Developmental coordination disorder
Causes of dyspraxia
Little is known about the cause of developmental co-ordination disorder (DCD), although it is thought to be caused by a problem in the development of the brain.
Performing smooth, planned movements is a complex process, involving your senses, muscles and central nervous system (brain, nerves and spinal cord). Any problem in this process could potentially lead to difficulties with movement and co-ordination.
Although it is not known exactly what causes DCD, there may be a link between DCD and:
- being born prematurely (before the 37th week of pregnancy)
- being born with a low birth weight
- having a family history of DCD, although it is not clear exactly which genes may be involved in the condition
- the mother drinking alcohol or taking illegal drugs while pregnant
The term 'dyspraxia' is sometimes used generally to refer to difficulties with movement and co-ordination.
When the term is used in this way, it can include problems caused by brain damage later in life, such as a head injury.
These cases are also called 'acquired dyspraxia' and are different to the developmental condition most people are referring to when they use the term dyspraxia.