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 10% of the population and up to 2% severely. Males are four times more likely to be affected than females. Dyspraxia sometimes runs in families. There may be an overlap with attention deficit disorder (ADD), dyslexia and Asperger`s Syndrome.
What causes dyspraxia?
For the majority of those with the condition, there is no known cause. Current research suggests that it is due to an immaturity of neurone development in the brain rather than to brain damage. People with dyspraxia have no clinical neurological abnormality to explain their condition.
Dyspraxia in adults
People who have dyspraxia often find the routine tasks of daily life such as driving, household chores, cooking and grooming difficult. They can also find coping at work is hard. People with dyspraxia usually have a combination of problems, including:
- Poor balance
- Poor posture and fatigue
- Poor integration of the two sides of the body
- Poor hand and eye co-ordination
- Lack manual dexterity
- Lack a sense of rhythm
- May have poor pen grip
- May talk continuously and repeat himself/herself
- May have difficulty with controlling the pitch, volume and rate of his/her speech.
- Be generally untidy and clumsy
As a student with dyspraxia you may experience some of the following difficulties:
- Find it difficult to plan and organise your essays logically
- Your writing may be slow, poor or even illegible
- Have erratic spelling and punctuation
- May have a poor memory-especially short-term memory causing problems when revising for exams.
- May have difficulties when using a computer, especially moving your fingers across a keyboard accurately
- May have difficulties tracking print and dealing with text on screen.
You may also display a number of strengths such as:
- Strategic thinking
- Good problem solving.
If you have been diagnosed with dyspraxia, DDS can help you through specialist 1:1 support with a qualified SpLD Tutor.
You can also find more information on the Dyspraxia Foundation website.