remembering deadlines, greater propensity to lose things or problems to carry out perform tasks that require remembering several steps in sequence (such as cooking). However, many have excellent long-term memories, despite poor short-term memory.

Many benefit from working in a structured environment, as repeating the same routine minimizes difficulty with time management and allows them to compromise procedures with long-term memory.

They also sometimes have a hard time moderating the amount of sensory information their body is constantly sending them, making them prone to sensory overload and panic attacks.

They experience moderate to extreme difficulty performing physical tasks, and fatigue is common because so much extra energy is expended trying to perform physical movements correctly.

Gross motor development

Whole body movement and motor coordination problems mean that major developmental goals, such as walking, running, climbing, and jumping, can be affected. Difficulties vary from person to person and can include the following:

  • Little balance.
  • Tripping over your own feet is also common.
  • Difficulty combining movements in a controlled sequence.
  • Difficulty remembering the next move in a sequence.
  • Problems with spatial awareness or proprioception.
  • Trouble grasping and holding simple objects such as pencils.
  • Clumsiness to the point of knocking things over and accidentally bumping into people.
  • Difficulty determining left from right.
  • Problems chewing food.

Fine motor development

Fine motor problems can cause difficulties with a wide variety of other tasks, such as using a knife and fork, fastening buttons and shoelaces, cooking, brushing teeth, combing hair, shaving, applying cosmetics, opening jars and packages, and Do household chores.

Difficulties with fine motor coordination lead to problems with handwriting, which can be due to ideational or ideomotor difficulties. Problems associated with this area can include:

  • Learning basic movement patterns.
  • Develop a desired typing speed.

Verbal developmental dyspraxia

It is a type of ideational dyspraxia that causes speech and language disorders .

Key issues include:

  • Difficulties controlling the organs of speech.
  • Difficulty making speech sounds.
  • Difficulty sequencing sounds.
  • Form words into sentences.
  • Difficulty controlling breathing, suppressing salivation and phonation when speaking or singing with lyrics.
  • Slow language development.

Causes of dyspraxia

The cause is unknown, but the condition may be the result of impaired development of brain cells, there are problems within the prefrontal cortex of the brain, which is responsible for executive functioning, higher-order thinking , and the cerebellum, which it is associated with motor skills. Research suggests that relationships within the neural pathways connecting these two areas of the brain help explain why neurodevelopmental disorders, such as dyspraxia, affect a variety of cognitive, movement, and behavioral abilities.

A report from the University of Hull in England says that dyspraxia is “probably inherited, several genes have been implicated, there are many members within a family that are affected in a similar way.”

Treatments for dyspraxia

Although dyspraxia is not curable, with treatment the individual can improve, the earlier a child is diagnosed, the better his prognosis. The following specialists usually treat people with:

Occupational therapy

An occupational therapist will assess how the child copes with everyday functions both at home and at school, then they will help the child develop specific skills for daily activities that are difficult for him.

Speech and language therapy

The speech-language pathologist will conduct an evaluation of the child’s speech and then implement a treatment plan to help them communicate more effectively.

Perceptual motor training

This involves improving the child’s language, visual appearance, movement, and listening skills. The individual sets a series of tasks that gradually become more advanced, the goal is to challenge the child to improve, but not so much because it becomes frustrating or stressful.

Equine therapy

In a study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, a team of Irish, British and Swedish researchers evaluated the effects of equine therapy (therapeutic riding) in a group of 40 children between the ages of 6 and 15 with dyspraxia.

The children participated in six riding sessions lasting 30 minutes each, as well as two audiovisual projection sessions with the same time. They found that riding therapy stimulated and improved participants’ cognition, mood and gait parameters, the authors added that “the data also pointed to the potential value of an audiovisual approach.”

Active play

Experts say that active play, any play that involves physical activity that can be outdoors or indoors, helps improve motor activity. Play is a way for children to learn about the environment and about themselves, and in particular for children from 3 to 5 years old; it is a crucial part of your learning.

Active play is where a young child’s physical and emotional learning, their language development, their special awareness, the development of what their senses are, all come together. The more children participate in active play, the better they will interact with others successfully.

Associated disorders and secondary consequences

People who have dyspraxia may also have one or more of these comorbid conditions:

However, they are unlikely to have all of these conditions. The pattern of difficulty varies widely from person to person, and it is important to understand that an area of ​​greatest weakness for one dyspraxic may be an area of ​​strength or gift for another.

For example, while some have difficulty with reading and spelling due to an overlap with dyslexia , or arithmetic due to an overlap with dyscalculia, others may have brilliant reading and spelling or math skills. Some estimates show that up to 50% of those with dyspraxia have ADHD.

Georgia Tarrant
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Hello, how are you? My name is Georgia Tarrant, and I am a clinical psychologist. In everyday life, professional obligations seem to predominate over our personal life. It's as if work takes up more and more of the time we'd love to devote to our love life, our family, or even a moment of leisure.