What is Dyspraxia? Symptoms, Causes, Treatment 

People with dyspraxia experience problems with memory, processing, judgment, movement coordination, and other cognitive skills. It also impacts your nervous and the body’s immune system. Today, we’ll discuss what is dyspraxia; its symptoms, causes, and treatment. 

Dyspraxia also goes by the names of DCD (developmental coordination disorder), perceptuo-motor-dysfunction, and motor learning difficulties. People don’t use the terms like ‘clumsy child syndrome’ and ‘minimal brain damage.’ 

According to a study by National Centre for Learning Disabilities, people with dyspraxia have trouble with planning, organizing, finishing, and gross motor tasks. The motor movement comprises simple to complicated tasks like waving hands to say hi or brushing one’s teeth. 

What is Dyspraxia? 

Dyspraxia is a form of a neurological disorder that affects the planning and processing capability of a person. People with this condition would experience language problems in terms of perception and thought processing. However, it doesn’t impact the intelligence of a person, but it causes learning issues among children. 

The immature organization of movement is developmental dyspraxia. When it comes to allowing the full transmission of neural messages, the brain doesn’t process information. However, it is difficult for a person with this condition to plan simple things like what to do and how to do it. 

According to a study by NINDS (National Institute of Neurological Disorder and Stroke), people with dyspraxia condition are out of sync with their environment. Approximately 10% of the people have a mild to moderate form of dyspraxia, and only 2% of the people have got the severe form. Every 4 out of 5 children have got this condition, especially boys, whereas it’s not diagnosed among girls. 

Symptoms of Dyspraxia 

The symptoms of dyspraxia are different among different ages of people. Some of its general symptoms are as follows; 

  • Poor hand-eye coordination 
  • Problems with perception 
  • Speech differences 
  • Clumsiness 
  • Fatigue 
  • Poor posture 
  • Poor balance 

Dyspraxia in Children 

Not everyone person with this condition would exhibit the same types of symptoms. Some of its symptoms in the different age groups of children are as follows; 

Very Early Childhood 

The children with dyspraxia condition would take a lot of time than usual to follow the steps; 

  • Building vocabulary Getting out of diaper and potty trained 
  • Stand 
  • Speak: such children would answer questions slowly, it’s difficult for them to make sounds and develop normal intonation patterns. Their automatic vocabulary is very low, their speech is slower than other kids and they take more pauses and limited words 
  • Walk 
  • Crawl 
  • Sit 

Early childhood 

  • Their issues become more clear and apparent in the early childhood stage; 
  • Challenging them to copy it from the blackboard and write stories 
  • Difficult for them to learn new skills and they take a lot of time, practice and encouragement would be helpful 
  • Higher tendency to drop things, fall over, or bump into things 
  • Difficult for them to go up or downstairs 
  • Fidgeting more than usual 
  • Difficult for them to get involved in the playground games 
  • Find it hard to focus and concentrate on things for sometime 
  • Thought processing problem 
  • Having issues in the classroom activities like jigsaw games, drawing, coloring, and scissor 
  • Find it hard to dress up 
  • Problem with subtle movement like handwriting, cutlery usage, zips and button, and tying shoelaces 

Later Childhood 

  • Badly organized 
  • Not remembering instructions and guidelines 
  • Not following instructions 
  • Taking a lot of time in the writing work 
  • Written work and maths are difficult 
  • Reacting to stimuli equally without filtering it 
  • Learning good on a one-on-one basis, but not in the classroom environment 
  • Avoiding sports 
  • The abovementioned problems aren’t resolved and getting improved slightly 

Dyspraxia in Adults 

Some of its main symptoms among adults are as follows; 

  • No rhythm while exercising or dancing 
  • Find it difficult to make a differentiated sound from the background 
  • Sleep difficulties 
  • Lower self-esteem issues 
  • Getting frustrated easily 
  • Non-verbal and low sensitive signals 
  • Problems with planning and organizing tasks and thoughts 
  • Hand-eye coordination is poor 
  • Challenging to groom and dress up like tying shoelaces, fastening clothes, makeup, and shaving 
  • Tendency to fall and make clumsy movements 
  • Jumbled word order and unclear speech 
  • Coordination among both parts of the body is difficult 
  • Difficulty in finishing routine chores 
  • Fatigue and poor posture 

Causes of Dyspraxia 

Researchers don’t know the exact cause of dyspraxia. Many researchers think that muscles that control nerve cells do not develop correctly in this condition. However, if motor neurons don’t develop the proper connection for any reason, then it would take a lot of time for the brain to process information and data. 

Many studies at the Queen Mary University of London showed that immaturity of neuron development in the brain causes the dyspraxia condition to occur, rather than any type of brain damage. 

Treatment of Dyspraxia 

Dyspraxia is a type of condition that you can’t cure, but you can improve its symptoms if diagnosed in the early stages. Some of the main treatment plans that doctors recommend are as follows; 

Occupational Therapy 

The therapist would analyze how the child performs various functions of everyday life both at home and school. The doctor would help the child by focusing on developing such skills that the child needs help. 

Language & Speech Therapy 

The pathologist would evaluate the speech of the child, and then apply the treatment plan in order to help the child to communicate more effectively. 

Perceptual Motor Training 

This approach comprises of auditory skill, movement, visual, and language of the child. The therapist plans a series of tasks in the ascending order that becomes advanced and complex. However, the goal is to challenge the capabilities of the child towards improvement. But it shouldn’t be frustrating and stressful. 

Active Play 

The active play comprises both indoor and outdoor physical activities for the children to play. Playing physical games is a very good way for the children to learn about themselves and their environment, especially for the children aging from 3 to 5, and it is a critical part of learning. However, when children get involved in active play, then they would learn the art of connecting with others children. 

Conclusion: What is Dyspraxia? Symptoms, Causes, Treatment 

After an in-depth study of what is dyspraxia; its symptoms, causes, and treatment; we have realized that the condition could badly impact your life. If you’re experiencing its symptoms, then you should consult with the healthcare provider in your area.