What is dyspraxia?
Dyspraxia, also known as a “developmental coordination disorder” (DCD) is a neurological problem as common as dyslexia but much less frequently diagnosed.
This invisible disability is revealed when new skills are tested or stimulated out of context. Thus, dyspraxia affects gestures, ideation, motor planning and execution processes.
Dyspraxia can affect any area of development: physical, intellectual, emotional, social, language and sensory. This disorder can also affect the field of learning. It is not a unitary disorder; it affects each person in different ways, at different ages and stages of development, and to different degrees.
Despite growing awareness, there are still significant deficits in information, training and tools in society in general and in education systems in particular.
Dyspraxic students are generally confronted with difficulties in acquiring basic knowledge:
It is very difficult for dyspraxic students to concentrate for long periods of time, which impacts the length of the texts they can read. The strategy of reading automation is extremely difficult to acquire. A student may also have great difficulty identifying information in a text. This alters his understanding of it.
It is also a challenge because fine motor skills as well as locating in the page space are problematic. Due to the high level of concentration required, dyspraxic students tire quickly. A dyspraxic student cannot perform several tasks at once: copying a statement is so energy consuming that he or she will not be able to complete the requested exercise.
In addition, many of them are also confronted with other DYS disorders: dyslexia, dysorthographia, dysphasia and/or dyscalculia. This is referred to as associated disorders
Coordination between the eye and finger is essential to show an object and count quantities. This problem leads to low success in all number-related activities from an early age.
In addition, the number system we use is based on the spatial situation between the numbers (tens on the left, units on the right). The question of space management is a source of errors, not only in the differentiation of visually close numbers - differentiating 12 and 21 for example - but also in the setting of operations.
Dyspraxic students have great difficulty managing their time, equipment, activities and even daily tasks, which for ordinary children are automated: dressing, preparing the schoolbag, etc. These children are also very sensitive to changes: place, teacher, etc. They will be destabilized and their adaptation to new situations will take longer.