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What are the typical symptoms of dyspraxia and can the disorder be treated?

Dyspraxia can be defined as an impairment or immaturity of the organisation of movement.

The condition essentially makes it difficult for the body to do what the mind tells it to. This can adversely affect everything from intellect and language to physical and emotional development.

It's estimated that 8-10% of all children in the United Kingdom are effected by dyspraxia, with boys up to four time more likely to develop the condition than girls.

There are dozens of possible symptoms of dyspraxia but the most common are as follows:

- clumsiness
- poor hand-eye coordination
- speech and language difficulties
- poor sense of direction and spatial awareness
- short-term memory problems
- poor writing and drawing abilities
- reading and spelling difficulties

We still don't know the reasons behind dyspraxia, although. Research suggests that it's due to an immaturity of neurone development in the brain rather than any actual brain damage.

There is no cure for dyspraxia but many children will gradually improve with age. There are also many strategies that can help overcome the continuing problems children with the condition may face. The most effective of these are as follows:

- breaking large tasks down into smaller components to make them more manageable.

- carrying out some kind of relaxation exercise every day.

- taking part in any sport/activity that might improve co-ordination and manual dexterity such as computer games, swimming and tennis.

- making use any gadget or material to help make everyday tasks easier such as electric toothbrushes and velcro shoes.

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