Dyspraxia

 

Dyspraxia or Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) is a common condition affecting motor coordination in up to six per cent of children, of whom 70 per cent will experience some level of difficulty in adulthood.

Traits

  • Difficulty with balance, fatigue, hand-eye coordination, rhythm, hand movements and/ or manipulation skills
  • Clumsy movement (eg. knocking things over or bumping into people)
  • Reading and writing difficulties (eg. poor handwriting, although may use either hand)
  • Oversensitivity to taste, light, touch or noise.
  • Poor sense of time, speed, distance, weight, or sense of direction
  • Organisational or planning difficulties – poor short term memory
  • Difficulties with accuracy, concentration or following instruction
  • Sleep problems
  • Slow to adapt to new or unpredictable situations
  • May experience speech difficulties (also known as verbal dyspraxia).
 

Potential impact on daily life and employment

  • May have difficulty telling others they have dyspraxia

  • Difficulty remembering appointments or finding their way around unfamiliar buildings or areas
  • Difficulty in learning new skills or completing tasks
  • May have difficulty with dress sense or presenting themselves appropriately
  • Can experience continued periods of low-level pain in joints
  • Can find it difficult to wake from deep sleep
  • Dyspraxia links to poor mental health (eg. anxiety and depression).
 

Support in the workplace

  • Explore what coping strategies the individual has in place to minimise the impact of their dyspraxia

  • Avoid giving complex multiple instructions, check understanding by asking the individual to repeat instructions
  • Consider using memory aids (eg. dictaphones). Where memory loss is a greater challenge, use a job coach to help the learning process
  • Avoid ambiguous terms as they may be taken literally (eg. I‘ll do that for you in a minute)
  • Regular breaks allow concentration of effort to be targeted
  • Reinforce learning with written information or CDs/DVDs
  • Regularly check with the individual if they are able to put what they are doing into a time context – provision of a written timed plan can be helpful
  • Job coaching should be considered when an individual starts a new job or experiences a job change.

 

Research suggests that twice as many males are affected by Dyspraxia than females. 

Source; Dyspraxia Australia website.

 

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