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Understanding Dyspraxia

Dyspraxia is a neurological disorder and affects physical co-ordination. People with Dyspraxia find it challenging to perform certain tasks related to motor skills such as crawling, walking, dressing, writing or drawing.

Dyspraxia is also known as 'Developmental Co-ordination Disorder- DCD'.

The disorder is known to co-exist with other medical conditions such as ADHD, dysgraphia, sensory processing issues, mental health issues, like anxiety, autism.

Diagnoses and Symptoms

There are several impacts and symptoms of Dyspraxia that can be observed from an early age. When a child is not able to reach developmental milestones, it may point towards motor skills related issues. Not being able to crawl, sit or roll over as per age can be observed in infants.

In older children some signs are difficulty in running, jumping, going up and down the stairs, getting dressed, poor eye coordination, poor balance, poor posture, speech issues. Some children may also show other behavioral signs such as felling isolated, lack of focus, low self-esteem etc.

Dyspraxia is also known as developmental coordination disorder. Causes problems with planning, coordination & implementing tasks which involve motor skills. This also effects skills like writing. Visual - spatial ability is also poor. The person is clumsy, often bumping into things or dropping them. The role of the Occupational therapist is very important in assessing these children by evaluating their daily living skills like dressing, playing etc and providing appropriate therapies. Radha Tandon, Founder-Director, Praangan Education Trust

Causes & Cure

The movement and coordination in our bodies are controlled by transfer of signals between the brain and nerves. When they are not working properly, coordinating the movements becomes difficult.

There are many factors that may cause Dyspraxia such as :

- Premature birth

- Low birth weight

- Family history of the condition

- Use of alcohol or drugs during pregnancy

There is no cure for DCD but it can be managed to some extent through therapy.

Dr Rashmi Patanwadia is an Occupational Therapist at Governmnet SSG Hospital in Baroda and sheds some light on effects of dyspraxia.

"A person with Dyspraxia has problems with movement, coordination, judgment, processing, memory and some other cognitive skills. It is a developmental disorder of the brain in childhood causing difficulty in activities requiring coordination and movement. Some effective treatments include occupational therapy, perceptual motor training and active play. "

Depending on the needs of the child, training can be given to learn motor skills.

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