Dyspraxia: A History

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When the word Dyspraxia is said to you, what images come up in your head? Someone having trouble with reading and writing? Someone struggling with simple maths equations? These are some of the misconceptions that people have when they hear the word dyspraxia but in fact, it is not related to how you perform at school nor how clever you are.

Dyspraxia is classed as a disorder affecting motor skills. People who have been diagnosed with dyspraxia have trouble often walking, catching a ball, running, dancing and other physical skills. The scientific name of the disorder is developmental coordination disorder which is also known as DCD but many call it dyspraxia. Dyspraxia is often linked with other conditions such as Autism and ADHD and people with one of those can also be diagnosed with dyspraxia. The most common age group to be diagnosed with dyspraxia are children as the required symptoms by doctors manifest themselves more clearly at that age range, with it being difficult to diagnose in later life.


The History of Dyspraxia

The history of the condition can be traced back all the way to the early 1900s in which it was known as Congenital Maladroitness and in 1925 with some French doctors and therapists calling attention to the condition and calling it ‘motor weakness’ and it was mainly observed in children. It wasn’t until 1937 that dyspraxia became a bit more well know thanks to Dr Samuel Orton, who also did studies on its more popular cousin, dyslexia. There was a gap between the 40s-60s until a series of case studies in the 1960s. The term clumsiness was used and in 1972 Dr Sasson Gubbay publishes a book called ‘The Clumsy Child.’

It wasn’t until the 1980s in which the term dyspraxia was used for the first time and charities to help people and bring awareness to the condition were set up, which the Dyspraxia Foundation, then known as the Dyspraxia Trust being set up in 1987 and in 1989 the term ‘clumsy child syndrome’ being done away for good.


Exceptional Individuals webinar

We found this out and a lot more information about the condition when we went to an Exceptional Individuals webinar about it and it was very informative and fun. We got to know the history and also interact with our host Nat, who is also a trustee of a charity called Dyspraxic Me. Now there is a wealth of information available and we now know that Dyspraxia affects both girls and boys, young and old. It is also protected by the 2010 UK Equality Act which shows society has come a long way. It is also one of the most diagnosed neurological conditions, in about 1 in 10 next to Autism’s 1 in 100! We also did quizzes and found out about it in pop culture and that Dr Who assistant Ryan Sinclair has the condition in the show!

Exceptional Individuals do webinars every Thursday give or take and you can book your FREE ticket here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/exceptional-individuals-12111155769

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