Told their son was unable to learn due to “dyspraxia,” a British family eventually concluded his problem was poor teaching at his expensive private school and loss of confidence in his own abilities.
Technically, it is a condition affecting a person’s judgment of space, and manifests itself in the child’s inability to understand how to juxtapose shapes such as triangles and squares, or by their hapless failure to co-ordinate their physical movements. There is no cure, say the experts, but treatment and conditioning allegedly help.
Clearly, a proportion are genuine sufferers – but others are children who have been categorised for a brutal reason. Namely, that private schools prefer to blame the child than admit to teaching inadequacies in their schools. To protect second-rate teachers, private schools prefer to label those casualties of inadequate teaching as “dyspraxic.”
Yet far from being dyspraxic, by the end of four years, my son was declared to be completely healthy and academically excellent. In the meantime, his self-confidence had been undermined, his education had been damaged and I had spent nearly £20,000 on a small army of private teachers and educational psychologists.
What worked was hiring a math tutor. Their son learned math, gained confidence and began to do well in all his subjects.
I’d never heard of dyspraxia. Apparently, it used to be called “clumsy child syndrome.” It seems to be a fad diagnosis in Britain.