Dyspraxia: A Quick Look
What you should know about dyspraxia:
- The term dyspraxia refers to a specific type of disorder in the area of motor skill development.
- It is estimated that dyspraxia affects at least 2% of the general population.
- Seventy percent of those affected by dyspraxia are male.
- Like all learning disabilities, dyspraxia is a life long condition.
- With the help of alternate learning methods, repeated practice of basic tasks, and in some cases occupational, physical and speech therapy, a person with dyspraxia can learn to function and succeed independently.
- Dyspraxia often co-exists with other learning disabilities, such as dyslexia, dyscalculia and dysgraphia.
- Dyspraxia can affect a variety of basic functions required for daily living. It is often broken down into different categories - see below for a detailed explanation.
Dyspraxia by Category
Indicates difficulty with: Inability to complete single-step motor tasks such as combing hair and waving goodbye.
Indicates difficulty with:Difficulty with multi-step tasks like brushing teeth, making a bed, putting clothes on in order, as well as buttoning and buckling
Oromotor Dyspraxia Indicates difficulty with:Difficulties coordinating the muscle movements needed to pronounce words
Indicates difficulty with: Problems with establishing spatial relationships - for instance being able to accurately position or move objects from one place to another
Dyspraxia at Different Ages
- Difficulty learning to walk, jump and skip
- Trouble pronouncing words and being understood
- Slow to establish left- or right- handedness
- Frequently bumps into things
- Easily irritated by touch - clothing on skin, hair brushing, etc.
School Age Children
- Trouble with activities that require fine motor skills, like holding a pencil, buttoning, cutting with scissors
- Poor coordination - trouble with sports activities
- Slow or difficult-to- understand speech
- Speech difficulties can cause severe social awkwardness and unwillingness to attempt social interactions
Teenagers & Adults
- Trouble with speech control - volume, pitch, articulation
- Difficulty writing
- Extreme sensitivity to light, touch, space, taste, smells
- Difficulty with personal grooming
- Difficulty driving
- Very clumsy
If a person continues to display difficulty over time in the areas outlined above, testing for dyspraxia by trained professionals should be considered.
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Reprinted with the permission of the National Center for Learning Disabilities. © 1999-2009 National Center for Learning Disabilities, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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