, Volume 23, Issue 5, pp 439-458

Children with “Dyspraxia”: A Survey of Diagnostic Heterogeneity, Use and Perceived Effectiveness of Interventions

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Abstract

A survey was distributed to parents at a conference organized by a dyspraxia support group, and mailed twice to the members with the support group’s newsletters. Of 118 respondents, 84% reported that their children were diagnosed with dyspraxia, whereas 25% stated that their children’s diagnosis was developmental coordination disorder. All respondents were using food supplements. Moreover, 69% of respondents sent their children to unconventional education or therapy, and 57% provided their children with some form of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). In terms of perceived effectiveness of interventions, about half of the parents (53%) reported improvement of physical skills and attributed such progress to standard intervention in the mainstream health care and education systems in New Zealand. Despite popular use, effectiveness of unconventional education, therapy, or CAM was rarely considered. These findings have important implications for parents, health and educational service providers, policy makers, and funding bodies.