Dyspraxia is when a child has a difficulty with movement and coordination.
Symptoms of dyspraxia
Children with dyspraxia are often slow to meet developmental milestones. Symptoms vary, and a child may have a combination of the following symptoms:
- Poor balance
- Poor coordination
- Easily excited
- High levels of energy and movement
- Easily upset
- Poor fine motor skills
- Difficulty with dressing and tying shoes
- Messy or illegible handwriting
- Difficulty with reading
- Immature drawing and copying skills
- Messy eating, may prefer finger food and spill often
- Difficulty with pedaling a bike
- Frequently bumps into objects and falls over
- Lack of imaginative play
- Limited concentration
- Difficulty with verbal instructions
- Language difficulties
The occupational, speech or physical therapist will first review the child’s medical history and current difficulties. The therapist will ask the parent or child questions about skills and watch the child do specific tasks. The parent may be asked to fill out forms about what the child is able to do. The therapist may give the child a test that measures coordination, strength, movement, thinking skills and/or ability to complete daily tasks.
Treatment includes breaking tasks down into small steps and helping the child learn and perform the steps. The therapist may also help the parent and child learn different ways to do daily tasks. Other treatment possibilities include activities to build coordination, planning and fine and gross motor skill.