View Full Version : Dyspraxia

02-16-06, 09:43 AM
My nephew has mild cerebral palsy and motor dyspraxia. Well that's what my sister told me he has been diagnosed with. I've been reading around internet sites and alot of what is written makes sense. However i do feel from knowing him that he either has other issues or that his condition is not at all understood well enough by his parents.
He is getting no help what so ever. I went to stay with them last year and i noticed so often that his difficulties were not understood and that the reaction to his behaviour just made the situation worse.
I'm wondering if anybody else knows anyone severely effected by this, not so much in the movement aspect, but in behaviours.
He doesn't speak, although he did start to make an effort to talk to me, he will only eat food he prepares but that is extreemely limited and causes huge battles with his parents screaming at him to eat, i also hear this on the phone and to be honest it really distresses me.
I tried talking to my sister about this but she said that he "can" do stuff, he just chooses not to. Now this rang alarm bells instantly with me, for obvious reasons and i told her that it may seem that way but not to jump to that conclusion. I explained that although i don't have the came conditions as him, there are times where i can do certain things, and others where no matter how hard i try i simply can't.
I dunno, i feel like he needs so much more help than he is getting, and i also feel that hi parents need educating further on his condition.
By the way, he is now 21 years old.
I live in another part of the country so theres not much i can do on a practical level, but i can talk to his mum and hope that effects change in some way. I guess i feel sometimes that he is being severely punished for his illness which i can't accept.
Ok, sorry for the rambly rant, but i wanted to know others experiences of this, if any?
Thanks for reading

02-16-06, 01:41 PM
I don't know what it is but I understand your concern and you're right -- the approach is parents are currently taking is unlikely to help. You might try doing some reading on Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or Autism/Aspergers Syndrome -- some of the things you describe have shades of that, but this isn't an area I'm real knowledgable on. John Ratey discusses mild forms of these and their more serious full syndromes in his book Shadow Syndromes. You might check out those sections on these boards too.Your nephew is lucky to have you!


02-23-06, 08:36 PM
Awwww thanks Scattered :D
Well, i've spoken to his mum and they plan to move as soon as possible from where they currently live. The plan is, once they have moved they can try to get the ball rolling on him getting some help. His mum told me she thinks theres more going on with him than the doctors told them. They had to fight for a long time to even get the diagnosis they did. You see, my sister has what they used to call petit mal seizures, however in her i think 30's this developed into grand mal epilepsy. When she was in labour with my nephew the doctors kinda just left her having her siezures even though she had informed all concerned that she had petit mal epilepsy.
Her and her husband are convinced this is partially why my nephew is like he is.
Anyway, once i have a working printer again i shall do more research and see if i can find information to help guide them, and hopefully get at least my sister to have more understanding.
Thanks alot for responding hun, and thanks again for the compliment!!!:D

ETA- Oh yeah, i've been looking into the Autism/Aspergers thing too, basically anything that seems familiar to his issues, even if only to show his mum to help her understand genuine struggles. Hmmnnn, i hope that made sense!

03-06-06, 07:55 PM
Hi People.

Can you please send me a private message or an email and explain this condition.


03-06-06, 10:27 PM
The Dyspraxia Foundation describes developmental dyspraxia as "an impairment or immaturity of the organisation of movement. It is an immaturity of the way the brain processes information, resulting in messages not being fully transmitted to the body." Dyspraxia is a life-long developmental coordination disorder (DCD) that is more common in males than in females, and has been believed to affect 8% to 10% of all children (Dyspraxia Trust, 1991). Ripley, Daines, and Barrett state that 'Developmental dyspraxia is difficulty getting our bodies to do what we want when we want them to do it', and that this difficulty can be considered significant when it interferes with the normal range of activities expected for a child of their age. Madeline Portwood makes the distinction that dyspraxia is not due to a general medical condition, but that it may be due to immature neuron development. The word "dyspraxia" comes from the Greek word "dys" meaning difficulty with and the word "praxis", meaning acting or doing. Part of a continuum of related disorders, dyspraxia is also known as developmental co-ordination disorder, and may also be present in people with autism spectrum disorder, dyslexia and dyscalculia, among others. Dyspraxia is described as having two main elements

Ideational Dyspraxia
Difficulty with planning a sequence of coordinated movements.
Ideo-Motor Dyspraxia
Difficulty with executing a plan, even though it is known.

Assessment and diagnosis

Assessments for dyspraxia typically require a developmental history, detailing ages at which significant developmental milestones, such as crawling and walking, occurred. Motor skills screening includes activities designed to indicate dyspraxia, including balancing, physical sequencing, touch sensitivity, and variations on walking activities. A baseline motor assessment establishes the starting point for developmental intervention programs. Comparing children to normal rates of development may help to establish areas of significant difficulty.

Developmental Profiles

There are six main areas of difficulty which can be profiled within dyspraxia; the four main areas are listed below:

Speech and language

Developmental verbal dyspraxia is a type of ideational dyspraxia, causing linguistic or phonological impairment. Key problems include:

* Difficulties controlling the speech organs.
* Difficulties making speech sounds
* Difficulty sequencing sounds
o Within a word
o Forming words into sentences
* Difficulty controlling breathing and phonation.
* Slow language development.
* Difficulty with feeding.

Handwriting and drawing

Difficulties with fine motor co-ordination lead to problems with handwriting, which may be due to either ideational or ideo-motor difficulties. Problems associated with this area may include:

* Learning basic movement patterns.
* Developing a desired writing speed.
* The amount of graphemes to be learned – e.g. the letters of the Latin alphabet, as well as 10 numbers.
* Establishing the correct pencil grip.

Whole body movement, coordination, and body image

Issues with fine motor coordination mean that major developmental targets include walking, running, climbing and jumping. One area of difficulty involves associative movement, where a passive part of the body moves or twitches in response to a movement in an active part. For example, the support arm and hand twitching as the dominant arm and hand move, or hands turning inwards or outwards to correspond with movements of the feet. Problems associated with this area may include:

* Poor timing
* Poor balance
* Difficulty combining movements into a controlled sequence.
* Difficulty remembering the next movement in a sequence.

Physical Play

Difficulties in areas relating to physical play may lead to dyspraxic children standing out from their peers. Major developmental targets include ball skills, use of wheeled toys and manipulative skills, including pouring, threading and using scissors.

* Problems with spatial awareness, or Proprioception
* Mis-timing when catching
* Complex combination of skills involved in using scissors

The other two developmental profiles concern dressing and feeding. People with severe dyspraxia often are incorrectly labelled as spastics, a term which has fallen out of favour recently due largely to derogatory connotations in modern culture.

General difficulties

Poor hand-eye coordination can create problems in many areas, including using scissors and glue. Difficulty with positional language leads to left-right confusion. Organisational difficulties include poor listening skills and memory retention, and weak sequencing skills. Dyspraxia may lead to immature behaviour due to frustration or developmental levels.

Role of Support Agencies

Within the United Kingdom there are several agencies that are able to support children with dyspraxia. They may provide reports on the child’s progress, including:

* A developmental history with motor milestones
* Patterns of social interaction, communication and behaviour,
* Educational history and analysis of learning styles
* Views of the child, including their response to the current learning environment.
* The child’s level of overall special educational needs
* resources, equipment and facilities required to support the child.

The following people may be involved in supporting a dyspraxic child:

Paediatric Occupational Therapist

The Paediatric Occupational Therapist provides information, advice and guidance on supporting dyspraxic children. They provide equipment for improving children’s access to activities and may implement programmes to support perceptual difficulties and develop fine motor co-ordination.

Speech and Language Therapist

The Speech Therapist supports children whose dyspraxia has manifested in speech, and may provide a speech intervention program to be delivered in school.

Educational Psychologist

The educational psychologist assesses children in relation to developmental profiles.

Health Visitor

The health visitor may assist in a diagnosis of dyspraxia for pre-school age children.

03-13-06, 11:37 AM
Wow!! Thanks Andi!!!

04-20-06, 05:32 AM
Ideo-Motor Dyspraxia
Difficulty with executing a plan, even though it is known.
Any plan, or a plan of movement?