Updated: Sep 22, 2022
Dyspraxia, also known as Developmental Coordination Disorder, is characterized as a neurodevelopmental disorder that impacts fine and gross motor skills, information processing, memory, perception, judgment, and other cognitive abilities.
It typically manifests during childhood and can present in many diverse ways. Although dyspraxia or developmental coordination disorder is not considered a learning disorder, it can greatly impact someone’s ability to learn and often coexists with specific learning disorders and other neurodevelopmental conditions such as ADHD, and Autism Spectrum Disorder. Overall, it can interfere with everyday social, academic, and occupational activities. For example, problems with coordination can make it harder to write by hand, thus impacting writing tasks. which may compromise note-taking ability, essay writing, and performance on tests.
What are the signs?
While the disorder is often presented in terms of its impacts during childhood, movement difficulties continue into adolescence and adulthood. Moreover, new challenges arise such as driving as it requires spatial awareness skills.
As a result, an adult with Dyspraxia or Developmental Coordination Disorder may experience:
Difficulty with sequencing and structuring information, an organization at work, time-management, and social skills becoming more prominent after improving their motor coordination skills over the years
Low energy/tiredness due to effort exerted to navigate safely around their environment
Avoidance of unpredictable situations or ones that require teamwork
Stress related to day-to-day tasks that require coordination, like getting dressed, cleaning, cooking, and driving.
Frustration due to feeling like their inability to do tasks that others can do easily could be perceived as incompetence.
Depression, anxiety, and/or low self-esteem can emerge due to the impact the disorder can have socially and emotionally
Strengths of people with Dyspraxia or Developmental Coordination Disorder:
Able to develop their own strategies to overcome difficulties
Overall, dyspraxia or developmental coordination disorder in adulthood is not prominently talked about. Each person can present differently with various abilities that require a tailored approach when it comes to developing coping strategies.
For more great information on dyspraxia check out these resources:
This book, written by and for adults with dyspraxia offers a wealth of information and practical strategies to address the daily challenges experienced by adults with dyspraxia in all areas of life. Previously considered a disorder of childhood, dyspraxia (a form of developmental coordination disorder) is now recognized to affect individuals across the lifespan.
By Mary Colley
'This book provides a diverse range of basic information and practical advice for adults with dyspraxia. Colley is able to describe in detail the impact that coordination and motor learning difficulties can have on many everyday activities, including cooking, shopping, sewing, gardening, and swallowing medicines. This book provides a very readable, comprehensive, and useful resource for adults with dyspraxia and their carers. It might also be useful for clinicians who are new to the field and have limited practical experience.'- British Journal of Occupational Therapy
The official website for the Dyspraxia Foundation, a registered charity. Find help and advice and more on Dyspraxia/DCD for children, adults, and youth.
r/dyspraxia is the largest dyspraxia forum ran by dyspraxics for dyspraxics! This is primarily a discussion subreddit, although we always welcome memes. Parents, teachers, and those willing to learn more are always welcome to participate and ask questions!