Good Inclusive Practice for Children with Dyspraxia/DCD in Irish Primary Schools

Catherine Sweeney

About the Study

This study established that good inclusive policy relating to children with Dyspraxia/DCD is given statutory recognition in official Irish Government and Department of Education and Science documents. Analysis of these and relevant current international literature identified key elements of good inclusive practice for children with Dyspraxia/DCD in Irish Primary Schools. Random samples of parent members of Dyspraxia/DCD Ireland and Resource and Learning Support Teacher (Primary) members of the Irish Learning Support Association were surveyed.

A quantitative approach investigated their perceptions and experiences of the key elements of good inclusive practice. Despite some challenges, both parents and teachers appear to be willing to support the inclusion of children with Dyspraxia/DCD in mainstream Primary Schools. There is a dearth of research about Dyspraxia/DCD in Ireland.

This study has found that there is inadequate services provision in the areas of Occupational therapy and Speech and Language Therapy for children with Dyspraxia/DCD. Also, children with many difficulties, children with Dyspraxia/DCD appear to be happy in school. Findings in both surveys broadly reflect those in the literature.

These findings highlight that Dyspraxia/DCD is a complex disorder which may present with obvious co-ordination, language and perception difficulties but also many covert underlying difficulties. However, children with Dyspraxia/DCD are a heterogeneous group. Therefore a holistic individual assessment, preferably by a multi-disciplinary team is required.

Research based interventions to support planning and teacher knowledge of the disorder are crucial to the successful inclusion of children with Dyspraxia/DCD in mainstream Primary Schools.

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