Most children growing up, can experience some clumsiness as they develop. In many cases it could be due to a growth spurt or trying to learn a new skill. But in some cases it could be a condition called dyspraxia.
This condition is actually fairly common but dyspraxia can affect a child’s ability to do a wide range of everyday physical tasks. These can include things like jumping, speaking clearly and gripping a pencil. Some kids have mild symptoms and others more severe. There are lots of ways to help with dyspraxia at home and in school. Learning more about it can help you find the most effective solutions for your child.
So, what is dyspraxia?
It’s a brain-based condition that makes it hard to plan and coordinate physical movement. Children with dyspraxia tend to struggle with balance and posture. It can affect the development of gross motor skills like walking or jumping. It can also affect fine motor skills. These include things like the hand movements needed to write clearly and the mouth and tongue movements needed to pronounce words correctly. Dyspraxia can affect social skills too. Children with dyspraxia may behave immaturely even though they typically have average or above-average intelligence. Observing and communicating your child’s behaviors can help guide a pediatrician to an appropriate diagnosis.
How do you treat dyspraxia?
Fortunately, there are many people who can help your child with dyspraxia. Some of these people may work in your child’s school and some you might find in your community or online.
A trained physical and/or occupational therapist can help your child develop everyday skills needed to thrive in and out of school. This includes such things as learning to use a knife or write legibly. Speech-language pathologist can pinpoint your child’s speech issues and then suggest specific exercises that can help your child communicate more clearly. Your child’s school have trained personnel and teachers are aware of how to make appropriate accommodations to meet the needs of the child while they continue to develop. While kids don’t outgrow dyspraxia, they can learn to work around areas of weakness and build on their strengths.
If you have a question on whether your child may have dyspraxia, contact our office at 480-719-8080 to consult with one of our therapists.