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What is Dyspraxia?

Dyspraxia is a motor learning difficulty that affects movement and co-ordination. It is described as an impairment of the organisation of motor planning and execution.

For most individuals with Dyspraxia, the cause is unknown. However, research suggests that Dyspraxia is caused by an immaturity of neurone development and neural pathways in the central nervous system. Neurones are responsible for providing the brain with information about our physical condition and the environment around us. Constant repetition of movement allows a more refined, controlled movement in response to a stimulus. If there are immaturities in these neurones and their pathways the result will be difficulties in producing purposeful, co-ordinated and smooth movements. What causes these immaturities in the neurones is yet to be discovered. Associated with the movement difficulties, may be problems of language, thought and perceptions.

The most common characteristics of Dyspraxia include difficulties with:

  • Body movement - poor fine and gross motor skills
  • Speech and language - difficulty with pronunciation and articulation
  • Perceptual difficulties - problems with interpretation of different senses
  • Poor memory and attention span
  • Emotional difficulties - anxiety and depression may result due to the above characteristics

Common symptoms of Dyspraxia in a pre-school child include:

  • Delayed developmental milestones e.g. rolling, sitting, crawling, standing, walking, speaking, toilet trained
  • Difficulty running
  • Difficulty catching and throwing a ball
  • Difficulty going up and down stairs
  • Difficulty dressing
  • Slow speed of most actions
  • Frequently falls over
  • Fidgets
  • Poor handwriting grip
  • Unable to complete jigsaws/shape sorting games
  • Immature artwork

Common symptoms of Dyspraxia in a school aged child include:

  • All of the difficulties described above will have had no/little improvement
  • Dislikes PE classes
  • Unable to take part in team games
  • Clumsy gait
  • Poor handwriting
  • Poor attention span
  • Poor memory
  • Poor organisational skills
  • Difficulty with fine motor skills
  • Difficulty with spatial awareness
  • Excitable behaviour
  • Requires repetition to learn new skills
  • Difficulty with maths and writing structured stories
  • Performs poorly in a class situation, significantly better in a one to one situation
  • Fatigue - may require more energy than other children to complete the same task
  • Low self-esteem
  • Bullied due to differences

Other conditions that are common alongside Dyspraxia include:

If you would like to arrange an initial appointment please email or call 03300 886 693.

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