What is Dyspraxia?

Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD), also known as dyspraxia, is a common disorder affecting fine and/or gross motor coordination in children and adults. Dyspraxia/DCD is estimated to affect 5% of the population with 2% affected severely.


The difficulties encountered by dyspraxic individuals can vary considerably. It is not uncommon for these difficulties to change over time depending on environmental demands and life experiences.


Simply put, dyspraxia is when messages from the brain don’t reach their intended destination, or reach take the scenic route, which results in problems carrying out movements in the right order.


A red brain inside a blue x-ray image of a head. To the right of the image are lots of bubbles with blue question marks in
Imagine having to process all these thoughts in order to carry out a simple task such as putting on shoes and tying laces.


Dyspraxia is more than just being uncoordinated

Despite being previously referred to as Clumsy Child Syndrome, dyspraxia is much more than that.


Children may have difficulties when writing and riding a bike as well as other educational and recreational activities. In adulthood many of these difficulties will continue, along with others when learning new skills at home, in education and work, such as driving a car and DIY.


Social and emotional difficulties may also be present in addition to problems with time management, planning and personal organisation. These co-occuring difficulties can cause serious negative impacts on daily life and may also cause issues in education or employment.


If that wasn’t enough to contend with, many people with dyspraxia experience difficulties with memory, perception and processing. It can also affect articulation, speech and thought.


There are good symptoms of dyspraxia too, such as having a fantastic sense of humour, a good imagination and being flexible. These are just a few of the symptoms.


What Does Dyspraxia Mean?

A simple dyspraxia definition is that ‘dys’ means ‘impaired’ and ‘praxia’ means ‘action’.

  • dys=impaired
  • praxia=action

So the meaning of dyspraxia is literally impaired action.


What Causes Dyspraxia?

According to the Dyspraxia Foundation, the cause is unknown.

"For the majority of those with the condition, there is no known cause. Current research suggests that it is due to an immaturity of neuron development in the brain rather than to brain damage. People with dyspraxia have no clinical neurological abnormality to explain their condition."

Treatment for Dyspraxia

There is no cure for dyspraxia. However, people with the condition can be extremely resourceful and often find ways to deal with their symptoms. Routines and lots of practice help to enforce the connection between the brain and the action, making it easier each time.


People with dyspraxia may need longer to complete certain tasks because certain actions don’t come naturally to them. However with plenty of practice and support they will get there in the end.


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