Shane has Dyspraxia
Shane has difficulties dressing himself and often sits on the end of his bed struggling to put on his socks. His mother has painstakingly shown him how many times, but left to do it himself he cannot manage it. Shane often has to be shown how to play with toys, he is not able to decide for himself the most appropriate way of playing with the toy or game… read more >
Children with Dyspraxia have difficulty planning, sequencing and carrying out every day actions. Often young children with Dyspraxia will have difficulty dressing themselves, buttoning their shirts and tying their shoe laces. Older children will have difficulty organising their books for school, remembering their PE gear and getting organised to do their homework – which often takes far too long to complete.
How would you recognise Dyspraxia?
Children with Dyspraxia often have very messy handwriting, as they have difficulty holding their pencil correctly in order to write neatly. Many children with Dyspraxia do not enjoy sports, as they are not as coordinated as their peers.
Dyspraxia can effect speech and language development. In order to express your ideas using speech, phonemes (sounds) must be organised into words and words into sentences. For the child with Dyspraxia, having a clear idea and then organising the language to express himself can be very challenging.
What is Dyspraxia?
Dyspraxia affects the planning of what to do and how to do it.
Dyspraxia is a difficulty with Praxis. Praxis is the ability which allows us to organise and plan our actions in order to complete a task.
Dyspraxia is thought to affect 10% of the population and is 3 to 4 times more prevalent in males. Dyspraxia is sometimes described as Developmental Co-ordination Disorder (DCD). Dyspraxia is a neurological disorder affecting the three processes of ideation, organisation and execution.
- Ideation – having an idea of what to do. It is a cognitive process whereby we gather sensory information in order to form an idea of the task that we want to complete.
- Organisation and motor planning – organising and sequencing the steps needed to successfully complete the task.
- Execution – execution of the action to complete the task. Messages are sent from the brain to the body and the necessary movements needed to complete the task are performed. This is the motor part of praxis.
It is often at the motor praxis stage that we observe the difficulty that a child is having. However, the child may also be having difficulties in deciding what to do (ideation) or in the planning and sequencing (organisation) of the actions needed to complete a task.
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Shane has Dyspraxia
Shane has difficulties dressing himself and often sits on the end of his bed struggling to put on his socks. His mother has painstakingly shown him how many times, but left to do it himself he cannot manage it. Shane often has to be shown how to play with toys, he is not able to decide for himself the most appropriate way of playing with the toy or game. He finds it very difficult to organise himself to do his homework. He often forgets to put toothpaste on his brush and brushes his teeth without it. Shane also appears clumsy and a bit awkward. Shane has Motor planning difficulties or Dyspraxia. His difficulties have been described as DCD (Developmental Coordination Disorder).
There are three steps involved in motor planning – also called Praxis
- He has to have an idea of what he wants to do.
- He has to organize how to do it, sequence the steps involved (Motor planning).
- Take action, or execute an unfamiliar motor activity.
At Cluas we created a specific individual program of therapy to address Shane’s difficulties. Underlying Shane’s Dyspraxia was a vestibular system deficit. The vestibular system influences a wide range of activities, from balance and coordination to sensory integration and planning and sequencing.
Shane’s Cluas Programme resulted in a much improved vestibular system. Following the initial stages of his Cluas programme, the activities during his daily sessions were geared towards giving Shane the opportunity to try out tasks which previously would have been impossible for him, and had caused him great frustration. In this safe environment Shane was supported in attempting planning and sequencing, and other activities which he previously would have shied away from. To his surprise these were much easier than ever before.
Shane’s mother now reports that Shane is less frustrated when he is playing with his brothers. His homework has become less of a chore, he is generally less awkward and clumsy and is beginning to enjoy sports. He is much happier and confident in himself, is making new friends and he has even joined a basketball club. Shane no longer thinks that Dyspraxia will hold him back.
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