Dyspraxia. It's a hard condition to explain to people who don't have it, a task many dyspraxics face a lot of the time. There are so many aspects to it which make it very difficult to explain it and also some dyspraxics have a variety of problems that other dyspraxics don't have. For example, one dyspraxic may being able to tying shoe laces where another dyspraxic may not. Dyspraxia is different in every single individual although there is a general list of problems many dyspraxics face every day. I will now do my best to explain what dyspraxia is and what problems are caused by it but please forgive me if you can't understand it as I said before, it's a difficult condition to explain.
Dyspraxia is a neurological condition which affects the brain. It prevents messages to and from the brain being transmitted properly. Dyspraxia affects all or any areas of development in children which are mainly these six areas:
It may also impair a person's learning ability. Dyspraxia mainly affects people's fine and/or gross motor co-ordination as well as many other things but I will discuss those in the symptoms section.
Often, people describe dyspraxia as a disability and it is classed as one but I don't see it as one. Being a dyspraxic myself, I don't know why but I just see the word "disabled" as putting quite a negative spin on it. Because you perfectly enable to do things, you may just be a bit clumsy at doing it! I prefer the word "different" or "condition" or even "curse" if I having a really bad day.
Dyspraxia has many different names such as DCD (developmental co-ordination disorder), clumsy child syndrome, the hidden handicap, motor learning problems, minimal brain dysfunction, sensory integrative problems etc.
To be honest, there is not a lot when it comes to explain why people have dyspraxia. The main reason for it is any injury to the brain. The majority of the time dyspraxia is caused by either when the dyspraxic is a baby in the womb and the cells don't develop properly, a lack of oxygen during birth etc.
Dyspraxia can also be genetically passed on so sometimes families can be jointly affected. I believe it is a 50/50 chance for the child to have dyspraxia if one parent has it and even more if both have it. Of course, if a dyspraxic has a child it does not necessary mean that child will be affected by dyspraxia. Sure enough, it will inherit the dyspraxic gene but it may not be affected as the gene may be dormant. The gene could stay dormant for generations before it randomly resurfaces. I guess when it is in families, it's just the luck of the draw.
There are two main types of dyspraxia: Developmental dyspraxia and Acquired dyspraxia. Developmental dyspraxia is when the person is born with it and cquired dyspraxia is when the person gets it through a head injury, stroke, allergic reaction to an injection etc.
Please be aware that for this section, the information may vary in different cases of dyspraxia and there is different types of symptoms depending on the dyspraxic's age as dyspraxia can affect all ages.
Dyspraxia causing some many problems, some more common than other but here is a general list of problems dyspraxics face every day:
The following symptoms was quoted from the Dyspraxic Teens Forum. Note: In my case, a symptom should be "laziness" for copying and pasting...
These symptoms are the main ones and most dyspraxics struggle with most of them but some dyspraxics may not suffer from all of them. For example, I don't suffer from reading difficulties, I can read perfectly where in another case, you could ask another dyspraxic and find that they do suffer from reading difficulties. It also depends on whether or not the dyspraxic has any other conditions linking into dyspraxia.
Getting dyspraxia diagnosed can be quite tricky as dyspraxia is often described as the hidden problem as it is quite hard to spot in people. Not so much in the serious form of dyspraxia but in the mild form, it can be quite tricky to spot and also, dyspraxia can get mixed up with other similiar conditions such as dyslexia and dyscalculia and it is even harder if the person has two or more conditions. If you get a chance to look at the famous dyspraxics page, you may be surprised at the people who have it.
Usually it is really the dyspraxics themselves that discover the condition. About 10% of the UK show symptoms of dyspraxia and about 2% of that to be severely affected. Dyspraxia is four times more likely to affect males than females. The best way of getting a diagnosis is going to visit your doctor whether it is for yourself or for your child who can then refer you to a occupational therapist. Although through the NHS as you can imagine, it can take sometime. Although, diagnosis is not cheap if you go private unless you are at school or college where you can talk to SEN (Special Educational Needs) who can possibly sort something out.
There is no cure for dyspraxia at the present time, maybe there will be in a thousand years time or maybe not. Maybe dyspraxia will be with us forever? Opinions vary between dyspraxics about whether or not they would want a cure but personally, if you had ask me years ago, I would have said yes but now, after going through everything, the damage is done, I've survived it and I'm getting on with life. For me, dyspraxia is a part of me, of my personality and identify and if it got took away, life just wouldn't be the same.
Luckily, Dyspraxia is not a degenerative condition which means it cannot get worse although if you are stress or tired, symptoms can appear to be worse. In most dyspraxics, it seems as they get older the condition seems to improve. All sorts of exercises and methods can be used to improve the dyspraxia. Not so much with the psychological effects such as memory loss but they can be a big help for the physical effects such as co-ordination For example, I know that playing game consoles such as the Wii can help with hand co-ordination. Different specialists such as occupational therapists, speech and language therapists, psychologists and specialist teachers can all help depending on which area or areas of development have been affected. Every specialist should give the dyspraxic advice and methods on how to deal with everyday tasks that he or she finds difficult.
Now you've probably read this entire page and thought "My god! Dyspraxia is an awful condition!" and you would be pretty much true on that fact except it's not all storm clouds. I think if there was no positives to dyspraxia, I think many dyspraxics would struggle with it a lot more but thankfully there is so we don't have to struggle so much. Now, I will list a few positives many dyspraxics have come up with and I agree with them all!