use of parent-power
with the condition known as dyspraxia can be helped by
parents and teachers, rather than using over-stretched
NHS resources, according to new research at Leeds. Professor
of special needs in education and Pro-Vice-Chancellor
David Sugden found that the majority of children with
the condition could be helped if parents themselves were
trained in basic intervention and management techniques.
with dyspraxia, also known as developmental coordination
disorder (DCD), have problems with movement and coordination,
affecting simple tasks such as dressing or playing games.
The disorder has a knock-on effect on childrens
self-esteem and later academic progress.
the waiting lists in many health authorities, its
clear that existing models of providing therapy arent
able to cope with the numbers of children involved," Professor
Sugden explained. "We wanted to see if bringing in parents
and teachers could provide an alternative solution."
the model devised by Professor Sugden, children are first
assessed by professionals, who draw up a profile of the
childs strengths and difficulties and devise an
individual action plan. Parents, teachers or carers are
then trained in a programme of activities, which they
work through with their children around 3 to 4 times a
week in sessions designed to be short, stress-free and
enjoyable. Of the thirty-one children who took part in
the study, only four were still diagnosed as having dyspraxia
after18 months of therapy.
Research, who funded the study, have provided a further
£46,000 for the next phase of the research, which will
follow 28 of the original 31 children over two years to
examine the long-term effects of the treatment.
addition, the NHS is providing £75,000 for studies to
determine whether the model can be applied on a larger