Dyspraxia, also known as Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD), is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects an individual’s ability to plan and coordinate physical movements. F or people living with dyspraxia, it can be a challenging condition to manage. However, with the right knowledge and support, individuals with dyspraxia can lead fulfilling lives.
Here are some key things to know about living with dyspraxia in New Zealand:
Early diagnosis and intervention are critical.
Dyspraxia can be diagnosed in children as young as five years old, but it can also be diagnosed in adults. It is important to seek a diagnosis and intervention as early as possible to ensure the best outcomes. This can involve working with healthcare professionals such as occupational therapists, physical therapists, and speech therapists.
Dyspraxia can affect many aspects of daily life.
Day-to-day life with dyspraxia differs depending upon the individual. It can create issues with:
- coordination, balance, and movement
- learning new tasks
- recalling information
- daily routines such as getting dressed and prepping food.
- fine motor skills-based tasks such as writing, typing, drawing and holding small objects
- coping with social situations
- handling your emotional responses
- organisation and time management.
Dyspraxia does not impact the individual’s intelligence but can affect people of every intellectual level.
Support and resources are available.
In New Zealand, there are several resources available to support individuals with dyspraxia and their families. The Dyspraxia Support Group of New Zealand (DSGNZ) is a non-profit organisation that provides support, information, and advocacy. The organisation offers resources such as support group meetings, educational support, and assessments.
Assistive devices and mobility equipment can help.
For individuals with dyspraxia, assistive devices and mobility equipment can help improve independence and mobility. This can include mobility scooters, wheelchairs, and other mobility aids, as well as adapted vehicles and home modifications. It is important to work with healthcare professionals to identify the most appropriate assistive devices and equipment.
Education and employment support is available.
Individuals with dyspraxia may face challenges in education and employment. However, there are resources available to help support success in these areas. The Ministry of Education provides funding for special education services for children with disabilities, including dyspraxia. For adults, Your Way | Kia Roha can help connect individuals with disability support services and employment opportunities.
Living with dyspraxia can be challenging, but with the right knowledge and support, individuals with dyspraxia can lead fulfilling and independent lives in New Zealand. It is important to seek early diagnosis and intervention, access resources and support, and explore assistive devices and mobility equipment to help manage the condition.