What is dyspraxia?

Dys- means "it isn't working well"

-praxia means "controlled movement of motor muscles"

So, Dyspraxia means " it isn't working well for controlled movement of motor muscles"

Dyspraxia is the name given when there is a problem converting an intention of the brain into a carefully controlled action of our motor muscles. Dyspraxia can be a developmental deficit or acquired through damage to the brain by accident, stroke or illness. Vision is the primary sense by which we know where our bodies are in relation to things around us. Vision requires delicately controlled action of the eye muscles (and the body as a whole) for us to be able to turn to see what is there to be seen. Hence the expression "Vision drives action" - to see we must move.

Young girl with hand in a heart shape around eye

Being able to move our muscles in a coordinated fluid action is the goal, and proprioceptive feed-back from our muscles is critical, it is rightly called "the 6th sense". As good as the proprioception is however, it does need frequent re-calibration so that we know exactly where our muscles have moved us to - it is Vision that keeps the precision up to date.

The acuity of visual feedback is far more precise than proprioception, allowing the exact and delicately balanced movements of muscles critical to learning, the muscles of the eyes and the hands; just watch the intensity of gaze by a violinist upon their fingers - despite their years of practice!

When we talk of OculoMotor Dysfunction it could be equivalently expressed as Dyspraxia of Ocular Movement.

Any errors in eye alignment when reading or driving a car will cause errors and inefficiencies, typically leading to fatigue and frustration.

Behavioural optometrists use the concept that "Vision drives action" to do Visual/Physical re-training with our Dyspraxic patients to give them better accuracy and efficiency in their movement.

Book an appointment with Mark Eagle to investigate this further.

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Young girl with hand in a heart shape around eye