`Developmental Dyspraxia (also known as Developmental Coordination Disorder and the Clumsy Child Syndrome) is a neurologically based disorder of motor function, affecting the gaining of new skills and the carrying out of those already learned.’
It affects children in different ways at different stages of development, and is inconsistent – as if sometimes information is `put away’ in the wrong drawer.
It is not a behaviour problem, not an overt physical disability, and may not even be visible – until the child tries to learn a new skill, or to repeat a learned one out of context. If you see a child with Dyspraxia in the playground, they may seem just like their peers.
Dyspraxia requires a diagnosis by a medical practitioner or Occupational Therapist.
The child with Dyspraxia may be:
- the clumsy child,
- the one who may be very distractable, who can’t recall today what he knew yesterday,
- has difficulty following a set of instructions,
- continually trailing behind the others, losing his books and is totally disorganised,
- fails exams and tests even though the teacher is convinced he knows the work,
- continually losing things,
- unable to organise ideas for essays,
- processing information slowly,
- stumbles when reading aloud,
- has illegible handwriting,
- cannot draw,
- a social disaster,
- bright and intelligent, but failing educationally,
- the child who would, if he could, but sometimes can’t.
Ref: Dyspraxia support Group of NZ
There are often overlaps with other disabilities such as Dyslexia.