Motor skills disorder
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.
What it is like to have MSD
One adult, who eventually learned some coping skills, writes:
- "Athletics were always especially difficult for me. In high school, a physical education coach called me the most uncoordinated person to ever climb upon a trampoline in the history of the school (in front of 60 other kids). Of course, it was humiliating then, and the words have stayed with me for more than 40 years, but I now realize he was actually on to something. Another early clue was my dismal performance in a high school touch typing class. My solution, totally unacceptable to the teacher, was a single finger method, a variation of which works very well even today if I watch the finger(s)."
A Wikipedia reader with MSD also writes:
- "When it comes to fine motor skills like writing, paying attention to the amount of pressure applied can be useful in writing legibly consistently. By focusing on applying minimal pressure with the writing utensil on the page, or using a mechanical pencil in which the zinc breaks easily with too much pressure; the writer can exhibit more control over their penmanship."
Coping skills and tips
Coping skills are ways to overcome adversities, disdvantages, and disabilities. Here are several tips:
- 1. Watching what you are doing seems to help. (The example of watching fingers on the keys when typing is a good example).
- 2. Spellcheckers can help identify many transposition errors. The ieSpell program is free and works well with most Internet programs. 
- 3. Perform proofreading in addition to spellchecking. As helpful as they are, spellchecking programs usually will not flag transposed letters which result in a correctly-spelled but unintended word.
- 4. Some people report that using a program which takes oral commands is helpful on computers.
- 5. a computer mouse works much better than multiple keystrokes for some because the user sees where it is going, and points at what is wanted.