Dyspraxia is a disorder of movement and movement coordination caused by abnormalities in the development of the nervous system. Dyspraxia or developmental coordination disorder is a congenital abnormality, but it cannot always be detected from birth.
Dyspraxia is different from apraxia even though they both sound similar. Dyspraxia is characterized by a child's delay in reaching a point of development that should have been reached by children his age. While apraxia is characterized by the loss of certain abilities that were previously possessed or mastered.
Dyspraxia can happen to anyone, but this condition is more often suffered by boys than girls. Dyspraxia is not related to the level of intelligence, but can lower the sufferer's ability to learn. This condition can also affect the sufferer's self-confidence.
Causes of Dyspraxia
Until now, the cause of dyspraxia has not been ascertained. However, this condition is suspected to occur due to a disorder in the development of the nervous system in the brain. This can disrupt the flow of nerve signals from the brain to the body.
Coordination and movement of body parts is a process that involves various nerves and parts of the brain. If there is a disorder in one of the nerves or parts of the brain, this can cause dyspraxia.
Risk factors for dyspraxia
There are several conditions that increase the risk of children experiencing dyspraxia, namely:
- Born prematurely
- Born with low body weight ( LBW )
- Having a family history of dyspraxia or movement coordination disorders
- Born from a mother who smokes, consumes alcoholic beverages, or uses drugs during pregnancy
Symptoms of Dyspraxia
Symptoms experienced by dyspraxia sufferers can vary. However, dyspraxia complaints in general are delayed motor development and coordination disorders .
At school age, children with dyspraxia are often unable to complete schoolwork and are considered lazy.
In general, the symptoms of dyspraxia that can be seen in children are:
- Careless, such as often bumping or dropping things
- Difficulty concentrating, following orders, and remembering information
- Unable to control one's own behavior
- Difficulty completing tasks
- Difficulty learning new information
- It's hard to make new friends
- Difficulty or slowness in getting dressed or tying shoelaces
Dyspraxia can also continue into adolescence and adulthood. Symptoms of dyspraxia that can be seen at this age include abnormal body posture when walking, balance disorders, difficulty learning skills or exercising, and lack of self-confidence.
When should you go to the doctor?
Immediately check the child to the doctor if he experiences complaints as mentioned above. You also need to take your child to the doctor if you see any disturbances or delays in their growth.
Examination and treatment from an early age is necessary so that the child can catch up with his or her progress, and to prevent the emergence of complications later in life.
Diagnosis of Dyspraxia
To diagnose dyspraxia, the doctor will ask and answer questions with the parents about the symptoms experienced by the child, the history of pregnancy, childbirth, growth , as well as the health history of the child and family.
Next, the doctor will perform an anthropometric examination to assess the child's growth. The doctor will also evaluate the child's development with Denver scoring .
To assess the child's development, the doctor may ask the child to write, draw, jump, arrange blocks, grasp, or perform other simple movements.
Keep in mind, not all children who look careless or sluggish must suffer from dyspraxia. A child is said to have dyspraxia when his movement and coordination abilities are far below the average for children of his age, and cause disturbances during activities.
The diagnosis can lead to dyspraxia if the above symptoms appear since childhood and no other condition is detected that causes the symptoms to appear.
Until now, there is no treatment that can cure dyspraxia. In dyspraxia sufferers with mild symptoms, this disorder can improve with age.
Doctors will encourage parents to routinely provide stimulation to children with dyspraxia. The people around the child, including teachers and caregivers, also need to be given an understanding of the child's condition. The purpose is to prevent bad stigma on children.
Support from parents and people around is very important to help children with dyspraxia catch up and overcome the obstacles they experience.
In addition, there are several therapies that can be given by doctors to help dyspraxia sufferers, namely:
- Occupational therapy , to teach patients practical ways to perform daily routines
- Physiotherapy or physical therapy, to improve motor skills
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), to change the patient's mindset towards his limitations so that the patient's behavior and feelings become better
Complications of Dyspraxia
Developmental delays and coordination disorders that are not handled well can cause dyspraxia sufferers to experience the following conditions:
- Difficult to socialize
- Experiencing bullying
- Suffering from behavioral disorders
- Not confident
While in adulthood, dyspraxia can cause the sufferer to have explosive emotions, phobias , and obsessive compulsive behavior .
In addition, there are also several conditions that are often associated or appear together with dyspraxia, namely ADHD , dyslexia, autism , or apraxia of language.
Prevention of Dyspraxia
Dyspraxia cannot be prevented, because the cause is not yet known for sure. However, to reduce the risk of developmental disorders in children, there are several ways that mothers can do during pregnancy, namely:
- Consume healthy and balanced nutritious food
- Avoid exposure to cigarette smoke
- Do not consume alcoholic beverages
- Do not indiscriminately consume drugs
- Carry out routine pregnancy examinations to monitor the condition of the fetus