What is Dyspraxia?

  • Developmental co-ordination disorder (DCD), also known as dyspraxia, is a condition affecting physical co-ordination that causes a child to perform less well than expected for his or her age in daily activities and appear to move clumsily.
  • Early developmental milestones of crawling, walking, self-feeding and dressing may be delayed in young children with DCD, and drawing, writing and performance in sports are usually behind what is expected for their age.
  • Although signs of the condition are present from an early age, children vary widely in their rate of development and DCD is not usually definitely diagnosed until a child with the condition is around five years old or more.

Getting Help:

  • Talk to your GP or health visitor – or a nurse, doctor or special educational needs co-ordinator (SENCO) at your child's school – if you have any concerns about your child's health or development.
  • If necessary, they can refer your child to a community paediatrician, who will try to identify any developmental problems and arrange for an assessment of the child's motor (movement) skills if appropriate.

How to Manage Dyspraxia

  • There is no cure for DCD, but a number of therapies can make it easier for children to manage their problems.
  • These include:
    • being taught ways of carrying out troublesome activities, such as breaking down difficult movements into much smaller parts and practising them regularly
    • adapting tasks to make them easier, such as using special grips on pens and pencils so they are easier to hold
  • Although DCD does not affect how intelligent a child is, it can make it more difficult for them to learn and they may need extra help to keep up at school.
  • Treatment for DCD will be tailored to your child and usually involves a number of different healthcare professionals working together.

All information from NHS Choices

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