Developmental Coordination Disorder, under which Dyspraxia belongs, is a group of disorders that affect children primarily in all domains requiring coordination of movement in the execution of tasks.
It can present differently at different age groups although at a young age, the diagnosis is suspected when there is delay in the development of gross motor skills. Such delays are notably not related to neurological deficits such as in a child with cerebral palsy. The gross motor delay may be mild with the child appearing to catch up in walking and running skills over time. As an older child, he is noted to be clumsy, with delays in writing skills and other tasks that require fine coordination, such as tying of laces and buttoning of buttons.
There are different degrees of severity. The mild ones may manage with self-adaptive strategies and the diagnosis can be missed. The more severe ones face significant difficulties with schoolwork and with physical exercises and sports. Speech and language skills may also be affected, as it requires great oro-motor coordination. Attention wanes easily as the child struggles with the tasks at hand. Learning becomes hampered and the child can quickly lose his self-confidence.
Such children require support and school accommodation help. They often have normal intelligence and have the potential to do well if aid is received. It is important that their difficulties are recognized early and intervention provided to permit a better outcome.