Dyspraxia is a disorder that affects motor skill development. Estimates indicate that it affects up to ten percent of the population, and up to two percent severely, but despite its prevalence, dyspraxia remains relatively unknown by most people (even though actor Daniel Radcliffe has publicly discussed his dyspraxia). A little about the disorder:
- Dyspraxia is also known as Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD), Motor Learning Difficulties, or Perceptuo-Motor Dysfunction.
- Dyspraxia is a disorder that affects motor skill development and people with the disorder have trouble planning and completing fine motor tasks, such as controlling a pen or pencil, tying shoelaces, or using utensils when eating.
- Symptoms can affect people differently at different stages and severity varies from person to person.
- Although dyspraxia is not a learning disability (LD), features of dyspraxia are often seen in those who struggle with learning disabilities such as dyslexia, dyscalculia, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and other conditions that impact learning.
- There is no cure for dyspraxia. However, identifying the disorder early on can help tremendously. Depending on how severe the case is, work with occupational, speech and physical therapists can improve a person’s ability to function and live independently.
Jin, the main character in the middle grade novel The Monster in the Mudball, has dyspraxia (or, as he calls it, “clumsy child syndrome”). Author S.P. Gates was inspired to create a dyspraxic hero because her own son, Alex, is dyspraxic. We asked her to share her insight about dyspraxia and her son’s experience growing up dyspraxic:
In her last guest post, author S.P. Gates shared some visual renderings of the monster in her new lower middle grade novel, The Monster in the Mudball. In this guest post, she shares photos of some of the real-life places in the English town of Newcastle Upon Tyne where her book is set.
When I write stories I like to set them in real places. The Monster in the Mudball is set in a city called Newcastle Upon Tyne near where I live. I thought you might like to see some photos!
This is the main river that runs through the city. Note the building (nicknamed “The Silver Peanut”! ) and beautiful bridge! But, when Zilombo hatches out from her mudball she doesn’t live along this main river. Five minutes’ walk away is a weedy, forgotten backwater. It looks like this:
Just in time for Halloween, we’re excited to announce the release of two new novels from our science fiction and fantasy imprint, Tu Books: Killer of Enemies, a post-apocalyptic retelling of an Apache monster slayer legend by award-winning Native American author Joseph Bruchac, and The Monster in the Mudball, a hilarious supernatural mystery set in England.
In Killer of Enemies, seventeen-year-old Apache hunter Lozen hunts monsters to ensure the protection of her family from the Ones, maniacal warlords who rule in a post-apocalyptic Southwest. Fate has given Lozen a unique set of survival skills and magical abilities. Soon she realizes that with every monster she takes down, Lozen’s powers grow, and she connects those powers to an ancient legend of her people. It soon becomes clear to Lozen that she is not just a hired gun. As the legendary Killer of Enemies was in the ancient days of the Apache people, Lozen is meant to be a more than a hunter. Lozen is meant to be a hero.
In this guest post by author S.P. Gates, she shares how she pictures Zilombo, the monster from her new lower middle grade novel, The Monster in the Mudball, out next week from our Tu Books imprint.
Hi from England to my American readers!
Question: First of all, who is Zilombo?
Answer: Zilombo is the monster in my book, The Monster in the Mudball. Here are a few things it says about her, in the book:
1.) Zilombo is very ancient, a mythical creature older than dinosaurs, an incredible mixture of many beasts.
2.) Every time she hatches out of her mudball, she looks different and has evolved a new animal skill, usually to help her catch things to eat. When she hatches in England she can collapse her skeleton like a rat does and squeeze through the tiniest holes after her prey!
3.) She’s got teeth like a crocodile, skin like a hippo, a leap like a frog and swivel eyes like a chameleon. She’s got sharp talons, curled into leopard claws. She has the low jutting forehead of an ape and her nose is pulled forward into a muzzle, like a dog. She has rusty orange hair, that sticks up in a crest on her head Mohawk style, then bristles down her back like a lion’s mane.
The end of summer is fast approaching, but it’s not too late to sneak in one last summer read! For a limited time we’re sharing three action-packed chapters from The Monster in the Mudball, out this September from award-winning author S.P. Gates.