Basic guide: Developmental Dyspraxia

What is Developmental Dyspraxia?

Dyspraxia is a disorder that affects motor skill development for planning and completing fine motor tasks, which can vary from simple motor skills such as waving goodbye, to more complex tasks like brushing teeth.

girl running through a field

Impairment in the ability to plan/carry out sensory & motor tasks

Developmental dyspraxia is a disorder characterized by an impairment in the ability to plan and carry out sensory and motor tasks.

It is estimated that dyspraxia affects at least two percent of the general population. 70% of those affected are male, and that as many as six percent of all children show some signs of dyspraxia.

Generally, individuals with the disorder appear “out of sync” with their environment. Symptoms vary and may include poor balance and coordination, clumsiness, vision problems, perception difficulties, emotional and behavioral problems, difficulty with reading, writing, and speaking, poor social skills, poor posture, and poor short-term memory.

Although individuals with the disorder may be of average or above average intelligence, they may behave immaturely.

Someone who has Developmental Dyspraxia may have difficulties with:
  • Muscle control and coordination
  • Apparent clumsiness
  • Unable to follow a set of instructions in the correct sequence
  • May seem easily distractable
  • May be slow learning new rules
  • Sense of balance may be affected
  • May appear to be disorganized or have difficulty finding things
Is there any treatment?

Treatment is symptomatic and supportive and may include occupational and speech therapy, and “cueing” or other forms of communication such as using pictures and hand gestures. Many children with the disorder require special education.

A biological basis for sensory processing disorders in kids
What is the prognosis?

Developmental dyspraxia is a lifelong disorder. Many individuals are able to compensate for their disabilities through occupational and speech therapy.

Developmental Dyspraxia resources

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