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Dyspraxia

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 descr