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

ORIGINAL ARTICLE

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.

Keywords

Survey Dyspraxia Developmental coordination disorder Motor coordination Complementary medicine 

References

  1. American Psychiatric Association. (2000). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (Revised (4th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.Google Scholar
  2. American Psychiatric Association (2010). DSM-5 Development. Retrieved April 10, 2011, from http://www.dsm5.org.
  3. Bull, L. (2009). Survey of complementary and alternative therapies used by children with specific learning difficulties (dyslexia). International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders, 44, 224–235.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Chan, J. J., & Chan, J. E. (2000). Medicine for the millennium: the challenge of postmodernism. The Medical Journal of Australia, 172, 332–334.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Chan, E., Rappaport, L. A., & Kemper, K. J. (2003). Complementary and alternative therapies in childhood attention and hyperactivity problems. Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, 24(1), 4–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Cummins, R. A. (1991). Sensory integration and learning disabilities: Ayres’ factor analyses reappraised. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 24, 160–168.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Davis, P. K., & Rehfeldt, R. A. (2007). Functional skills training for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. In J. W. Jacobson, J. A. Mulick, & J. Rojahn (Eds.), Handbook of intellectual and developmental disabilities (pp. 581–599). New York: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Dewey, D. (1995). What is developmental dyspraxia? Brain and Cognition, 29(3), 254–274.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Ernst, E. (2003). Serious adverse effects of unconventional therapies for children and adolescents: a systematic review of recent evidence. European Journal of Pediatrics, 162, 72–80.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. First, M. B. (2005). Mutually exclusive versus co-occurring diagnostic categories: the challenge of diagnostic comorbidity. Psychopathology, 38, 206–210.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Furnham, A., & Lovett, J. (2001). Predicting the use of complementary medicine: a test of the theories of reasoned action and planned behavior. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 31, 2588–2620.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Golden, G. S. (1984). Controversial therapies. Pediatric Clinics of North America, 31(2), 459–469.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Gottlieb, M. I. (1989). Attention deficit disorders, hyperkinesis, and learning disabilities: Controversial therapies. In S. H. J. H. French & P. Casaer (Eds.), Child neurology and developmental disabilities (pp. 251–263). Baltimore: Paul H Brookes.Google Scholar
  14. Green, V. A., Pituch, K. A., Itchon, J., Choi, A., O’Reilly, M., & Sigafoos, J. (2005). Internet survey of treatments used by parents of children with autism. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 27, 70–84.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Hands, B., & Larkin, D. (2001). Developmental coordination disorder: a discrete disability. New Zealand Journal of Disability Studies, 9, 93–105.Google Scholar
  16. Hanson, E., Kalish, L. A., Bunce, E., Curtis, C., McDaniel, S., Ware, J., et al. (2007). Use of complementary and alternative medicine among children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 37, 628–636.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Henderson, S. E., Knight, E., Losse, A., & Jongmans, M. (1991). The clumsy child in school: are we doing enough? British Journal of Physical Education, 9, 2–8.Google Scholar
  18. Henderson, S. E., Sugden, D. A., & Barnett, A. L. (2007). Movement assessment battery for children-2. London: Harcourt Assessment.Google Scholar
  19. Hill, E. L. (1998). A dyspraxic deficit in specific language impairment and developmental coordination disorder? Evidence from hand and arm movements. Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology, 40, 388–395.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Kaplan, B., Polatajko, H., Wilson, B., & Faris, P. (1993). Reexamination of sensory integration treatment: a combination of two efficacy studies. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 26, 342–347.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Kavale, K., & Mattson, P. D. (1983). One jumped off the balance beam: meta-analysis of perceptual-motor training. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 16, 165–173.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Liptak, G., Orlando, M., Yingling, J. T., Theurer-Kaufman, K. L., Malay, D. P., Thompkins, L. A., et al. (2006). Satisfaction with primary health care received by families of children with developmental disabilities. Journal of Pediatric Health Care, 20(4), 245–252.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Miyahara, M. (2001). Narrative representations of moderate physical disabilities in the Specialist Education Services in New Zealand: the process and the problems of the service delivery. New Zealand Journal of Disability Studies, 9, 80–92.Google Scholar
  24. Miyahara, M., & Möbs, I. (1995). Developmental dyspraxia and developmental coordination disorder. Neuropsychology Review, 5(4), 245–268.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Miyahara, M., & Register, C. (2000). Perceptions of three terms to describe physical awkwardness in children. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 21(5), 367–376.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Miyahara, M., Leeder, T., Francis, G., & Inghelbrecht, A. (2008). Does an instruction of a verbal labeling strategy for hand movements improve general motor coordination as well as the Gestural Performance?: a test of the relationship between developmental coordination disorder and dyspraxia. Clinical Case Studies, 7, 191–207.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Miyahara, M., Piek, J., & Barrett, N. (2008). Effect of postural instability on drawing errors in children: a synchronized kinematic analysis of hand drawing and body motion. Human Movement Science, 27, 705–713.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Miyahara, M., Yamaguchi, M., & Green, C. (2008). A review of 326 children with developmental and physical disabilities, consecutively taught at the movement development clinic: prevalence and intervention outcomes of children with DCD. Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities, 20(4), 353–363.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Orton, S. (1925). “Word-blindness” in school children. Archives of Neurology, 14, 582–615.Google Scholar
  30. Peters, J. M., Barnett, A. L., & Henderson, S. E. (2001). Clumsiness, dyspraxia and developmental co-ordination disorder: how do health and educational professionals in the UK define the terms? Child: Care, Health and Development, 27(5), 399–412.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Polatajko, H., Law, M., Miller, J., Schaffer, R., & Macnab, J. (1991). The effect of a sensory integration program on academic achievement, motor performance, and self-esteem in children identified as learning disabled: results of a clinical trial. Occupational Therapy Journal of Research, 11, 155–176.Google Scholar
  32. Quinn, F., Baxter, G. D., & Hughes, C. M. (2008). Complementary therapies in the management of low back pain: a survey of reflexologists. Complementary Therapies in Medicine, 16, 9–14.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Rosenbaum, P. (2003). Controversial treatment of spasticity: exploring alternative therapies for motor function in children with cerebral palsy. Journal of Child Neurology, 18(Suppl. 1), S89–S94.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. Smith, T., Mruzek, D. W., & Mozingo, D. (2005). Sensory integrative therapy. In J. W. Jacobson, R. M. Foxx, & J. A. Mulick (Eds.), Controversial therapies for developmental disabilities: Fad, fashion, and science in professional practice (pp. 331–350). Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  35. Sugden, D. A., & Dunford, C. (2007). Intervention and the role of theory, empiricism and experience in children with motor impairment. Disability and Rehabilitation, 29(1), 3–11.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Sweeney, C. (Ed.). (2007). Good inclusive practice for children with dyspraxia/DCD in Irish primary schools. Dublin: Dyspraxia Association.Google Scholar
  37. Vos, R., Houtepen, R., & Horstman, K. (2002). Evidence-based medicine and power shifts in health systems. Health Care Analysis, 10, 319–328.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Weber, W., Stoep, A. V., McCarty, R. L., Weiss, N. S., Biederman, J., & McClellan, J. (2008). Hypericum perforatum (St John’s Wort) for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in children and adolescents: a randomized controlled trial. Journal of the American Medical Association, 299(22), 2633–2641.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Wilson, K., Dowson, C., & Mangin, D. (2007). Prevalence of complementary and alternative medicine use in Christchurch, New Zealand: children attending general practice versus paediatric outpatients. The New Zealand Medical Journal, 120(1251), U2464.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  40. Wolraich, M. L. (1997). Addressing behavior problems among school-aged children: traditional and controversial approaches. Pediatrics in Review, 18(8), 266–270.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Physical EducationUniversity of OtagoDunedinNew Zealand
  2. 2.School of PhysiotherapyUniversity of OtagoDunedinNew Zealand

Personalised recommendations