So here we are at day 7, entitled Gross Motor Skills, because that was the ‘G’ I chose to go alongside Dyspraxia Awareness Week.
This year before I chose the themes I had a few people asking if we could include some specific topics and some awareness days/weeks, so I went through the awareness days website and found as many as I could to include, if I am totally honest it’s been a bit of an eye opener because I have heard many of these words spoken about before, but never really known much about them, especially dyspraxia.
The Dyspraxia Foundation has lots of information and it describes dyspraxia as
Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD), also known as dyspraxia, is a common disorder affecting fine and/or gross motor coordination in children and adults. DCD is formally recognised by international organisations including the World Health Organisation. DCD is distinct from other motor disorders such as cerebral palsy and stroke, and occurs across the range of intellectual abilities. Individuals may vary in how their difficulties present: these may change over time depending on environmental demands and life experiences, and will persist into adulthood.
Before having our sixth child Tyrus, I just took all the developmental stages as a box ticking exercise with the health visitor, but by the age of 3 months, I knew that there was something different about Tyrus, I guess studying for a degree in childhood development and already going through the developmental milestones five times already it was easier for me to notice differences, obviously Tyrus diagnosis is different (asd and sensory) but it is so important to address any worries or concerns with your health professionals when your children are small to ensure you get the necessary help, advice and support required.
In terms of Dyspraxia these are some of ways to recognise a child with dyspraxia
The pre-school child
- Is late in reaching milestones e.g. rolling over, sitting, standing, walking, and speaking
- May not be able to run, hop, jump, or catch or kick a ball although their peers can do so
- Has difficulty in keeping friends; or judging how to behave in company
- Has little understanding of concepts such as ‘in’, ‘on’, ‘in front of’ etc
- Has difficulty in walking up and down stairs
- Poor at dressing
- Slow and hesitant in most actions
- Appears not to be able to learn anything instinctively but must be taught skills
- Falls over frequently
- Poor pencil grip
- Cannot do jigsaws or shape sorting games
- Artwork is very immature
- Often anxious and easily distracted
The school age child
- Probably has all the difficulties experienced by the pre-school child with dyspraxia, with little or no improvement
- Avoids PE and games
- Does badly in class but significantly better on a one-to -one basis
- Reacts to all stimuli without discrimination and attention span is poor
- May have trouble with maths and writing structured stories
- Experiences great difficulty in copying from the blackboard
- Writes laboriously and immaturely
- Unable to remember and /or follow instructions
- Is generally poorly organised
But as you will notice there are plenty of different reasons that a preschool or school age child may be showing these signs and all of their factors need to be taken into consideration, so if you have any concerns about your child’s development, don’t delay in discussing it with a health professional, because going through any kind of process and diagnosis takes forever, and the paperwork and endless form filling, never seems to stop!
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