What is Dyspraxia




Dyspraxia, also known as Developmental Co-ordination Disorder (DCD), is an impairment in the ability of an individual's organisation of movement and motor co-ordination.  It is typically displayed as clumsiness and can significantly impact on a person's everyday life.  Dyspraxia is recognised as a specific learning difficulty.  


Developmental Dyspraxia is when an individual is born with the condition.  Generally, individuals will appear 'out of sync' with their environment because of poor spatial skills.  This condition also affects the ability to process information in the brain, particularly related with visual processing speed, and short-term auditory memory (or working memory).  


Acquired Dyspraxia (Apraxia) may occur as the result of brain damage suffered from a stroke, head injury, or a neurological condition. It is the partial loss of the ability to co-ordinate and perform certain purposeful movements and gestures, in the absence of motor or sensory impairments. It occurs in individuals who have developed motor co-ordination skills in line with normal parameters and expectations. The integrity of primary motor function is maintained, but people are unable to perform certain action sequences under particular conditions.


What are the Signs?

It is not unusual for people to reach adulthood without having their dyspraxic difficulties formally identified.  It is unique from one individual to the next, therefore people will display some or a combination of the following characteristics in different forms and degrees of severity:

  • Tendency to fall, trip and bump into things
  • Gross motor co-ordination difficulties e.g. poor balance and posture
  • Poor integration of the two sides of the body
  • Poor hand-eye co-ordination
  • Poor time management and organisational skills
  • Difficulties with the organisation and manipulation of thought and language
  • Lack of rhythm when dancing and doing aerobics
  • Difficulties interpreting body language
  • Poor spatial skills, gets lost easily
  • Weak memory, especially short term memory
  • Fine motor co-ordination difficulties e.g. handwriting, typing, drawing

All of the above can lead to a lack of confidence and can cause frustration for the individual with dyspraxia.

How is it Diagnosed?

In order to provide a thorough diagnostic and advisory service, Ability Smart provides a comprehensive range of services.  These include:

  • Pre-assessment Questionnaire - to gain a detailed understanding of the adult's difficulties, and their medical and educational history;
  • Cognitive Functioning Assessment - to gain an overview of the adult's abilities such as; short term visual memory, short term auditory memory, verbal comprehension, and perceptual organisation;
  • Visual Perception & Motor Co-ordination Assessment - to assess the extent to which the adult can integrate their visual and motor abilities.

What Solutions are Available?

For adults in the workplace, Ability Smart offers the following additional services:

  • Workplace Needs Assessment - to determine how the adult's dyspraxia affects them at work and to recommend strategies to address these issues;
  • Adult Learner's Profile - a service offered in conjunction with a Workplace Needs Assessment, adults who have previously undergone a diagnostic assessment.  This will identify their preferred learning style.

Ability Smart also delivers a wide range of tailored interventions for adults in the workplace who have been diagnosed with dyspraxia.  These include:

  • One-to-one Support Training

The difficulties associated with dyspraxia can be alleviated by adopting various compensatory strategies, to minimise the effects of this condition.  Ability Smart recommends:

  • Making use of to-do lists to help with organisational skills;
  • Use of visual aids, such as mind maps and flow charts to help in remembering things;
  • Taking regular breaks throughout the day to maximise concentration and productivity.

Ability Smart believes that, with the appropriate adjustments put in place and use of information technology, an adult's true potential can really be unlocked.

To learn more about the solutions offered by Ability Smart, click here.

Find out More!

If you think you might have dyspraxia and would like to enquire about an assessment, contact us by clicking here.