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Doctors warn: awkwardness is often a symptom of illness

Doctors warn: awkwardness is often a symptom of illness



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Awkward behavior can indicate dyspraxia

An overturned coffee cup, a fall, spilled food, a collision with other people - clumsiness is often used as a reason for annoyance or amusement. If a person's clumsiness accumulates, they are sometimes even assumed to have low intelligence. Regular awkward behavior can also indicate the less well-known but common coordination and developmental disorder dyspraxia.

Many have never heard of dyspraxia, although it is estimated that about every 20 children are affected. A recent survey by the "Dyspraxia Foundation" recently showed that the coordination and developmental disorder often leads to psychological problems such as anxiety disorders and social isolation - not least because affected children and adolescents often become victims of bullying. Parents seeking help are often closed doors because the disease is hardly known or researched.

What is dyspraxia?

Dyspraxia is a movement and planning disorder that can manifest itself in various motor areas. For example, those affected can be limited in the gripping function. A typical indication of this is that a search movement is carried out before the actual gripping. Dyspraxia can appear in various forms, which can occur either individually or in combination. The symptoms range from general ineptitude to gross motor skills to articulation difficulties. Dyspraxia patients often suffer from dyslexia or arithmetic problems.

Enormous psychological stress

The Dyspraxia Foundation survey shows that 55 percent of adolescents with dyspraxia between the ages of 11 and 18 often suffer from anxiety. In those over the age of 25, this number increases to around 70 percent. Sixty percent of parents of sickly clumsy children said they had not received the recognition, help and support that their child needed. 43 percent of those affected suffer from loneliness. 63 percent of this group are actually isolated.

Frequent victims of bullying

The Dyspraxia Foundation points out that affected adolescents have an increased risk of being bullied. Poor handwriting, speech disorders or difficulties with sports and physical activities often give rise to bullying. The social withdrawal often follows as a reaction.

Secondary diseases that have so far gone unnoticed

"This survey showed us the very stressful effects of dyspraxia on the mental health of teenagers," said Sophie Kayani, chair of the Dyspraxia Foundation, in a press release. The chair explained that the main problems change over time. While coordination problems predominate in younger years, psychological problems are more stressful in later years. To make matters worse, the social pressure increases with age, but at the same time the support decreases, Kayani warns.

More sensitive handling is required

“What we need is to raise awareness of dyspraxia so that we can develop early support together,” says Kayani. The exact causes of the disease are considered to be insufficiently understood. There is hardly any research on the subject. In Germany, dyspraxia is often described as a developmental disorder of motor functions (UEMF). Due to a lack of information on the subject, parents of affected children founded the information portal "Dyspraxie-online.de". (vb)

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