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Many children with dyspraxia fail to go through the crawling stage, preferring to 'bottom shuffle' and then walk. Their difficulty with everyday tasks continues at school where handwriting, reading, mathematics and P.E. may cause problems leading to low self-esteem, frustration and irritability. If children are not diagnosed early, they can become disaffected with the education system resulting in poor attendance at school. In addition to that, a number of children with dyspraxia report having physical symptoms such as headaches, abdominal pains or nausea.

The cause of dyspraxia is unknown. A genetic connection has not yet been found but it can sometimes run in families. In most cases, no neurological abnormalities have been detected although in some people, MRI scans have identified immaturities in the development of neural pathways in the brain. These immaturities may manifest as difficulties in co-ordination.

Dyspraxia cannot be “cured” but it can be managed with support. The earlier a diagnosis is made, the better the outcome for the individual. Generally, the first person to see the child is the GP, either because the parent has become concerned about their child’s slow development or their teacher has identified a problem. The GP will make a referral to a Paediatrician or the multi-disciplinary team at the local Child Development Centre.

The Dyspraxia Foundation also offers support throughout the UK to individuals and families and helps to raise awareness of the condition to health professionals and the public. Details can be found on their website at: www.dyspraxiafoundation.org.uk .

Recently, in a series of trials at Oxford University, researchers have found that dyspraxia, dyslexia, and attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can all be dramatically improved by simple nutritional supplements, particularly the essential fatty acid, Omega 3. This fatty acid is a vital nutrient for the brain and we need to obtain it from our diet. Processed foods tend to be deficient in Omega 3 so it is essential to eat plenty of whole foods such as oily fish, nuts, and seeds, all high in Omega 3, or to take a fish oil supplement such as Eye-Q.

Another useful method which is proving to help with dyspraxia is the DORE Programme. This exercise-based programme directly addresses the physiological source of the problem by using exercises that stimulate the cerebellum (part of the brain) and allow the individual to process information more rapidly. The approach is noninvasive and drug free.

According to the DORE Programme website, over 16,000 children and adults with a variety of learning difficulties including dyspraxia, have been helped by the programme in the past 3 years. To find out where your nearest DORE Achievement Centre is situated, check out their website at www.dore.co.uk .

It is estimated that up to one in 20 children may suffer from Dyspraxia in the UK. It is four times more common in boys than in girls and an average class of thirty children may have at least one child who is affected by this condition..
boy with dyspraxia
Disclaimer: The information in this article should not be regarded as medical advice.  If you are receiving medical treatment or taking prescribed medication, you are advised to consult your GP or health practitioner before making any changes to your diet or lifestyle.
The Dyspraxia Foundation describes developmental dyspraxia as "an impairment or immaturity of the organisation of movement. It is an immaturity of the way the brain processes information, resulting in messages not being fully transmitted to the body."

The word "dyspraxia" comes from the Greek word "dys" meaning difficulty with, and the word "praxis", meaning acting or doing. Dyspraxia is also known as Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD), and it may be found in people with autism or dyslexia, too. Symptoms are usually noticeable from an early age. Babies may be irritable from birth and have significant problems with feeding.

Common symptoms of Dyspraxia

Poor balance and posture

Poor co-ordination skills

Difficulty with throwing and catching a ball

Poor sense of direction

Difficulty hopping, skipping or riding a bike

Sensitivity to touch

Confusion about which hand to use

Slow to learn to dress or feed themselves

Difficulty with reading, writing and maths

Slow to learn to speak. May also be incoherent

Phobias or obsessive behaviour and impatience