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Date Posted: 05:02:57 05/03/10 Mon
It has been suggested that I post the essay I submitted for Module 4, Advanced Dyslexia Course, so here goes ....
Describe the symptoms of one other condition which is sometimes found among dyslexic children
It is not uncommon for children with dyslexia to show signs of having Developmental Co-ordination Disorder (DCD), of which dyspraxia is a type. Dyspraxia is taken from the greek dys, meaning ill and praxis, meaning doing, which reflects the difficulties that these children have performing everyday tasks that many of us take for granted. DCD is a neurological disorder which is present at birth and some studies have found a genetic link.
Children with DCD are typically recognised by their lack of motor co-ordination, often appearing clumsy and bumping into everything. This is why the condition is often referred to as ‘clumsy child syndrome’. They may be physically awkward and show reluctance to take part in physical activities.
There are several characteristics which may be present in a child suffering with DCD, varying in severity and differing according to the age of the child. They may include the following :
Difficulties getting dressed, especially buttons and shoelaces, which require fine motor skills.
· Tripping over easily.
· Reading may deteriorate as the child gets older; this is largely due to the size of the print getting smaller and the volume of words on the page increasing, with more advanced books.
· Confusion between left and right.
· Inability to perform tasks when the child cannot see his hands, for example toilet hygiene or brushing hair.
· Poor co-ordination when using a knife and fork.
· May have difficulties with balance and posture and lack rhythm when dancing.
· Throwing and catching a ball can be difficult.
· Erratic handwriting and poorly formed letters.
· Verbal skills are more advanced than the child’s motor skills and manual dexterity.
· May be over sensitive to background noise, touch, smell, taste, temperature and pain.
· May suffer from low self esteem and get easily stressed, anxious or even depressed as a result of their difficulties.
It can be challenging to diagnose DCD, especially if the child has dyslexia, as many of the symptoms overlap. Any concerns should be directed towards the teacher, who may then decide to approach the learning support department. Based upon their combined findings it may then be necessary to seek a professional diagnosis from an educational psychologist. Once recognised, the child can be helped to learn new skills and refine his existing ones to compensate for his difficulties.