Trinity PR has today (Monday 13 October) launched new survey results on behalf of the Dyspraxia Foundation highlighting the impact the condition has on its teenage sufferers. The nationwide poll commissioned by the charity reveals the emotional impact of dyspraxia is far greater in this specific age group (13-19 years) than the more obvious problems with co-ordination or motor skills, often associated with younger children when the condition is first recognised.
Dyspraxia, once cruelly referred to as ‘clumsy child’ syndrome, is a form of developmental coordination disorder (DCD). While DCD is often regarded as an umbrella term to cover motor coordination difficulties, dyspraxia refers to those people who have additional problems planning, organising and carrying out movements in the right order in everyday situations.
Key findings include
- 84% of those teenagers questionned said they had felt left out of a friendship group due to their “differences”, with more than a third (35%) saying this was a constant problem.
- 70% said they had been victims of bullying – a worrying pattern that was echoed by the parents and carers who took part in the survey, with 15% saying they felt their child was “always bullied.”
- More than three quarters (77%) said they avoided participating in sport, with 33% admitting they “always avoided such physical activity”.
- 95% of parents and carers believe that their teenage child has experienced feeling of anxiety and 40% of the teenagers with dyspraxia who took part in the survey said they felt anxious “all of the time.”
- 53% said they had been late for school in the last half term – with 10% reporting that they were “always late’. And 90% said they had lost something important, such as keys, wallet or phone.
Experts from the Dyspraxia Foundation suggest that in practical terms, life in a secondary school environment – particularly for those who had recently made the transition from a more protected and ‘cosier’ setting of primary school – presented a series of problems that many children of a similar age might take for granted.
The charity is focusing on teenagers for its 2014 Awareness Week (12 – 18 October) and will be introducing a new Teenage Information Officer, who will be available to offer advice for young people experiencing any difficulties associated with dyspraxia and share info via social media networks.
The campaign has also drawn support from Children and Families Minister Edward Timpson who commented; “No child should suffer from anxiety or bullying – and our reforms will help ensure children with dyspraxia get the support they need. Schools should now be clear about the measures they should take to prevent children and young people with special education needs and disabilities (SEND) being bullied. The changes brought in by our SEND reforms put the individual needs of each child at the centre of a more simple and joined up system that focuses on helping them to achieve their best.”