My son Elijah has dyspraxia, he’s 8 and many people I speak with do not know what is is.
So here’s some facts about dyspraxia…
It is thought that 5-10% of the population have dyspraxia. There may be many more people who have dyspraxia, people often find the statistics very surprising as dyspraxia is a lot more common than you might think!
Dyspraxia is more common in males than females.
It is thought that males are four times more likely to be affected by dyspraxia than females. However, there might not be as much difference as statistics suggest. The Dyspraxia Foundation’s theme for this week is “Is it a battle of the sexes?” and looks at the fact that females often go through school, university and even the workplace without knowing.
Dyspraxia is not the same as dyslexia. Despite the fact that: they sound the same, they are both classed as specific learning difficulties, and they have overlaps such as difficulties with short term memory and organisation, they are two different things! There’s been so many times where I’ve told someone my son has dyspraxia and they’ve thought I meant dyslexia!
The signals sent from their brain to their body get muddled.
Most people’s brains will send signals to their body successfully, enabling them to perform tasks that require balance and co-ordination, to speak fluently, to process things at a normal speed. Whereas for those of us with dyspraxia, these signals get muddled – you could even picture them as tangled wires. This can affect us in a variety of ways.
Dyspraxia can affect the following areas: physical, speech and language, social, eye movements, sensory, spatial awareness, memory, organisation, concentration, emotion, sense of direction and thought processing.
As you can tell, dyspraxia affects a variety of things. This means that summarising it is not an easy task and I’ve probably missed something off the list!
Physical – fine motor skills, gross motor skills, balance and co-ordination.
Speech and language – difficulty pronouncing certain words, stuttering, getting words muddled up, difficulty organising the sequence of the sentence, difficulty controlling tone and volume of speech.
Social – difficulty with eye contact, literal thinking, difficulty knowing when to interject in a conversation particularly in large groups, may repeat ourselves, background noise makes social situations more difficult.
Eye movements – tracking, relocating.
Sensory – over/under-sensitive to touch, temperature, noise, smell, taste, pain, light.
Spatial awareness – knowing where they are in relation to other objects/people, difficulty judging amount of pressure to apply to things (I wasn’t sure what other category this would fit into!).
Memory – difficulty with short-term memory, following a long list of instructions can be difficult.
Organisation – made more difficult due to difficulties with memory, organisation doesn’t come naturally to them.
Concentration – daydream very easily, difficult to concentrate for long periods of time, concentration can be made even more difficult by background noise.
Emotion – tendency to get easily stressed and frustrated, difficulty adapting to changes in routines.
Sense of direction – getting lost easily, difficulty telling left and right apart.
Thought processing – thought processes can be slower than for others, tend to have lots of thoughts at once – can make getting to sleep difficult as their brain can’t ‘shut down’ easily.
So if someone tells you they have dyspraxia or their child I hope you have more understanding