Dyspraxia

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The term dyspraxia derives from the Greek work praxis, meaning “movement process” (Dworkin, 2005). It is a disorder that affects motor skill development. People with dyspraxia have trouble planning and completing fine motor tasks. This can vary from simple motor tasks such as waving goodbye to more complex tasks like brushing teeth. Throughout the years, dyspraxia has also been called congenital maladriotness, developmental coordination disorder, clumsy child syndrome and sensory integration disorder (Hamilton, 2011). The first documented research in “poor muscular coordination in children” was in 1926 by Louisa Lippitt. She developed a manual for corrective gymnastics for women to help correct coordination problems. Lippitt felt that the coordination issues were a condition of the nervous system and was one of the first to want to treat it with therapeutic measures (Cermak & Larkin, 2002).

The term Dyspraxia was first documented and given a name in 1937 in the U.K. by Samuel T. Orton, who called it developmental dyspraxia. He was a neurologist and he felt that dyspraxia was caused by lesions in the brain, especially to the dominate hemisphere of the brain. The technology available at the time could not prove or disprove his theories. Most scientists since have discounted his view, and instead believe it to be a problem with neural connections. Even so, his work was important because he was the first to note that dyspraxia caused problems with complex movement and could involve speech as well as body movements (Platt, 2011). In the USA, dyspraxia was first given recognition in 1947, through the work of Strauss and Lehtinen. They published research and were considered pioneers in the observation of behavioral characteristics of what they termed “the brain injured child”. Lehtinen was actually one of the first to use the term “learning disabilities” (Kass & Maddux, 2005). In 1975, people began to call it “Clumsy Child Syndrome” and children...
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