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Conditions

Dyspraxia

Dyspraxia

Dyspraxia is also known as developmental co-ordination disorder, and is the partial loss of the ability to co-ordinate and perform movements and gestures. This often leads to clumsiness, lack of coordination and problems with language, perception and thought. Symptoms are normally noticeable from an early age where it takes longer for a sufferer to roll over, sit, crawl, stand, walk, speak and toilet train. However, dyspraxia can affect people in lots of different ways, with a sufferer being able to perform a task one day and the not be able to the next. While dyspraxia does not affect how intelligent a child is, it does affect a child’s ability to learn and often needs extra help at school.

A recent study suggested that only 2 in every one hundred children have the condition with boys being four times more likely to have dyspraxia than girls. But the condition can run in the family and develop alongside existing conditions such as ADHD and dyslexia.

The cause of dyspraxia is unknown, but recent medical thought suggests that the condition may be caused by motor neurones in the brain not developing properly. Motor neurones are nerve cells that pass signals from the brain to the muscles to control movement. There has also been links between dyspraxia and premature birth, being born with a low birth weight and maternal smoking, drug use and alcohol use. It can additionally be acquired as a result of brain damage, for instance from a stroke or a head injury.

There is no cure for dyspraxia but there are therapies available that can help control the symptoms such as speech and language therapy, physiotherapy and occupational therapy to allow the sufferer to remain independent. Perceptual motor training may also be prescribed. This is a series of exercises that cover language skills, hearing and listening skills and movement skills to help control the symptoms of dyspraxia. A clinical psychologist and educational psychologist can help with the emotional and psychological impact of living with the condition. However, for children displaying mild symptoms the condition can disappear as they reach adulthood. This is still quiet rare though, with 9 out of 10 children continuing to have difficulties as a teenager and into adulthood.

There are various online tests available to help give you an indication of whether you might have dyspraxia. One of these is provided by Dore and is available below.

Take the Dore Dyspraxia test >

Find out more about Dyspraxia from The Dyspraxia Foundation >

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Hello Everybody, i am 29 years old and been diagnosed with the condition at 4, at the time the condition was not well known as it is today, i did struggle a lot at school and day to day actvities, EG speech, riding a bike, tying my shoe laces, socail skills! but now i have been serving in the Royal Navy for nearly 9 years passing all my exams, i drive and have my own car, engaged and have a morgage, i will always have Dispraxia as there is no cure so i have leant to control it and help myself throughout my life, have had a lot of support! Anybody wanting tips how to control and live with it please dont hesitate to ask, James!





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That's really interesting, James. Did you have to inform the Royal Navy about having dyspraxia before you joined up and were they ok about it? I know that the armed forces still have a very negative attitude to, say, Aspergers / ASD, regarding them as a 'psychiatric disorder' (!) and those with these conditions are prevented from joining up. Anyway you sound really sorted and happy. Good luck and thanks for sharing your positive story.

can dyspraxia affected thinking and listening skills





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i suffered with dyspraxia for nearly 15years to present I 27 now it's affects my speech my self confidence way I thinking writing skills effects my work alot can't remember people but my gp won't do anything but it getting worse





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Stressed, upset and don't know how to help my 24 year old daughter. I have spoken with her about dyspraxia the symtpoms and how she struggles to cope. After nagging constantly she consulted her GP and they told her because she's an adult there's nothing they can do. Without a GP referral we are stuck. She doesn't fight for her rights, stick up for herself and takes evertyhing literally. I believe she has dyspaxia but also she has some autistic tendencies. My husband and i are at our wits end. She stays in her room a lot and is very lazy. She is like a teenager that hates her parents and will avoid us if she can. Very up and down with moods. Her lsitening skills are dreadful and she babbles constantly about nothing that makes sense. Very fast talking. We love her dearly but struggling to cope. Where do we go for help?





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My sister in law has dispraxia she is 24 never officially been diagnosed or helped with her condition . Her primary school just suggested she had it. She lived with her mum who basically did everything for her. she couldn't function on her own for everyday normal activities ... Getting up washing eating etc. it was a nightmare for her long suffering mum. She was obsessed with her friendship and her boyfriend and when the broke up she suffered a mental breakdown where she was sectioned under the mental health act as psychotic episode. She was cared for by her mother but it was a great heartache for her mum as her behaviour was intensified. She would sleep all day. Very lazy obsessed with friendships and facebook!! Posting hundreds of pictures of herself. Very selfish. Wouldn't wash or do daily chores. Her physiologist just kept saying that there was nothing wrong with her and that she just need to get out of bed and get going. But her mum would say she's not right. The way she used to do things was not normal. Very selfish rude lazy unclean etc. since then her mum was diagnosed with terminal cancer and died in October 2014. She had another psychotic episode and was sectioned for 12 weeks . She has been very poorly and not coping with life after her mum. She is staying at May day trust to help her be independent living. But if you spend 24 hours in her company you can see that she needs so much more help. She won't get out of bed till 1-2 pm everyday and has put on 8 stone since February. We need help in trying to help her. She cannot function as a normal person and needs daily help otherwise she is just going to end up so big that she physically can't get out of bed or has a heart attack. Please help





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You have not described in which ways you think she has dysoraxia. How is her co ordination, for example? You seem to be describing a young woman with at least a personality disorder with severe depression who is on the autistic spectrum. I doubt physiotherapy for balance issue will cut it. Dyspraxia is primarily a physical disorder but can have some autistic/adhd traits. It can cause some depression but what you are describing is something else. Poor woman, it's a shame she has to be insulted to boot. Calling her lazy and selfish so won't help. Medication and a specialist might. Good luck to her. She has a lot to cope with.

I 're read your post and sorry, you do mention the way she does things. For that, it's really important not to criticise or mock the dyspraxic way of doing things. It does it come naturally as it requires more effort and focus than for others. She is probably scared of doing anything as it will be wrong. Any way to get something done is in! However I think she has more pressing issues now. Her obsession with friends is great! It shows she hasn't given up totally. Encourage her to be clean and take pride in her appearance. Buy her toiletries, fragrance and cosmetics. Perhaps try to get her an exercise referral through gp. This will help with co ordination and self esteem. Please don't force her to do chores, you could get a lot of breakages and could be dangerous. Dyspraxics are notoriously accident prone. Let her do that as she grows in confidence. I get the sense you don't get on too well. Perhaps find her a group or community where she can learn and flourish. But her depression needs addressing first urgently.

I'm 59 and look back on my school years with horror, as I battled with clumsliness, being in the wrong place/wrong time, behind others with latest news, making/keeping friends and definitely not high in the becking order. After years if isolation and clinical depression, struggling to get a degree and be a lecturer/adult teacher, I very much realised my Dypraxia recently at a similar time to landing a management role in adult education after years of tripping up at panel interviews. This has been good but have over-reached (constantly keeping an eye my limits and often getting it wrong). I've taken on organising a series of events (as well as my normal work with their own deadlines) and have angry staff, stressed by my lack of direction and systematic planning. The greater others' expectations, the more dyspraxic I get. Now in the 'feeling like running away' mode. The events will be this weekend, after which a time for reflection.





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Does the condition get worse in adulthood?

I think my son may be dyspraxic, the school advised seeing a doctor to have him referred for tests, this was over a year ago. We got a letter about a year ago suing the dept no longer dealt with this and I subsequently saw the doctor who referred him to another dept. I saw the doctor last week and chased it up and this doc said that it wasn't medical so the NHS don't do it any more it beef to go through the school but the school day it goes through doc. What should be my next step? My son is 12 Moore and getting near exams, we are having behaviour problems and if he needs the help, I would like him to have the help. Thank you for any info. We can't afford to test him privately.





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Hiya my daughter is 16 and I ashamed to say that I have never heard of dyspraxia until I rang her school up asking if she is entitled to extra time for her exams as I have maths tutor to help her at home as she was badly behind and he suggested to try and get extra time for her. Anna was seen when she was in primary 2 and was told that she might be slightly dyslexic so she hot 1 to 1 help in all of her primary school but when she went to secondary she got nothing and her English was her best subject so I assumed that she didn't need any more help. I got talking to the special needs teacher and told him that Anna has only learned to put her hair up in a ponytail last month and that she still can't tie her laces and holds her cup where I always think she is going to spill it. She also can't tell the time on a round clock just digital. It took her ages to learn to ride a bike when she was younger and could never button her shirt properly. I'm assuming after being told that she has dyspraxia but I was wondering if a fit could have brought this on as she took a fit when she was 1 and was in it for 35mins which they were concerned about but the ecg (I think that was the name of the test where they put wires on her head) came back normal??





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Hiya Lucy Thank you for replying to my message and I will def pass on the hairbrush and tieing laces poem to my daughter. She had a meeting today with the special needs teacher and she was saying that he was throwing pens at her! Lol he done lots of different tests on the computer aswell so I am waiting for him to ring me and let me know the outcome. I think it's terrible the amount of people who have never heard of it including myself. They should educate people abit more about it then maybe you's would find out early enough and get the best help that's available to help you with it. Would you be behind in your maths aswell?

Hi again (it's Lucy again) glad you found the info helpful :) yes I m disgusted with the way dyspraxia is treat. The SEN's are terrible and will not bother to let you know unless you actively nag them for info sorry to be blunt but that's the way I am and probably the best way to help you. There are people who don't want much recognition for dyspraxia as it can be "expensive" to treat. I was behind in my maths very behind but I did walk away with a C (which is the required grade for getting a job so it is possible) it took me hours of work and your daughter will probably have to go through the same. If you ever get the opportunity to speak with her maths tutor again ask him what she struggles with or more importantly how she struggles (does she get the sum right and the answer wrong.)also ask him if she struggles with anything in an "odd" way. For example I would get the answer right sometimes but not the method. It might be worth going back to basics so just after primary beginning of highschool or secondary if your in America as she will have been less developed then than she is now so she will have struggled to grasp concepts more then than she will now even though it is harder she is essentially more capable (does that make sense??? I hope so)it is likely she will always struggle with the shapes side of maths so focus on getting her grades from other aspects such as addition etc. The biggest thing with maths is reppition everything must be repeated every day even if it is tedious and she knows it in her sleep trust me I was so over maths by the time I got my C but believe me it's worth it... as for getting help:1 apply for a statement of Special Needs or an SEN statement no matter what they tell you. 2. See a education phycologist or ed physkes okay I can't spell but you get the idea. 3. See an oppucational and physical therapist they can help you have a chat with them about the co-op approach this will help your daughter with her condition on a whole 4. do not let them do "half a test" they will try and suggest it I wouldn't. 5. Don't be surprised if the NHS are uncaring, defensive, or laugh at you it's gonna take some time and polite arguing from you. talk to your daughter first warn her not to look at you for answers it may seem as though you're influencing her when really she's just nervous I was 11 so I got caught out with that one. If it helps I got into a so called good college and managed to secure plenty of work experience for myself. BTW see if your school will let her swap onto the OCR welsh exam board (I'm guessing she's with Edexcel) welsh exam boards papers can be provided in English and are much easier to read and understand as I don't know if you are aware but our country is doing subject merging which is where they put complicated words in a maths exam to try and incopriate English the welsh don't have to follow this rule thank god for loopholes. Remember that if your daughter doesn't pass hope is not lost although I wouldn't recommend telling her just yet she might lose some motivation she can do a Level 2 functional skills in maths later which is equivalent to GCSE. Make sure your daughter takes BTEC where possible it helps :). Hope this is helpful sorry I rambled on a bit there any other questions do ask I will try and help.

If your son, ticks 2 out of the 3 boxes, he should get a diagnosis of aspergers traits/borderline asperger syndrome or an autistic spectrum disorder, but borderline. If the main condition is dyspraxia, they may or may not have aspergers traits.





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My daughter was diagnosed as Dyspraxic at 7, she is now 19. She is realy struggling now to get a job. I'm helping her all I can but her bit of confidence she had built up through college has now gone due to so many job knockbacks.





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Don't worry. Keep reinforceing how difficult the job market is at the moment, reassure her that it's not because of her need. Do stiffest she gets a part time voluntary job which may restore some confidence in the meantime. Good luck to her

She has done a 6 week stint in Cancer Reasearch to try and boost her confidence, she learnt till operation and handling money etc. All that is on her cv. I am going with her today to our local Employment Support and Training, i didnt know of that until last week. Wouldnt you think the job centre would put you in touch with this support. I just found it by chance.Its self funded so we have to apply for a Personal Allowence via a Social Worker. So fingers crossed.





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