Dyspraxia Awareness Week
12th – 18th October 2014
Organised by the Dyspraxia Foundation this nationwide campaign aims to raise awareness of dyspraxia and this year has a particular focus on the emotional impact the condition has on teenagers and young adults.
What is dyspraxia?
Sometimes referred to as the ‘clumsy’ syndrome, dyspraxia is a neurological condition that affects coordination and spatial awareness. It comonly also causes difficulties with planning or organising and is known to affect speech and thought. Dyspraxia often occurs alongside other conditions such as autism, ADHD and dyslexia.
Common features of the condition include:-
- falling over frequently
- difficulty walking up and downstairs
- poor short term memory e.g. unable to remember or follow instructions
- difficulties with dressing and fastening clothes
- difficulties with running, jumping, catching/kicking balls
- illegible handwriting
- poor organisation skills
What can I do to help my child with dyspraxia?
Sensory integration therapy
Sensory integration therapy involves using equipment to help the child to take in sensory information such as touch, deep pressure, movement experiences and visual information. This sensory information helps improve spatial awareness and coordination.
Practice fine motor activities
Activities to improve fine motor skills will also help with handwriting and self care skills.
Encourage exercise and make it fun
Set up a mini assault course using simple household items – cushions to jump over, a long stick for a finish line, bean bags for throwing, etc. Try to include lots of running, jumping and throwing activities. Time them and challenge them to beat their personal best!
Opt for loose fit clothing that’s easy to take on and off. Look out for elastic waists on trousers and skirts, velcro fastenings on shoes and coats and jumpers rather than cardigans with fiddly buttons.
Easy belts have velcro closing belts in a variety of colours and sizes for children and adults.
Lock Laces elastic shoelaces can replace normal shoe laces on any shoes or trainers and come in lots of exciting colours!
Use checklists, daily diaries and visual supports such as TomTag to make day to day organisation easier and more predictable.
Where can I go for more information?
Dyspraxia Foundation – become a member of the foundation (£25 for 12 month membership) to access a host of information sheets and gain access to your local group.
Dyspraxia UK – can help with finding a specialist occupational therapist in your area who will be able to assess, diagnose and devise individualised therapy plans.