Although there are people who will argue differently, and cloud the whole issue by talking about umbrella terms that just confuse everybody, there really isn’t a difference between DCD and dyspraxia. In simple terms, DCD and dyspraxia are the same thing. DCD is also known as dyspraxia, and dyspraxia is also known as DCD. When healthcare professionals use the term, they use them interchangeably–it’s basically their preference.
Why the Confusion?
One pediatrician we saw said that my child had both (!), the current one will refer to DCD in correspondence but as dyspraxia during consultations, a sleep practitioner asked me what DCD was as she was only familiar with dyspraxia, and an occupational therapist was asking me if DCD and dyspraxia were the same thing!
If people who work with dyspraxic kids on a daily basis get confused, then it’s no wonder we do!
What Term Is Correct?
More and more often, the condition we all know as dyspraxia is being referred to as DCD (Developmental Coordination Disorder) at the guidance of the NHS.
The reason for this is not because DCD is the term that is more commonly used in other countries; it’s because dyspraxia is also the term that’s used to describe motor skills difficulties that can occur at any time of life as a result of damage to the brain (e.g. a head injury from an accident, or from suffering a stroke). Whereas DCD is something that our kids are born with.
What we all think of as dyspraxia in our children, would be more accurately described as developmental dyspraxia.
Why we don’t just all use the term developmental dyspraxia I really don’t know. Seems like it would be a lot less confusing for everybody–especially as developmental dyspraxia is more than just motor skills, and the term DCD seems to imply that it is indeed just a case of being uncoordinated. Anyway, that’s just my opinion 🙂
But if the NHS say that DCD is also known as dyspraxia (and vice versa) then I trust that statement as it comes from many healthcare professionals who work with people who have dyspraxia, have researched it, and obviously know what they are talking about.
So don’t get too hung up on it; in other words, DCD and dyspraxia are the same thing.
- What is Dyspraxia?
- Dyspraxia Symptoms
- Dyspraxia in Children
- Is Dyspraxia a Disability?
- How the Mind of a Dyspraxic Child Works