An organization in Chicago - Dyspraxia Foundation USA - is working to increase awareness and unite parents raising children diagnosed with developmental dyspraxia.
Dyspraxia - also known as "Clumsy Child Syndrome" - is a neurological disorder of motor coordination affecting the ability to coordinate movements and tasks.
Some believe dyspraxia affects between 10 - 20% of kids between the ages of 5 to 11. Dyspraxia has a very high comorbidity with other conditions such as ADHD, OCD, dyslexia and some milder forms of autism. It can be a standalone diagnosis, although this does not happen very frequently. Boys are four times more likely than girls to develop dyspraxia. It can be considered to be genetic, but that is not always the case.
Symptoms of dyspraxia vary and may include some or all of the following problems:
- poor balance and coordination
- vision problems
- perceptual problems
- poor spatial awareness
- poor posture
- poor short-term memory
- difficulty planning motor tasks
- difficulty with reading, writing, and speech
- emotional and behavioral problems
- poor social skills
The symptoms of dyspraxia depend somewhat on the age of the child. Young children will have delayed motor milestones such as crawling, walking, and jumping. Older children may present with academic problems such as difficulty with reading and writing or with playing ball games.
Developmental verbal dyspraxia (DVD), a type of dyspraxia, can manifest as early as infancy with feeding problems. Children with DVD may display delays in expressive language, difficulty in producing speech, reduced intelligibility of speech, and inconsistent production of familiar words.
Awareness of developmental dyspraxia is more prevalent in other countries, but the United States is attempting to catch up via grassroots efforts including a nationwide "meet and greet" planned for December 15th.