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What is dyspraxia?

Developmental co-ordination disorder (DCD), also known as dyspraxia, is a condition affecting physical co-ordination. It causes a child to perform less well than expected in daily activities for their age, and appear to move clumsily.

DCD is thought to be around 3 or 4 times more common in boys than girls, and the condition sometimes runs in families.

What are the symptoms?

Problems with movement and co-ordination are the main symptoms of DCD.

Children may have difficulty with:

  • playground activities such as hopping, jumping, running, and catching or kicking a ball. They often avoid joining in because of their lack of co-ordination and may find physical education difficult
  • walking up and down stairs
  • writing, drawing and using scissors – their handwriting and drawings may appear scribbled and less developed compared to other children their age
  • getting dressed, doing up buttons and tying shoelaces
  • keeping still – they may swing or move their arms and legs a lot

A child with DCD may appear awkward and clumsy as they may bump into objects, drop things and fall over a lot.

But this in itself isn't necessarily a sign of DCD, as many children who appear clumsy actually have all the normal movement (motor) skills for their age.

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Getting a Diagnosis

If you're concerned about your child's health or development, talk to a GP or health visitor, or speak to a nurse, doctor or our SENDCo, Mrs Willcox.

If necessary, they can refer your child to a community paediatrician, who will assess them and try to identify any developmental problems.

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