Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD), commonly known as dyspraxia, is often seen as a childhood condition, but new evidence seems to show that it can also effect adolescents and adults too.
This learning condition affects motor coordination as well as being associated with problems with memory, planning, organisation and perception. Despite impacting between 5 and 10% of school-age children, awareness of dyspraxia is still poor, and things seem to only get worse as people get older. This may be because by adolescence and adulthood many of those with DCD have developed coping conditions to deal with the condition. However, these coping mechanisms can easily lead to those with dyspraxia avoiding certain activities, creating a barrier to achievement and potential.
Where children will learn how to develop and strengthen the skills that DCD impacts, adults will tend to need a different approach to develop strategies and support to deal with the condition. Using assistive technologies can help those with dyspraxia to keep up in class (where written work may prove tricky), stay organised, and stay involved in activities alongside their peers.
Moving from the classroom to the workplace, and again we can see the importance of recognising and supporting those with DCD. Where many of the motor-skills difficulties will be coped with, there will still be issues around the non-physical aspects of dyspraxia – such as organisational and planning problems.
However, with reasonable adjustments in the workplace, these issues needn’t be a problem. While the condition can spike when under duress, when learning new things, or when in distracting environments, this can be managed with a little forethought and with the use of the correct support – including technology. Some even find that an enjoyable physical activity such as cycling can help, while some individuals benefit from counselling and mental wellbeing support.
Despite being more-commonly associated with children, dyspraxia is a life-long condition, but it needn’t be life-limiting. With the right support and some understanding an individual can deal wioth dyspraxia and shine.