WHAT IS DYSPRAXIA?
Dyspraxia is a complex disorder in which individuals lack coordination of their motor activities, speech, judgment, body balance and movements. In these individuals, the various cognitive skills such as memory, perception, thought processes are usually impaired, although the intelligence remains unaffected. Furthermore, the nervous system and the body’s immune system suffer major setbacks. Dyspraxia is widely known as Developmental Coordination Disorder. Diagnosis is carried out by testing the dyspraxia symptoms. Adults and children suffering from dyspraxia have immense difficulty in carrying the normal daily functions.
We only have assumed the causes of Dyspraxia as the researchers haven’t been able to pinpoint anything with confirmation. It is thought that the main cause of this disorder is the improper development of the motor neurons in infants due to which proper connections aren’t formed and hence the messages from the brain fail to get transmitted to the muscles. This theory explains the lack of coordination of motor skills. Again, due to the inability of neural messages to get properly transmitted, the cognitive behavior is affected. Hence children might be born with Dyspraxia. This phenomenon may be caused by:
Low body weight during birth
Carelessness of pregnant mother- alcohol or drug intake by mother during pregnancy. Etc
However, in case of adults, sudden occurrences of Dyspraxia symptoms may be due to any serious head-injuries or head-stroke or are the same right from birth. According to experts, 10 percent people suffer from mild dyspraxia symptoms, although only 2 percent is severely affected by it.
Infants – Signs and symptoms of Dyspraxia can be noticed in a child from very early stages. Few of the Dyspraxia symptoms in infants are-
The child may not reach the normal development stages in the normal time span, I.e. the baby may take longer than expected time in learning to roll over, crawl, sit, stand, walk, toilet-training, etc.
The speech of the child is extremely incoherent, I.e. the speech of the child is taking longer to develop than usual.
Children- Dyspraxia symptoms in children are clearly visible and cause persistent problems in their childhood. Few of them are listed below-
The Dyspraxia-affected children have a very messy handwriting, and they find it difficult to use things like scissors, knives, color pens, etc. Also, they cannot perform subtle chores such as tying shoelaces, buttoning shirts, using forks to eat, climbing stairs, etc.
They are poor in playground activities due to their poor motor coordination skills and hence find it difficult to socialize with the children of the same age group. At school, they are unable to take part in P.E activities.
They usually have a problem in concentrating, learning and memorizing, given the fact that they have very poor working memory and a very short attention span. Although the intelligence of a child is unaffected by this disorder.
They are very over-active and have an impaired sense of direction.These are also dyspraxia symptoms in teenagers.
Adults – most Dyspraxic adults carry the disorder since their childhood, hence most symptoms are similar.
They cannot differentiate between left and right.
They have impaired social skills and are usually loners.
They have a very poor sense of timing.
They are usually very clumsy and tend to bump into others accidentally.
They are usually unable to solve puzzles.
They find it difficult to control their speech. Mostly, the speech of such individuals is under developed. This is generally termed as Developmental verbal dyspraxia.
There are no such treatments for this disorder; however, with practice the individuals may improve. In general, early diagnosis of dyspraxia symptoms is crucial in the development and support for various therapies to be implemented in early stages to cope with these disorders.