What is Dyspraxia?
Dyspraxia is a cerebral dysfunction that touches the praxis – the gesture.
Dyspraxic people have:
- Difficulties with gestures,
- Difficulties in programming gestures
- Difficulties in the planning of gestures
in time and space.
To put it simply, every time the dyspraxic makes a movement, it's as if they were doing for the first time.
There are several dyspraxias (actually there are as many dyspraxias as dyspraxic people).
Here are the different forms of dyspraxia:
- Visual-spatial dyspraxia (impact on basic learning)
- Constructional dyspraxia (difficulties for assembly and construction)
- Dyspraxia Idéatoire (difficulties in manipulating objects)
- Ideomotor dyspraxia (difficulties to mime, for symbols i.e. figures)
- Dyspraxia of dressing (difficulties to dress)
- Oromotor dyspraxia (difficulties to articulate and diction)
- Dysgraphia dyspraxia (difficulty to write or draw)
A dyspraxic without mental deficiencies can easily find compensatory tools and move forward in life without too much difficulty. French actor Jean Dujardin is an example of a successful dyspraxic ("whippersnapper, mutism affected, bad in school, unable to write on lines as well as reading in continuity, all the symptoms of dyspraxia." (The world, 2012).
On the other hand, a person with other disorders such as a mild or a serious mental disability, as found in specialized schools, takes much more time to reach a goal. For example, a dyspraxic child will think more about how to use a tool rather than mobilizing the skills needed to achieve his/her goal. Extreme fatigue settles in and discourages the child quickly. It’s a downward spiral for these young people who lack self-confidence or who underestimate their capabilities, etc.
In this case, dyspraxia can be corrected by the use of ergonomic and adapted tools. The latter gives pupils the opportunity to advance and channel their energy on learning and is necessary for their personal development.