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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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Comments and Questions

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Dyspraxia shouldn't be featured on this program it isn't an embarrassing ailment and shouldn't be featured alongside the weird rashes and hemorrhoids, its offensive. Dyspraxia is a specific learning difficulty that is limiting when compared to all of the other capabilities a child or adult has. Some of the greatest and most intelligent people on earth (Einstein, Michelangelo...) had SpLDs and just because they wouldn't have adhered to the British schooling system does not mean they are thick or should be embarrassed. DORE is also a sham organisation that wrongly charges concerned parents up to £1000 pounds a pop for so called healing programs! This condition is genetic and lifelong and cannot be cured with expensive tutoring.





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I am looking into dyspraxia as I am effected by allot of the symptoms connected with it. I have Hand Mirroring in both my hands ie they both have the same grip/movement and am trying to find out if this is somthing that is often seen with dyspraxia.?





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My son is 4 and is currently waiting to be seen for a diagnosis for his behaviour and abilities. Please can anyone tell me if, in their experience/knowledge, making random sounds is a part or symptom of dyspraxia?





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I'm probably incorrect but I'll say it anyway. Dyspraxia can share some symptoms with Aspergers or other disorders along the autism spectrum and Tourette's is not uncommon for those with Aspergers

Thank you Hannah so so very much for getting back to me with regard to my message about my little girl ... It was so very appreciated to hear a positive yet true experience of your condition .. You have given me so much more hope in my despair ... I believe in my beautiful girl .. just want the world around her to understand her too... She does appear to also have a sensory problem and I presume this comes with the condition... and hope it will get better ... for her sake in the future..





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Hi can dyspraxia but falsely diagnosed as Autism? My son was diagnosed by preschool with verbal dyspraxia then dyspraxia in preschool years. He was 9 years when he was "diagnosed" with autism so I took him for a second opinion to a bupa hospital who said its dyspraxia. After watching you programme the man you showed is just like an older version my son. We live in the Isle of Man it's really hard to get him the help he needs and deserves





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Dyspraxia is on the autistic spectrum, yes. I'm no MD but I am dyspraxic and as an adult compared to how I was as a child (incredibly mal a droit, a stammer, social problems, accident prone etc.) I've come on leaps and bounds. You can grow out of certain aspects of it and come up with coping strategies. I would advise against paying for any services, whenever I have I strongly felt like I was being ripped off.

Hello my six yr old son has severe dyspraxia (apraxia) speech. He is fully supported and we are at an amazing school. He is intelligent and bright but does suffer with a delay with social interaction. slowly he pounds onwards and thank fully is getting there. I just wondered if anyone has gone through this? I talk to my son about dyspraxia in very simple terms and he seems to finally come to terms with most things life throws at him. We have got breathing strategies for the times he gets desperately frustrated. But team sports are still very testing. The ways he deals with life is different and inspiring he is so determined and brave. Now we have reached the grand old age of 6 he is socially aware that his speech is different also has symptoms of fine motor dyspraxia. To avoid frustration he often avoids conversation. But with lots of support and gentle encouragement he is getting better. We get on with things and learn together I am his speech therapist coach occupational therapist arrange and join in with subtle adult lead activities. It's a family effort and we make it as fun and calm as possible. Any tips or experiences would be fabulous. Thanks in advance





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Hi I'm 24 and was first diagnosed aged 5 I think. From a young age it massively affected my motor skills, speech, handwriting, swimming and cycling.... But biggest thing was the lack of confidence in seeing the difference between me and the other kids and this lack of confidence would then hold me back even more creating a vicious circle. So for me overcoming the confidence hurdles was the most important thing. Every "normal" boy at my school played football and I decided if I could play football also that will make me "normal" to. Every one waned to be striker of course so the times when they allowed me to play I was always in goal. I think I must have told my Dad this as he the spent a few hours every weekend just throwing the ball to me or what not and he did it in a way that I felt that "I can do this" and soon these skills also paid off in the playground too and I suddenly felt that I could do things other could do and that I could be "normal". The confidence boost that gave me then caused me to accelerate massively in other fields and soon I wasn't far off my peers after some practice. For me it was such an impossible dream to be anyone but the "one who can't do anything", I never believed that practicing all these things could help me I just saw it as impossible and frustrating. So advice I'd give is focus on one skill that your son wants to be able to do more than anything else and show him that he can do the things he desires to. Today I still struggle picking up new simple tasks as fast as most do but the determination and can do attitude towards adversity that dyspraxia has taught me means that the complex tasks I can learn faster than most. I now know nothing is impossible for me as I was able to play football.

My little girl was diagnosed with Dyspraxia at 4 years old and appears to struggle so much with eating, writing, drawing, remembering things, and pretty much everything .. breaks my heart every day ... even her speech keeps dropping into a monotone .. it scares me so much that people will notice she is different... and I just want to help her so much.. She sees a OT for exercises and requires lots of one to one to achieve things .. but wondered if girls have a harder time with the Dyspraxia? and also do these children make a lot of funny noises when expressing them selves when excited, happy, sad etc and do they cry more? Will they grow out of this ? Do they read the signals wrong in social situations more than others ? Will it get better as they learn more ? I am so scared for her ... She gets in lots of trouble at school for getting frustrated and screaming etc... and switching off... can anyone help me ???





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Hi Susan. my names Hannah. Im 21 and I have dyspraxia. I wasn't diagnosed till I was 17. Personally yes I think its harder for girls just because of the stereotype of boys more having it. I did and still do stand out. I find it hard to accept still. With support its easier. Obviously make schools aware. It was far harder for me growing up misdiagnosed. My parents used to get angry with me. But it does get better as you get older. She'll always struggle with certain things. But note the word struggl. In fairness I think it made me far wiser than my peers. Because I developed other techniques to deal with it. Im incredibly alliterate, I actually work as an artist, more creative, I feel things much more than others. There are positives. My mum found it difficult. Like cleaning up after me. Where there may be weaknesses. She'll have other talents. :) and her personality will shine. Just reassure her that shes unique. Try to see it as a positive. Socially I still struggle interrupting people, inappropiate comments etc. But im much better with those things now. Im very loud lol but that makes me who I am. The more confident she is with it will help. Hope this helps. Dyspraxic and fantastic!

Hi Susan, my son is aged 13 and was diagnosed with dyspraxia at the age of 7, after fighting to get any reconition and support. My son also has Aspergers, although I am unable to obtain a confirmed diagnosis, because he only ticks 2 out of the 3 boxes? The best advice I can give you, is that knowledge is power, find out everything you can about dyspraxia and Autistic sprectrum disorders, and then you will become, as I did more confident about helping your child to be more confident, more able and help them to love themselves and celebrate their differences. You just have to persevere, and keep trying to support, remember the sky should always be the limit, and encourage your child to love themselves and their differences. My son is now coping quite well with life, and yes he still has difficulties, but he is confident to have a go.Try not to blame yourself or think that in any way you are not adequate to help, you are amazing in the fact that you recognised that your child is different and needs extra support.

Hello, if she has definitely been diagnosed then her school should be more understanding that her frustrations with herself can make her more emotional than other children. There should be an SpLD specialist at the school. I wasn't diagnosed in primary school and had a tough time with a few of the teachers. It is hard growing up that awkward as a young girl when your supposed to be cute and active. I used to have vocal particularities, sports day was a nightmare and do weird things with my hands but I grew out of them. At 4 she is still really tiny so remember some of the most seemingly delightful children grow into absolute rotters as teenagers. If when she is being odd she attracts a lot of attention from you or others perhaps try reacting to it differently to see if it attention she is actually after. (Sorry if that comment offends anyone!)

I carnt tie my shoe lasses and have heavy feet when I'm running I'm 19 and the trying to tie my lasses I really struggle why is this ?





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Hi I noticed that my eldest son (who is now 21 and just finished a university degree in Biology ) was having some problems in English at school at around the age of 7. My husband is dyslexic and I knew that this problem was different. He was very good with Maths but struggled to write and read a book and could not catch a ball. We were fortunate that at the time an organisation called DDAT (later called DORE) was set up by a business man whose daughter had dyslexia and was struggling to find help. My son undertook a day of tests at their clinic and it transpired he has dyspraxia. They developed a series of exercises for him- including balancing on a wobble board and catching bean bags and after 10 months the difference was amazing. He read a novel on his own and then improved in leaps and bounds and now is an avid reader. I know this is a result of this treatment and we were really proud when he passed his GCSE English. He went on to do A levels (he had 15 minutes extra time in these exams because of his dyspraxia) and has just completed a degree (without any extra assistance). The company unfortunately went into liquidation, but I strongly believe this system should be offered to children on the NHS as I know what a difference this can make to people with both dyslexia and dyspraxia.





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The exercises you describe sound very similar to the ones that my son did when we saw a physiotherapist, he also had different exercises from his speech therapist and occupational therapist. There is help from the NHS you just have to perceive in order to receive it

My son has dyspraxia and it wasn't until he was about 4 that I noticed that there was something 'wrong'. I have to say I disagree with the early signs of dyspraxia on this site, he rolled over, crawled, learnt to speak and was even potty trained by 18 months. When he was 4 I noticed that when he sat next to somebody he would be practically sitting on their lap, it was like he had no conceit of personal space. My first port of call was speaking to his nursery teacher and then the senco, however it was a long process to get a diagnosis...about 3 years I think. This was 14 years ago when it wasn't a widely known condition...I did a lot of research myself and found that the university of Durham had published their research about dyspraxia and it was here that I found out about the benefits of omega 3 fish oils, within 3 months of taking them he had learnt to read and his behaviour improved immensely. During primary school he received a lot of extra help but at secondary school I had to fight for everything and it was a lot harder. He's now about to finish college and has 2 very good job offers to choose between. I'm just trying to say that if your child does have dyspraxia don't give up hope...yes some school subjects will be a struggle for them, eg, foreign languages, art and English but don't despair they can still be successful





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My Son is 25 and was diagnosed at around 3. He could talk very young and walk young too - he did fall over a lot. He has found things harder, but he is also very talented. He is an amazing guitar player ( no idea how he can do it when other fine motor task he finds hard) he now is working in an IT Department in a school and has and hnc in music and a degree in computer networking. He did put on a lot of weight comfort eating but since working he has lost over 20% of his body weight with Weight Watchers! and is motoring toward his target! He still has confidence issues and needs help with paperwork washing keeping his room clean. I need to leave his ties tied and ready to put on for work! I am so proud of how well he has done. ;-)

Thanks for the encouragement!! My son developed dyspraxia along with a seizure disorder. There were no symptoms before the seizures began. We homeschool and it can be very discouraging at times. He just seems stuck. Thanks for the tip on Omega 3's.

How old is your son Kimberly? I know it can be so hard with the school work but I do think it gets easier as they get older, my sons college aren't even aware of his special needs, this was his decision that they didn't know and I had to respect that.

Foreign languages, art and english were my best subjects and im accutely dyspraxic. Maths and PE were different story. To each there own I suppose.





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