Understanding and living with dyspraxia
Dyspraxia can affect a person's daily life but symptoms can be treated with the help of therapy and daily living aids.
What is dyspraxia?
Dyspraxia is a common developmental disorder that can affect your coordination, balance and motor skills. Although it is more common in men and boys than women and girls, anyone can live with dyspraxia and be affected by it differently. Signs of dyspraxia are usually diagnosed in childhood and can carry on to adulthood.
Dyspraxia is more commonly diagnosed in men and often runs in families, so it is possibly due to genetics. Also, statistics show that more prematurely born individuals are more likely to develop dyspraxia, as well as being born with a low birth weight.
Living with dyspraxia
Daily life with dyspraxia can vary from person to person, such as having problems with:
- coordination, balance and movement
- learning new skills, thinking, and remembering information at work and in leisure activities
- daily living skills, such as dressing or preparing meals to time
- writing, typing, drawing and grasping small objects
- social situations
- dealing with your emotions
- time management, planning and personal organisation.
It’s important to note that dyspraxia does not affect the individual’s intelligence but can affect people of all intellectual abilities.
Treatment and support for dyspraxia
Currently, with no cure, dyspraxia can be difficult to live with when managing everyday tasks. However, therapies such as occupational therapy and cognitive behavioural therapy can help you to find independence in daily tasks, or manage the day to day life by changing the way you think and behave. Additionally, if writing is a struggle then learning to use a computer or tablet may be helpful, as well as keeping a calendar or diary to help you remember things and stay organised.
As dyspraxia can have an impact on daily life, there are a variety of helpful products which can help to make daily tasks easier. If it’s a struggle to prepare food, a product like a storage container is ideal to keep your food fresh and you can even input the day on which it needs eating, which is great for organisation. Dyspraxia can also make getting dressed quickly difficult, but a dressing stick can efficiently help you with your clothes, whilst a talking calendar clock announces the time out loud to remind you of any deadlines or schedules you need to remember. Pencil grips are ideal for making writing more comfortable as they ergonomically cushion your grip, and a balance pad helps you to practice your balance and coordination. In stressful social situations, something small and simple like a gel ball hand exercise can be comforting to squeeze discreetly to help relieve stress.