Children and Young People with Additional Support Needs
Problems caused by dyspraxia, also known as developmental co-ordination disorder. Dyspraxia specifically relates to the development of a child’s motor skills (their ability to make smooth, co-ordinated movements). Causes and incidence
The exact causes of dyspraxia in children are unknown, it is thought to be caused by a disruption in the way messages from the brain are transmitted to the body. Dyspraxia is not thought to be due to any damage to the brain but a problem with the development of certain neurones in the brain. Neurones are the nerve cells of the body. They send signals to each other to allow the passage of information between different parts of the body. Connections between the neurones allowing the passage of these signals start to develop as we learn how to do things as a child. For example, when children learn to pick up a spoon and feed themselves or when they learn to pick up a cup and drink from it. The connections are reinforced when an action is carried out correctly. Dyspraxia is more common in boys and sometimes runs in families. It may also occur alongside other conditions, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) a group of behavioural symptoms of inattentiveness, hyperactivity and impulsiveness, a specific learning difficulty such as dyslexia which affects the skills involved in reading and spelling words, autistic spectrum disorder, a range of developmental disorders and other chromosome disorders. Reasons why this might occur: - Lack of oxygen around the time of birth.
- An early viral infection.
- Alcohol or poison abuse such as fatal alcohol syndrome.
- There is evidence that premature birth leads to the failure of the neurons in the brain to form adequate connections. This has an effect on the brains ability to process information. - It may follow brain damage caused by illness, stroke or an accident later in life. However, often there’s no obvious cause. Estimates of the prevalence of developmental coordination disorder are approximately 6% in children aged 5–11. Males are four times more likely than females to have dyspraxia. In some cases, the disorder may be familial. -Difficulties experienced by child/young person
As a child with Dyspraxia gets older, they may find it harder than other children of the same age to join in playground games and to perform fine (detailed) movements, such as handwriting. They may also have difficulty processing thoughts and concentrating. They may also find difficult playground activities such as - hopping, jumping, running, and catching or kicking a ball - games including shape-sorter toys, building blocks and jigsaws - using scissors and colouring pens (their drawings may appear scribbled and more childish than they should be for their age) - fine movements such as handwriting, tying shoelaces, doing up buttons and using a knife and fork - keeping still (they may swing or move their arms and legs a lot and find it hard to sit still) -walking up and down stairs
If a child has Dyspraxia, they will have difficulty concentrating and learning. They may: -do better at school in a one-to-one situation than in a group, as they are able to be guided through work -have a poor attention span, finding it difficult to concentrate on one thing for more than a few minutes -not automatically pick up new skills and need encouragement and repetition to help them learn -have problems with writing stories and copying from the blackboard Difficulties experienced by the child`s family/significant others When a child is diagnosed as having developmental Dyspraxia the child`s family may feel many emotions: shock, relief, isolation. They may want to know how best to help the child and how to plan for the years ahead. Parents may also wonder how the family is going to cope with the child who has Dyspraxia,...