Motor skills disorder
Motor skills disorder Classification and external resources ICD-9 315.4
Motor skills disorder (also known as motor coordination disorder or motor dyspraxia) is a human developmental disorder that impairs motor coordination in daily activities. It is neurological in origin. Many children with autism or Asperger syndrome experience deficits in motor skills development, which often manifests as abnormal clumsiness, but is not major enough to be considered a disorder in and of itself.
The disorder has its basis in the brain, a network of neural connections that allow humans to process the information received. Motor Dyspraxia is a result of weak or disorganised connections in the brain, which then translates to trouble with motor coordination. Movements are performed because the brain sends messages to the area requiring action. The dyspraxia is a result of weak or poorly structured neural pathways to the moving parts of the body.
Clumsiness and tendency to fall down are a matter of poor balance and gross motor coordination. The origin of all of these difficulties is the vestibular system of the inner ear. The vestibule is an organ responsible for maintaining balance and coordination and is located beside the cochlea, which acts as a sound receptor. Although they attend to different information, the proximity of the vestibule and cochlea allows them to complement each other. The other consequence of their relationship is that if one system is not functioning well, the other is concurrently affected.
People with dyspraxia also tend to have an overly sensitive tactile system that causes them to perceive the most benign touch as unpleasant. They may also have a very low pain-threshold or have an automatic reaction of fear – tactile defensiveness – when touched. This is a result of a sensory integrative dysfunction, which describes a problem in the way the brain interprets information received from the senses. This problem, like that of coordination, originates in the vestibule, as all sensory information is transmitted to the vestibule before being sent to the cerebellum, the part of the brain associated with movement.
The causes of this disorder are unknown, but it is thought to originate with inner ear problems, possibly resultant from head injuries or childhood diseases. Children with motor skills disorder often suffer low self-esteem resulting from poor ability at sports and teasing by other children.
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