Movement Matters UK is a group of people including academics, professionals (health and education) and voluntary organisations who are interested in identifying “best practice” for with people with a developmental coordination disorder (DCD), including dyspraxia. Recently the group has been working on the development of some national guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of developmental coordination disorder. These are based on the European Guidelines developed by a group of Swiss/German researchers and published in January 2012. The guidelines will help to ensure consistency in the way that DCD is diagnosed and that treatment is based on the best evidence available. Movement Matters also plans to extend the project to include the diagnosis of adults.
The Dyspraxia Foundation is delighted to have been involved in the recent meetings to discuss and agree a UK description of Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD):
What is DCD?
Developmental Co-ordination Disorder (DCD), also known as dyspraxia in the UK, is a common disorder affecting fine or gross motor co-ordination in children and adults. This lifelong condition is formally recognised by international organisations including the World Health Organisation. DCD is distinct from other motor disorders such as cerebral palsy and stroke and occurs across the range of intellectual abilities. Individuals may vary in how their difficulties present; these may change over time depending on environmental demands and life experience.
An individual's co-ordination difficulties may affect participation and functioning of everyday life skills in education, work and employment.
Children may present with difficulties with self-care, writing, typing, riding a bike and play as well as other educational and recreational activities. In adulthood many of these difficulties will continue, as well as learning new skills at home, in education and work, such as driving a car and DIY.
There may be a range of co-occurring difficulties which can also have serious negative impacts on daily life. These include social and emotional difficulties as well as problems with time management, planning and personal organisation and these may also affect an adult's education or employment experiences.
The Dyspraxia Foundation recognises that many people with DCD also experience difficulties with organisation, planning, memory and processing speed. While DCD is often regarded as an umbrella term to cover motor coordination difficulties, dyspraxia refers to those people who have additional problems planning, organising and carrying out movements in the right order in everyday situations.
The Dyspraxia Foundation also recognises that dyspraxia can affect speech.
While there is no known cure for DCD/dyspraxia, treatment will alleviate many of the difficulties and individuals can be helped to develop strategies to enable them to better manage everyday activities in all areas of their life.
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