A person who suffers with dyspraxia experiences problems with coordination, movement, processing, memory, judgment and other cognitive skills. This condition affects the body's nervous and immune systems.
According to the National Center for Learning Disabilities, people who have dyspraxia have challenges with completing fine motor tasks and planning. These issues can range anywhere from simple motor movements like a wave goodbye to more difficult challenges like brushing teeth. This condition is often observed in children.
Up to 3 Years of Age
It is at the earlier ages that symptoms become evident. Babies tend to be irritable right from birth and often show signs of significant feeding issues. Developmental milestones are often achieved slowly such as a child at the age of eight months not being able to sit independently. Often children who have dyspraxia skip the whole crawling stages entirely and instead, 'bottom shuffle' first and then walk. Task that often require a lot of manual dexterity are often avoided by these children.
Preschool Aged Children
Kids who have dyspraxia might show some of these behaviors:
- High motor activity levels; tapping and feet swinging while seated or twisting and clapping; not being able to stay still.
- High excitability levels; shrill/loud voice.
- Prone to temper tantrums and easily distressed.
- Bumps into objects or falls over.
- Flapping hands while running.
- Language challenges that is persistent
- Sensory stimulation sensitivity such as tactile defensiveness, high noise levels or wearing new clothing
- Slow response to verbal instruction and limited concentration leaving tasks unfinished.
Children at this age range with dyspraxia might show signs such as poor handwriting, not being able to tie their shoelaces, are slow at dressing, challenges adapting to a school routine that is structured or with physical education lessons or completing class work slowly.
Children with dyspraxia might become discontented with the school education system. They tend to struggle with handwriting and often have a poor attendance record by the time they reach secondary education.
Parents with children who have dyspraxia need to balance the risks and benefits of active play outside. There are many factors to consider when deciding what this balance is such as how severe their child's dyspraxia is and the environment outside. By being able to recognize dyspraxia signs in your child early enough, it will help make figuring out ways of helping your child that much easier.