Child Wellness Wednesday: Dyspraxia
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Dyspraxia is a developmental coordination disorder. Reports indicate one out of 30 children have it, but that number may be too low. It's often misdiagnosed.
"It's most difficult to concentrate sometimes," said 12-year-old Martina. She was diagnosed with dyspraxia when she was three.
"It's a condition that affects physical, emotional and social aspects of development," said her mother, Ann Marie Slater.
Martina didn't walk until she almost a year and a half old, and at age three, she still was not talking, which is not uncommon in children who are dyspraxic.
Slater said, "By the time she was four, she was starting to pick up quickly with verbalizing, and it was, phew, 'it's over, she's great, it's wonderful, she's okay.' It didn't turn out that way because dyspraxia doesn't go away, it comes in waves."
Children who have dyspraxia are often clumsy, have problems with fine motor skills and cogitative issues. Martina's motor skills were not affected. She loves playing the piano, and while she's very good in math, she has cognitive problems and trouble concentrating.
"Sometimes I can't think of stuff, vocabulary," Martina said.
Until recently she was in a public school but now is home schooled with her mom, where she does better with one on one.
Dyspraxia never goes away completely. Many patients, as they get older the symptoms, come and go.
Slater said, "As they mature, they try other things, they want to have different social interactions with peers. You see it in new ways than you saw it when when they were little."
Martina continues to improve. Her love of archery keeps her and her mom aiming to get the word out about dyspraxia.
Slater said, "A parent who is dealing with a child who is so intelligent but has these deficits, all we want is to be understood, supported and accepted.