What is Dyspraxia?
Dyspraxia, otherwise known as Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) is a common disorder affecting fine and/or gross motor skills coordination, in both children and adults. Dyspraxia/DCD affects each individual differently, ranging from mild to severe. Many learners fall somewhere between the two extremes and are dependent on appropriate support in all environments to reach their potential. Teachers should respond to the predominant need that the learner is exhibiting at any time (these may change with subject area and a learner’s age). Responding to need is always more preferable to responding to diagnosis.
Many people with Dyspraxia also have other difficulties to a lesser or greater degree such as DyslexiaLink opens in a new window, DyscalculiaLink opens in a new window, ADHDLink opens in a new window and Autism. They may have difficulties with reading, spelling, organising, time management and socialising but may not have been given a formal diagnosis. It is important when supporting a student in further and higher education to be aware of these other potential challenges in order to support them fully.
1. Learning a new skill
Students may take longer than others. The student may be reticent to ask for help because of past experiences. They may work at a much slower pace and may struggle in meeting deadlines. TIP - Discuss and organise extra time for course work and exams.
2. Organising themselves and work
Prioritising work, attending lectures on time, filing notes, organising their room may be harder. TIP - Give examples of essays, reports and projects. Break down processes to steps with an opportunity for feedback to check understanding
3. Recording notes in lectures
Handwriting often remains difficult to write at speed and be legible to the student or others. TIP - There is a variety of software that may help students such as Speech-to-text software e.g. Dragon Dictate (free app version). The library have a range of Productivity Tools