Categories: Health & Fitness

Adult dyspraxia: symptoms, test, who to consult?

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Dyspraxia prevents certain everyday gestures from being carried out and in particular affects the ability to situate oneself in space. Frequent and now well diagnosed, it affects 5 to 7% of children. In adults who were not diagnosed as children, the diagnostic process can be more difficult.

Definition: what is dyspraxia?

Dyspraxia is one of the invisible disabilities. It’s about a disturbance of the ability to perform certain gestures and activities daily volunteers. It is due to a dysfunction of the area of ​​the brain that controls motor skills. We are talking about TDC, developmental coordination disorder or DCD, coordination acquisition disorder. “Everyday gestures are normally acquired by repetition to the point of becoming automatic. In dyspraxia, we observe a gesture automation problem. Thus the gestures are performed under intentional control, not always in the right way and much more slowly. This further limits double duty as attention is already stretched“, explains Delphine Dechambre, occupational therapist.

What are the symptoms of dyspraxia in adults?

In adults, there are same coordination problems as in children. “In undiagnosed adults, we realize this when we fail to perform everyday actions, learn new tasks at work,we are unable to fit in professionally for these reasons. We are clumsier, sloweryou can’t pass the driving license exam… These issues become a source of concern and it’s at this point that adults decide to start a diagnostic process“explains the specialist. In addition to the motor disordersdyspraxia is also responsible for visuospatial disorders. The patient has difficulty organizing his gaze, situating the elements in relation to each other in space or orienting himself in relation to his body enumerates the site of theHealth Insurance.

In adults, the diagnosis will come from a personal initiative

Dyspraxia does not occur in the course of life spontaneously, or after an event such as a road accident for example. We are born with dyspraxia and remain so throughout life.

Is there a test to diagnose dyspraxia in adults?

If a child is falling behind in learning to write, if he has trouble tying his shoelaces or buttoning his clothes, the diagnosis can be made quickly. In adults, neither the family nor the patient is particularly alert to these signs. Disability is better and better known in children who are now much better diagnosed. Today, more and more adults, who have slipped through the cracks of the child net, are being diagnosed. “In adults, the diagnosis will come from a personal initiativewhich will require medical prescriptions to request paramedical check-ups. The doctor will then have to summarize these assessments in order to make the diagnosis.“, completes Delphine Dechambre. ratings of motor skills will be carried out by a psychomotor therapist Or an occupational therapist. Psychometric assessments may also be conducted toevaluate in particular the intellectual efficiency of the patient – ​​thereby ruling out other possible diagnoses. “Because there is no intellectual disability in dyspraxia“, recalls the professional. We can also make neurovisual tests, performed this time by specialist orthoptists. Most of the tests among the best known and used in France are adapted to ages corresponding to childhood. “It is therefore important for the practitioner to be aware of dyspraxia and look for tests suitable for adults, often in North American resources“, emphasizes the occupational therapist.

Who to consult?

Several specialists may therefore be involved: the general practitioner firstly then, depending on the tests requested, the psychomotor therapist, occupational therapist, neuropsychologist, neurovisual orthoptist.

We do not treat dyspraxia but we develop strategies to live better with. The goal of support is to improve daily life and the performance of tasks.It is a question of identifying the gestures that the person wishes to carry out and for which he finds himself prevented by his motor disorders. We find compensation when possible., like a computer keyboard for writing, but that’s not always possible. We can break down the tasks, dissect each activity, in order to find where it gets stuck and work on it. The gesture will never become automatic but through hard work, it will be easier“, explains Delphine Dechambre. She adds that the requests from adults are often much more specific than for children, because they have already identified which tasks and activities are problematic for them. “Finally, if necessary, requesting recognition of disability can be beneficial in employment and the implementation of a strategy to facilitate the daily life of the employee“, concludes the specialist.

Thanks to Delphine Dechambre, occupational therapist, for her expertise.

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