Understanding the crossover with Dyslexia and Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) | Dyslexia UK

Understanding the crossover with Dyslexia and Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD)

May 20, 2024 Keir Williams Comments Off

Dyslexia, a prevalent learning disorder, significantly impacts an individual’s proficiency in reading and writing. While it is commonly associated with challenges in phonology, such as recognizing and sequencing letter sounds, there is a lesser-known connection to developmental coordination disorder (DCD), previously known as dyspraxia. DCD encompasses difficulties in perception, spatial awareness, and movement, broadening the understanding of the complexities individuals with dyslexia may face.

Impacts on Daily Life

The presence of DCD introduces a range of challenges in physical and sensory tasks for individuals. Manifestations include poor balance and posture, clumsiness, and difficulties in participating in team sports. Handwriting and typing may pose challenges, along with manual dexterity issues and heightened sensitivity to light and noise. Discriminating between left and right, judging distances, navigating new places, and performing numerical and spatial tasks can all be affected. Additionally, social interactions and organizing daily life may present struggles for individuals with DCD.

Impacts on Education and the Workplace

The influence of DCD extends into educational and professional realms, affecting study habits and workplace performance. Maintaining focus while reading, planning study schedules, and structuring essays become daunting tasks. In the workplace, challenges may arise with operating machines, entering data on computers or calculators, and handling objects like trays of coffee mugs. Organizational difficulties, such as remembering locations of items, taking messages, and keeping paperwork in order, can also be notable challenges.

Managing the Difficulties

Despite the complexities posed by DCD, several strategies can effectively assist individuals in managing their difficulties. Practical approaches include using rulers to maintain place on a page, colour-marking numerical tables, adopting ergonomic keyboards, and pre-planning trips to new locations. Specialized tools like screen reading rulers on computers, photocopying text onto coloured paper, and employing specific utensils for cooking or tools for DIY projects can also provide valuable support.

Assessment and Support

Identifying DCD difficulties often involves comprehensive assessments, which can be incorporated into dyslexia assessments. For those dealing with physical clumsiness, seeking evaluation from a physiotherapist or occupational therapist specializing in adult DCD is advisable. Referrals to perception therapists may be beneficial for those experiencing marked perceptual difficulties.

In conclusion, dyslexia and DCD intertwine to create complex conditions that impact various facets of an individual’s life. Recognizing the signs of DCD, seeking support, and implementing diverse strategies empower individuals with dyslexia and DCD to navigate their challenges and realize their full potential.

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