The Anguish and Frustration of Being Last
“Miss Cara,” my 10-year-old client asked, “what is your diagnosis?” A benign question from a child well aware of the developmental labels he carries. I laughed, but wondered what label I would have if I grew up in these times. I was terribly uncoordinated so I might indeed have had a label, which likely would have kept me from pursuing the very activities I now enjoy.
Poor Coordination Has Official Labels
Dyspraxia is essentially a dysfunctional level of coordination. A kinder name comes from Australia—Developmental Coordination Disorder. In any case, there are well-noted effects on self-esteem and social acceptance. Many of the characteristics describe what we find with the children we work with and the characteristics that we routinely see, change!
“Developmental coordination disorder (DCD) is an umbrella term used to describe a number of issues that affect a child’s ability to acquire or perform skilled movements. Children with these movement difficulties can have trouble with many tasks required in daily living and at school – movements that require gross motor skills, such as catching and jumping, tend to be affected.”
Lack of fitness and confidence are significant factors that can lead to a cycle of inactivity, frustration, and low self-esteem. DCD is often linked with various learning delays and disorders. Estimates vary, but it is thought that about one in every 10 Australian children can experience these issues.
When a person with Developmental Coordination Disorder plays a sport, particularly a team sport, they may:
- Lack hand-to-eye coordination, which causes problems with basic skills such as, throwing and catching.
- Need to rely heavily on seeing how things are done to learn movements.
- Lack adequate gross motor control skills. For example, they may find it difficult to stand on one leg or handle equipment like a bat or racquet.
- Display uncoordinated physical movements.
- Have an awkward posture and running style.
- Find it difficult to understand the rules of an unfamiliar game.
- Need more than average time and effort to master a new physical skill.
- Not be able to anticipate what might happen next. For example, they cannot “read the play” to realize that the ball may be sent their way.
- Not respond quickly to their surroundings. For example, they may stand still when a ball is kicked to them.
- Not be able to maneuver successfully around objects or other players and will constantly bump into things or trip over.
- Have a lower level of athletic abilities compared to other children of the same age.
- Show evidence of fine motor control problems, such as untidy writing.
The consequences typically include
- Low self-esteem
- Limited social skills
- A perception from others that the person is not trying and is lacking motivation
- Withdrawal from existing sporting activities
- Resistance to trying other forms of physical activity
My Personal Experiences
In elementary school I was always next to last in any kind of races that involved running and grateful for that one person slower than me so that I wasn’t truly last. The unfairness of life—all the academics came so easily to me, but no matter how I tried I couldn’t master speed, stamina, or coordination. PE and recess were my most dreaded times of the day.
In high school, I found ways to be around my more coordinated friends—team manager, statistician, scorekeeper, etc. just to be near the action. The social experiences associated with sports and recreational activities define youth and I didn’t want to be left out!
In college and beyond, I found ways to stay active—biking, swimming, walking, and aerobics (yes, it was the 80’s!) I always wondered why I got tired faster and couldn’t keep up with the others easily. I chalked it up to needing better equipment. Sport stores loved me!
New Insights, New Moves, New Goals!
I didn’t have the developmentally based micro-movements necessary for coordinated, easy, fluent movement, likely from being quite sick when young. Many of the insights with the evolution of Kinetic Bridging® have been personal. At first, I wanted to reduce knee pain from walking and suddenly found myself able to run. My next goals were to reduce the aches and pains of running longer distances and now, I want to improve my time and endurance. It is rather amazing since many of life-long runners my age are giving running up due to “getting older.”
Yes, You Too, Can Move Better!
The true joy of my day comes from seeing and hearing how restored movement makes a difference in clients’ lives—returning you to your workouts, children excelling at baseball and soccer, and even taking out your daily aggressions on the tennis court! At any age, we restore your micro-movements quickly returning you to the activities that define your life.
A Note from Cara
Thanks for your concern related to my spring break knee injury—all better! Amazing what an hour of Kinetic Bridging® work can accomplish!
Today I ran a 5-mile race with a time faster than 60% of my age group. Not bad for the grade school kid who usually came in last. Kinetic Bridging® has changed my life! I’m more athletic than ever and now define myself as a hiker, runner, and kayaker.
The anguish and frustration of being last has haunted me for years, which is why I take such delight in seeing the glow in our clients with restored confidence and self-identity when their movement is restored.
If your pain or poor coordination is keeping you or your loved ones from participating in the activities of life, give us a call. We can quickly get you going with some new moves!