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Dyspraxia

In my latest (and first for a quite a while) post I'm going to be addressing something slightly different, but very close to my heart - dyspraxia. Though not a mental health disorder, I feel that it is important to raise awareness of the condition and address the way people are affected by it.



What is dyspraxia?

Dyspraxia is a developmental disorder affecting co-ordination in individuals. It is a lifelong condition that can affect anyone, regardless of their intellectual ability. Speech can be affected too. The way in which people struggle with it varies with each person. 

People with dyspraxia may experience difficulties with day to day activities as well as employment and education. Common symptoms in children include difficulty tying shoelaces, riding a bike, writing and participating in sports. These symptoms may continue into adulthood when dyspraxics may also experience difficulty learning to drive, applying makeup and preparing meals. 

Dyspraxia can also impact you socially and emotionally, in addition to your time management and organisation skills, which in turn can affect your time studying or at work. Dyspraxics may have problems with memory, perception and processing.



What causes it?

The exact cause of dyspraxia is not known, but it is believed to be a result of a disruption in the way the brain transmits messages to the body. This causes difficulty to perform movements in a coherent way.


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The symptoms

Some of the most common symptoms of dyspraxia will include:

  • Poor balance and posture
  • Clumsiness
  • Difficulty with speech
  • Problems with perception
  • Fatigue
  • Limited eye-hand co-ordination
  • Fatigue
Furthermore, people with dyspraxia can be ultra-sensitive to taste, touch, light and noise. Symptoms can also vary depending on age. Below I will break down a few of the symptoms found in different age groups.


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Young Children

  • Delayed speech
  • Difficulty tying shoelaces
  • Handwriting is immature
  • Finding it hard to get dressed
  • Poor concentration
  • Difficulties socialising with other children
  • Movements may be slow and awkward
Older Children
  • Avoiding sports whenever possible
  • Slow writing 
  • Poor organisation
  • Difficulty following and remembering instructions
Adults
  • Difficulty with day to day chores - such as shaving, applying makeup, cooking, cleaning, driving etc
  • Unclear speech, may speak in incoherent sentences 
  • Poor organisation
  • Easily flustered 
  • Difficulty hearing over background noise - for instance, might have difficulty following conversation in a busy pub or restaurant 
  • Poor rhythm when dancing or exercising 
  • Self-esteem issues



Treatment

There is no cure for dyspraxia, however there are treatments available to help those who are struggling. Such as occupational therapy and CBT

Keeping fit can also help with improving co-ordination and reducing fatigue. If you have difficulty with handwriting, use your laptop or desktop. Keep a diary or calendar in order to help with organisation, you could even do this on your smartphone. See the Dyspraxia Foundation's guide to living with dyspraxia for a more in-depth overview of how you can help yourself and useful contact numbers.

Sources and further reading
Dyspraxia Diagram from Dyspraxic Fantastic - http://www.dyspraxicfantastic.com/post-029-dyspraxia-diagram/
About Dyspraxia by the Dyspraxia Foundation - https://dyspraxiafoundation.org.uk/about-dyspraxia/
Dyspraxia article from Medical News Today - https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/151951.php

Thank you for reading my blog and I hope this information will be of use to you if you are struggling or just want to know about dyspraxia.

Warmest regards,
Jamie x

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