Dyspraxia (Clumsy) is developmental coordination disorder


What is dyspraxia or DCD (developmental coordination disorder)? There is not one but several dyspraxias.

Dyspraxia is an anomalie in the planning and automation of voluntary actions. This is concerning coordination and development disorder.

The realization of a gesture results from the coordinated and automatic management of many temporal and spatial factors that have been the subject of brain pre-programming.

This is incomplete, even non-existent in dyspraxics and the gesture never becomes automatic and always requires an extremely tiring voluntary control.

In the case of visuospatial dyspraxia, disorders of gaze, visual perception and representation of space are added. The Dyspraxia also known as a clumsy person.

Characteristics and Symptoms

The most common characteristics

The dyspraxic child understands the gestures well but cannot organize them or carry them out harmoniously:

He is clumsy, slow and all his motor and graphic achievements are mediocre, shapeless, muddled …
He needs help dressing and bathing, well beyond normal age and even with meals (he cannot cut his meat and eats “dirty”).
He presents a significant and lasting graphic delay (dysgraphia), his drawings are poor and he has difficulty accessing cursive writing.
He has trouble getting organized in his work (preparing his schoolbag …)
He has trouble using a ruler, a pair of scissors, an eraser …
In the event of visuospatial dyspraxia, he will experience difficulties in all tasks where the spatial components are important: geometry, geography, spatial dyscalculia, reading (slowness).

Often associated disorders

He may have a gross motor coordination disorder, he runs, jumps disorderly, he falls, bumps …
He may have more or less attention deficit disorder.
He may have problems with oral language, speech dyspraxia: he speaks late, he pronounces or speaks poorly.
But he is an intelligent, curious and easy-talking child who learns with pleasure and efficiency.

What can we do?

Set up appropriate rehabilitation early on:

Occupational therapy.
Speech therapy.
Psychological support.
It is especially important that parents, teachers and rehabilitators work together so that the aids offered are as coherent and effective as possible.

Call signs

Dyspraxia or Coordination Acquisition Disorder affects 4-6% of the population. It is an invisible handicap.

Awkwardness, great difficulty in handling tools and in writing, fatigue are the main signs of this. The consequences on education and professional integration can be significant.

For any information on this disorder, the diagnostic process and the help to be provided, contact the Fédération Dyspraxique Mais Fantastique.

Manifestations of dyspraxia

The child understands the gestures well but cannot organize them or carry them out harmoniously, he shows great clumsiness and all his motor or graphic achievements are mediocre, shapeless, muddled.

“Due to an atypical neurological development, the child is abnormally clumsy:

either globally (running, jumping, sports …) = TAC: disorder in the acquisition of coordination. ” The essential deficit is at the level of movement ”
or specifically for certain precise gestures = dyspraxia, in particular the graphics (hence the major school problems), cutting, gluing, dressing… .. In this case, the disorder of the gesture is often accompanied by spatial dyscalculia. ”
“These gestures are those that require explicit teaching, learning from trial and error, after training praxis should be built”

A child with dyspraxia will not be able to cerebrally register certain praxies corresponding to certain specific gestures despite usual learning “His gestures will remain clumsy, fluctuating or even failed and in addition carried out under attentional control which leads to great fatigue.”

What is a dyspraxic in child?

  • he is clumsy: everything he touches: overturns, breaks, falls, tears.
  • he needs help dressing, washing, drying ….
  • he eats slowly “dirty”, he cannot cut his meat or peel the fruit.
  • he has trouble finding his things, tidying up, getting organized, he forgets his satchel…
  • he doesn’t like playing Lego®, puzzles, Mechanics® and all construction games, he has trouble learning and following the rules of games (he invents others…).
  • he has great difficulty in writing (dysgraphia) his drawings are poor, often described as immature; He is progressing over time, but insufficiently, and cannot follow “in writing” in school.
  • he cannot perform the expected figures according to his age,
  • he prefers to write in stick letters (but cannot trace the obliques).
  • he has great difficulty in accessing cursive or linked writing.
  • he is slow, clumsy, the result of his work is difficult to read, coarse, dirty, messy, crumpled.
  • he cannot use a ruler, a compass, an eraser, a pair of scissors.
  • he is easily distracted and has trouble concentrating in class, he forgets instructions and instructions.
  • he has difficulty sending and catching a ball, it is difficult for him to pedal, he prefers to push with his feet, and cannot ride a bicycle without stabilizers.
  • he has muscle tone problems, eg he has trouble closing doors …
Disorders due to CAD (coordination acquisition disorder):

he runs haphazardly, cannot coordinate his arms and legs when swimming.
he sometimes has difficulty walking, especially in rough terrain (forest, mountains, sand, etc.).
he often bumps, triumphs in obstacles, falls and often has “bruises”.
he goes down the stairs with difficulty,
he jumps hard, has trouble balancing on one foot: he cannot jump on one foot.

DCD (developmental coordination disorder):

he is a lively, intelligent, good-talking child, he likes to participate in conversations with adults (when there is no associated oral-facial dyspraxia)
he loves stories and stories, invents elaborate role-playing games, he knows a lot of things and has an extensive general knowledge (he asks questions all the time).
he has an excellent memory, learns with pleasure and efficiency.
Dyspraxia affects every child differently. As a result, all children are unique and do not experience the same difficulties, moreover with rehabilitation and over time their performance improves: some manage to write, they dress more and more easily. Some people have no problem with “gross motor skills”, play sports (skiing, cycling, etc.) but will have more problems with “fine motor skills” or with visual strategies.

Some will have problems with the mouth (oro-bucco-facial): blowing, whistling, chewing, swallowing, articulating, He can continue to drool.

He may have problems with oral language = speech dyspraxia): he speaks late, he pronounces or articulates badly, it is difficult to understand him …

The child speaks poorly because he has difficulty planning and automating the sequences of phonatory gestures.

The different forms of dyspraxia

Constructive dyspraxia concerns activities where different elements are put together:
For example in everyday life: DIY, sewing, carpentry.
These are also all construction games such as cubes, Lego®, Clippo®, Mécanos®, puzzles….
Constructive visuospatial dyspraxia which associates: Constructive non visuospatial dyspraxia, we can then help the child with models, diagrams.
a disorder in the organization of the gesture.
a gaze disorder (with or without a vision disorder) which results in difficulties in the organization of the motricity of the eyeballs (the child has difficulty exploring a fixed and determined space in search of one or several elements, he cannot fix a determined target, nor follow a moving target).
a disorder in the construction of certain components of spatialization (especially 2-dimensional space: the sheet, the painting, etc.).
Non-constructive dyspraxia which concerns disorders of the successivity and sequentiality of gestures.
Ideational dyspraxia which corresponds to difficulties in using and handling objects and tools; example: using a screwdriver, lighting matches.
Ideomotor dyspraxia: difficulties in carrying out symbolic gestures and mimes in the absence of object manipulation (hushing, mimicking the action of playing the trumpet, etc.) imitating the gestures made by another.
Dressing dyspraxia: difficulty in arranging, orienting or arranging clothes when dressing (clothes are threaded backwards) to button up, use a zipper, tie laces, etc.).
Orofacial dyspraxia: difficulties in performing simple or complex gestures of the organs of speech and the face (tongue, lips, facial expressions) eg: whistling, blowing out candles, blowing bubbles (…), but also swallowing.
Dyspraxic dysgraphia: difficulties in writing (no automation of linked writing).
Different types of dyspraxia can be associated, but can also be associated with other neuropsychological disorders:

written and oral language disorders (dysphasia, dyslexia).
memory impairment (memory).
executive function disorders: functions that plan execution.
attention disorders with or without hyperactivity
Dyspraxia is a neurodevelopmental disorder in the category of motor disorders, there is impaired development of motor coordination.

These neuropsychological dysfunctions of little known origin can only be detected by a precise diagnosis.

Possible causes

Brain damage or less localized (former premature baby, BMI, cranial trauma, tumor or cerebral vascular accident. We then speak of lesional dyspraxia….

Some children with no history of disease do not build their praxic functions normally (focused brain dysfunction) although all other brain functions are normal. This is called developmental dyspraxia.

The CIM 10 classifies dyspraxia as a specific cognitive disorder of learning and more exactly as a specific disorder of motor development.
ICD-11 was released by WHO on June 18, 2018.
ICD-11 will be presented to the World Health Assembly in May 2019 for adoption by Member States, and will enter into force on January 1, 2022.

There is no general medical condition, no learning impairment, no mental deficit, no psychological or social causes.

Dyspraxia explained to children
Benjamin (1/2003): “you see I took a long time but I became intelligent” Being dyspraxic does not mean that you are not intelligent. On the contrary, many dyspraxics are very intelligent. This implies that you have to put in more effort than others to do certain things and that it takes you longer.

In our brain arrives full of kinds of train lines that bring lots of very important information: on what you see, on what you smell with your nose, on what you taste (if it’s sweet, good, bitter ..) what you hear, what you feel: if it’s cold, hot, spicy, sweet… Your brain is made of “little machines”: neurons which decode information, then others decide what you should do.

For example: you see a cup with a brown liquid: is it chocolate or mom’s coffee (yuck), you smell (your brain decodes that it smells like chocolate), you taste (your brain decodes that it is chocolate, but it’s cold) you put the cup down and you look for mom to heat it for you.

There are also lines that start from your brain and carry messages and commands to all the muscles in your body. To tell you to smell, then taste the chocolate, then put the cup down, and then go get mom.

In fact, when you are dyspraxic something is wrong with those lines, they don’t work well (maybe the lines are blocked and information or messages and orders can’t get through). As a result your body can’t do what your brain tells it to do because it lacks information on how to do it.

For example: at the beginning a baby does not know how to do much, he must learn everything. He is learning to eat with a spoon. At first he can’t hold it properly, he can’t fill it with compote, he turns it the wrong way and everything falls on the table, after which he still has trouble putting it in his mouth … .but when he has repeated his gestures many times he gets better and better, he is more and more precise. And he no longer needs to control every move. In fact, his brain has registered a plan: a recipe (how to do the gestures and in what order). He no longer has to think about how to do it.

Children with dyspraxia cannot remember recipes well. They must always be careful. That’s why you can’t do 2 things at once.

Dyspraxia is not a disease, it is not cured but we learn to cope and overcome difficulties.

It is a hidden, invisible handicap.

Many more boys than girls are affected.

Information: Cleverly Smart is not a substitute for a doctor. Always consult a doctor to treat your health condition.

Sources: PinterPandai, Understood, Healthline, UNESCO


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