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What is Dyspraxia?

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What is Dyspraxia?  I must admit, when I heard of this disorder I didn’t have a clue to what it meant.  When my son was diagnosed with it I started to research the meanings.  It was eye opening.  “Oh, so that’s why he does that” was always on my lips.  In this post find out the basics about Dyspraxia, and how to cope.

Dyspraxia is a neurological condition that can effect communication, gross motor skills, fine motor skills, and organization.  In the area of communication, dyspraxia  can hinder understanding of non-verbal cues, volume control on your speaking voice, and the ability to get to know people in a group. For gross motor skills, the ability to play sports, hop and skip, or keep your balance. Organization can be hindered by an inability to be neat, plan ahead, and recall directions. Finally, fine motor skills can be cutting with a scissors, using utensils, and writing.

Dyspraxia was first listed in the US Diagnostic Manuel in 2013.  So it’s diagnosis is brand spanking new!  You may notice that many of the symptoms are also found in other diagnosis.  If you suspect Dyspraxia or another kind of neurological or psychological disorder please get your child to a licensed Psychiatrist for testing.

It can often be referred to as “clumsy child syndrome.”  My son was always tripping over his feet and falling.  Sometimes I wonder if he did it on purpose.  I guess not!  Often they cannot sit normally in a chair, can’t tell left and right, an can’t tie shoes.  It is often genetic and can effect 2-10% of the population.

I believe that the longer and more studying that is done on many of these new disorders, the more defined and quickly they will be diagnosed.  Often Autism is considered when dyspraxia  is found.  Please make sure to get diagnostic testing done.  It really helps and can force the school district to address some of your child’s needs.

I personally see a lot of myself in this diagnosis. If this had been around when I was young, I think there is a definite possibility that I would have been diagnosed as this as well.  Has anyone in your life been diagnosed with Dyspraxia?

 

 

 

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Sensory Disorder and My Son Part 2.

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In addition to Sensory Modulation, another category under the umbrella term of Sensory Processing disorder is Sensory Based Motor Disorder. In a Sensory Based Motor Disorder a person has difficulty with balance, motor coordination and the performance of skilled non-habit tasks. One of the subcategories is Postural Disorder.  A postural disorder is impaired perception of body position, poor movement of patterns that depend on core stability, and have weak or poor endurance. A person with Postural  Disorder has difficulty in stabilizing their body when in movement or in rest. Symptoms include leaning and slouching a lot, more sedentary and weak. Symptoms also include tiring easily, having poor balance or have problems with your fine or gross motor skills.

My son has a few of these issues such as leaning a lot, he also has difficulty with endurance and balance.  My son has been diagnosed with Dyspraxia.

Dyspraxia is difficulty in thinking, planning or executing skilled movements particularly those that are novel in pattern. Dyspraxia can affect fine and gross motor skills.  It can also affect speech. Symptoms can include problems using cutlery, buttons, cleaning, problems with using locks and keys, self care, writing, typing, riding a bike, and typing shoelaces.  The sufferer can appear clumsy.  Symptoms in early childhood can include difficulty in comforting, feeding issues, problems with sleep, and delayed motor development.

My son’s symptoms in dyspraxia include great difficulty in handwriting with no improvement over time.  We had to get a special allowance to do things verbally or on the computer.  We taught him to type and he is the go to person for teachers on all things I pad. He has difficulty in sport which has lead to social problems in school.  He has difficulty in cutting food, buttoning things, using snaps and tying his shoelaces.  He tries to minimize these things as much as possible.  He will get so frustrated that he will give up.  I can’t blame him.  No matter how smart he is or how hard he tries it is an issue. My son also has all the symptoms of early childhood like appearing clumsy, sleeping problems, and feeding issues.  I was glad that there was finally a term for him.  So people would not say he is lazy or not trying hard.

While Dyspraxia and Postural disorder share a few common symptoms they are different disorders.  A qualified Occupational Therapist can diagnose you more accurately.

My son was diagnosed dyspraxia with disgraphia. I will cover disgraphia in another post.

The final sub area of Sensory Disorder is Sensory Discrimination Disorder.  Sensory Discrimination Disorder is a disorder in how sensory stimuli are perceived and meaning attributed to them.  Each sense can be affect separately or simultaneously by different interpretations of stimuli.

For instance, my son experiences touch differently in both clothing, fabrics and food.  He also seeks out physical touch of others as a way of calming himself.  So he loves hugs and cuddles.  He will often hold your hand or lean against you even if he is not tired.  My son often thinks he hears things said that were not.  Now, I’m not sure this is sensory, but have a hunch it is his ADHD. Another disorder for another time. In addition to his normal five senses.  This area adds position/movement and interoception to the sense list.  I know my son has issues with interoception.  It is how you interpret stimuli from internal organs.  He has great difficulty expressing what is going on with him when he is ill.  He can never tell me how his stomach hurts.  He just says it hurts.  Trying to get additional information is difficult.

Well this is the end of my posts explaining the areas of Sensory Processing Disorder.  In my next post (on Sensory Disorder) I will explain my son’s experiences with treatment of this disorder and the results.  I will also go into what I would do differently and what I plan on doing in future.  Stay tuned!

*Hey guys, I’m just a mom trying to get blog posts in between laundry loads.  This article is for entertainment purposes only.  I’m not a doctor.  If you think you have questions on Sensory Disorder ask a real medical professional okay?  Information sources: http://www.spdstar.org, moynatalcer.co.uk, dyspraxiafoundation.org.uk.