Dr Who returned to television screens this week with some fresh faces. Most of the attention was on the new Doctor, Jodie Whittaker, who put her intergalactic bad-guy bashing skills to the test against some nosy, cosmic orbs and a man-hunting alien. The episode featured dramatic CGI sequences and a heart-pumping soundtrack but it was a simple scene at the beginning which caught our eye.
The show opened with Ryan, a young man with dyspraxia played by actor Tosin Cole, struggling to ride his bike. Ultimately, he throws it away in frustration. Problems with balance and movement are typical of dyspraxia or what’s also known as developmental co-ordination disorder. This is a neurological condition which affects how an individual plans and processes motor tasks. It impairs gross-motor skills like those involved in “big muscle” activities such as running, jumping and, in Ryan’s case, maintaining balance. Fine motor skills can also be adversely impacted, such as when writing, tying a shoelace, or typing on a keyboard.
At Concept Northern, leaders in assistive-technology provision and training, we help people with dyspraxia overcome these everyday problems. Dyspraxia often occurs alongside dyslexia and compounds problems when reading, writing and organising. Assistive software like Texthelp Read&Write helps with literacy challenges while MatchWare MindView takes the pressure of planning tasks and remembering details. For individuals who struggle to use a computer keyboard, dictation software such as Dragon Professional Individual utilises voice commands to compose documents or control a PC. Ergonomic solutions can help too such as specially-adapted chairs, desks, computer mice, grips, stands and document holders.
The inclusion of a character with dyspraxia on Dr Who wasn’t a coincidence. This month sees the return of Dyspraxia Awareness Week (7 – 13 October) to draw attention to its nature and effects. That’s important because, as we saw with Ryan, the consequences of dyspraxia are not just motor-skill related. They can also lead to feelings of extreme frustration and heightened anxiety. By combining assistive technology with specialist training focused on individual needs, we help people with dyspraxia address their challenges, and be more optimistic about their potential and abilities.
For more information on how Concept Northern helps individuals with dyspraxia, contact Alan Taylor on 01355 573173 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fond out more about Dyspraxia Awareness Week here.