chapter  3
What is dyspraxia?
Pages 15

When carrying out a diagnostic assessment I always ask the question: ‘Were you well coordinated or clumsy as a child?’ In a surprisingly high number of cases the reply is: ‘I was clumsy – still am.’ Clumsiness and difficulties with motor coordination are classic soft signs of the presence of dyspraxia. When these difficulties are severe enough to result in a clumsy child being diagnosed as being dyspraxic, a physiotherapist or occupational therapist will then work with that child to bring about improvements in motor coordination. In some cases speech therapy is required as well. However, it is a mistake to assume that improvements in motor control and speech result in a ‘cure’ for dyspraxia. The underlying cognitive characteristics, a big part of being dyspraxic, are still very much the same and are often ignored. In addition, many people are never diagnosed as being dyspraxic in the first place. For example, Laura has lived with being clumsy throughout her life but has just accepted this as being part of her: ‘I have learnt to live with who I am.’