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Is my child dyspraxic or dyslexic?

Dyspraxia affects about 7% of the population. Nowadays, it is sometimes also referred to as Developmental Co-ordination Disorder (DCD). Dyspraxia / DCD affects fine and gross motor co-ordination. These are the small and large movements that you make as a child, such as dressing, handwriting, colouring and cutting. Large movements such as throwing a ball, catching and running may be harder to do. Children with these types of difficulties may also have problems with sequencing (such as remembering a sequence of instructions) and may need help learning their multiplication tables. Once the problem has been recognised it is possible to help in many effective ways.

Dyspraxia affects about three times as many boys as it does girls.

Dyslexia affects reading and spelling and can overlap with dyspraxia as well. Dyslexic children may also have difficulties with visual processing and sequencing.

Just because your child has difficulty in one or more of these areas does not mean that they are dyspraxic or dyslexic. Always seek professional advice. Most schools will have a SENCO (special educational needs co-ordinator) who should be able to advise you and point you in the direction of further help. Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists and assessments through your local authority will give you a clearer picture. Organisations such as The Dyspraxia Foundation (www.dyspraxiafoundation.org.uk/) and the British Dyslexia Association (www.bdadyslexia.org.uk/) will also be able to provide you with information.