Explainer: what is dyspraxia and how is it different to clumsiness?

Most of us learn to tie our shoelaces, eat with cutlery and use a pencil with relative ease. But for children with dyspraxia (also known as developmental coordination disorder or DCD), these tasks are incredibly difficult to master.

Dyspraxia is a neurodevelopmental disorder, meaning it affects brain function and unfolds as the person grows. It is diagnosed when a child’s movement skills are below that expected for their age and this impairment impacts on their everyday living or education.

Children with dyspraxia are more than just clumsy. They may have difficulty with tasks requiring involvement of their whole body (such as catching, running, riding a bike), their hands (writing, tying shoelaces) or both. It takes much more effort to learn skills, to retain them, and to transfer them to other contexts.

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