Dyspraxia, Developmental Co-ordination Disorder
by Dr Amanda Kirby A Graph Review
Souvenir Press 978 028563512 8. paperback. £12.99
8th reprint, dated 2009.
218 pp, including glossary, index and directory of resources. Plus numerous, gently humerous, but accurate line illustrations.
In the introduction the author confirms the aim towards explaining to parents, aiding their understanding and potentially how to help the development of their children with the varying degrees of poor co-ordination. She is also well aware that teachers need to understand and have a working knowledge of handling children with this difficulty even if not specifically diagnosed. This book will certainly give both information and help to teachers.
Amanda Kirby is a former GP and Medical Director of the Dyscovery Centre, internationally recognised and published widely as well as having lectured to over 20,000 teachers. And first -hand knowledge with a son with dyspraxia. (Looking on web shows Dyscovery Centre as a unit of the University of South Wales, UK). Clearly written, helping to understand and offering many helpful tips on the various difficulties through childhood to adulthood, for families living with levels of these assorted disorder.
‘Dyspraxia’ also points out that adults may well have degrees of dyspraxia without having been diagnosed but are coping with its associated difficulties.
The book begins with a brief explanation and description of dyspraxia and potential effects within a family. Frequent samples are included throughout to give realistic views of problems and observations from within sufferers and family members. From pre-school right through schooldays and into adulthood she offers examples of difficulties and tips for the ‘helper’ and individual with the condition.
The chapters move along in sequences of age, appropriate development and difficulties. Check-lists help pinpoint areas, followed by tips, suggestions,that will help development or maybe use alternative abilities if appropriate. These checklists are usefully labelled for circumstances and parents and teachers. And a chapter for ‘play’ and some helpful ideas, shows its importance for children. For teachers, the settings are usually in classroom or suggested educational settings and look to be covering more options, some of which are similar to the ‘parenting’ hints. The parent should be able integrate any of these ‘additional’ ideas into the family routine where appropriate.
Subjects covered in addition to the primary and secondary school ages are such as ‘Bullying’, ‘Helping the Distractable Child’, self-esteem, growing-up and ‘adulthood. Lastly she has comment chapters on causes (not really sure), when should diagnosis be approached and lastly ‘differential diagnosis.’ Which includes such as ‘semantic pragmatic disorder.
All in all this book is an extremely useful book for explaining and encouraging both those with the varying degrees of co-ordination disorder and their parents, family and teachers. As with many issues the various activities that improve (in this case, co-ordination) can be most effective if exercised at earliest appropriate age but should be tried even if the need is only recognised later. Other techniques may be adoptable and successful, whilst understanding and support from within family and school could well have much beneficial effects.
Parents may well be aware of problems early and should find this book helpful from the earliest ages to help reduce potential problems later.
I would recommend this to teachers, especially in the counselling areas as well as parents and those with elements of Dyspraxia.
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