Most of us learn to brush our teeth, kick a ball or eat with cutlery pretty easily. But for children with dyspraxia doing these seemingly ordinary things is a Herculean task. Also known as Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD), Dyspraxia is a neurological disorder "that impacts an individual's ability to plan and process motor tasks”, states Medical News Today.

Around 5% of kids have dyspraxia

“Dyspraxia isn’t a sign of muscle weakness or of low intelligence. It’s a brain-based condition that makes it hard to plan and coordinate physical movement,” explains an Understood.org report.

“Children with dyspraxia tend to struggle with balance and posture.

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They may appear clumsy or 'out of sync' with their environment,” adds the website that’s dedicated to tackling learning and attention issues among children.

According to European Academy of Childhood Disability (EACD), nearly 5% of children suffer from dyspraxia which roughly translates to one student in every classroom.

“For me, it started with little things: bumping into people in the corridors at school. Getting lost on my way to class…I walked oddly, hunched and tilting to one side, with my feet turned inward. I was formally diagnosed before I was 11, only a few years after the founding of the first-ever Dyspraxia Foundation,” writes Jenny Hollander, Senior News Editor at Bustle, in an article on dyspraxia.

Most common signs of DCD include handwriting difficulties, trouble riding a bicycle, difficulty in tying shoe laces or fastening buttons of a shirt.

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DCD can also affect a child’s speech, making it difficult for him/her to articulate, understand and process a language and modulate the volume of speech.

Because of the fairly recent prevalence of formal diagnosis, for the longest time, dyspraxia was often confused with clumsiness and laziness. People assumed that the kids would “grow out of” their movement difficulties, says Mellissa Prunty, a lecturer in Occupational Therapy at Brunel University, London, in an article published on The Conversation.

DCD is a lifelong disorder

DCD is a lifelong disorder hence the motor difficulties persist into adulthood. “Adults with DCD still bump into objects and continue to struggle with handwriting. They may also have trouble with timekeeping and planning ahead, meaning they may be frequently late to work and social events,” adds Prunty.

“At work I often turn up late and also forget to do certain things – part of my role involves being in charge of ordering ales in and sometimes I forget to submit the list to the manager on shift, resulting in another manager having to order in ales,” says Elliott Cramer, a history graduate and bartender from Worcestershire, in an interview with Metro UK.

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“It takes an incredible amount of self-motivation and organisation to do something as 'mundane' as tidying up. I can tidy up, and do it well, but it takes ages. so I have found that allowing myself to just do 'a bit' and then be okay with myself to do something else if I get distracted later,” a user named ianpenfold shares on dyspraxicadults.org.uk.

"For the majority of those with the condition, there is no known cause, states Dyspraxia Foundation. “Current research suggests that it is due to an immaturity of neurone development in the brain rather than to brain damage. People with dyspraxia have no clinical neurological abnormality to explain their condition,” adds the UK-based organisation.

Living with dyspraxia

Although there is no cure for dyspraxia, DCD can be controlled with the help of certain strategies. Occupational therapists can help with “the motor and perceptual skills, together with activities of daily living such as household tasks and organisational skills,” notes Dyspraxia Foundation.

Speech therapists can help with speech or language difficulties while counselling can help in dealing with the anxiety and stress caused by DCD. According to Dyspraxia Foundation, taking up self-development classes or joining a self-help group can go a long way.

Additionally, keeping diaries, calendars and using to-do lists and post-it notes to plan daily life can be a huge help. At the workplace, using tools like mind maps and flow charts can prove beneficial. #Child Syndrome #Neurodevelopmental Disorder