Posted on: 20-10-2014
This week the The Dyspraxia Foundation is running an awareness week from 12th to 18th October. The Dyspraxia Foundation is the only charity in the UK dedicated to raising awareness of this condition. This year they are focusing on teenagers and the theme is:“There’s more to it than just motor skills”.
Dyspraxia is classified as an “invisible” disability, because it does not manifest itself in a dramatically noticeable way to the casual observer. Many people are aware of the physical signs of dyspraxia only, such as difficulty in walking up and down the stairs, poor pencil grip, frequently falling over and difficulties with getting dressed. There can be also emotional aspects of dyspraxia: tendencies to get stressed, depressed and anxious easily, prone to low self-esteem, emotional outbursts, phobias, fears, obsessions, compulsions and addictive behaviour. The results of a survey launched by Foundation on Monday reveal that the beginning of a new school term can create huge levels of anxiety, fear or even dread for the hundreds of teenagers diagnosed with the developmental co-ordination disorder.
Sally Payne, Paediatric Occupational Therapist and Trustee of the Dyspraxia Foundation comments; “What this survey has really reinforced to us as a charity is that it’s the emotional aspects that hit teenagers and young adults most hard – especially when trying to navigate the already “tricky” aspects of growing up, such as the transition to secondary school or college, friendships, potential bullying, leaving home and generally learning to fend for yourselves.
Dyspraxia affects around 5% of the population (2%, severely) and males are up to three times more likely to be affected than females. Dyspraxia sometimes runs in the family – and there are believed to be 1-2 children affected in every class of 30 children.
This year Dyspraxia Awareness Week includes its first “Funky Friday” October 17, when the public wears urged to show support to the Foundation by wearing their most colourful item of clothing to work or school.