Dyspraxia

PROBLEMS WITH MOVEMENT AND COORDINATION, LANGUAGE AND SPEECH

A disorder that is characterized by difficulty in muscle control, which causes problems with movement and coordination, language and speech, and can affect learning. Although not a learning disability, Dyspraxia often exists along with Dyslexia, Dyscalculia or ADHD.

Signs and Symptoms
    • Exhibits poor balance; may appear clumsy; may frequently stumble
    • Shows difficulty with motor planning
    • Demonstrates inability to coordinate both sides of the body
    • Has poor hand-eye coordination
    • Exhibits weakness in the ability to organize self and belongings
    • Shows possible sensitivity to touch
    • May be distressed by loud noises or constant noises like the ticking of a clock or someone tapping a pencil
    • May break things or choose toys that do not require skilled manipulation
    • Has difficulty with fine motor tasks such as coloring between the lines, putting puzzles together; cutting accurately or pasting neatly
    • Irritated by scratchy, rough, tight or heavy clothing
Strategies
    • Pre-set students for touch with verbal prompts, “I’m going to touch your right hand.”
    • Avoid touching from behind or getting too close and make sure peers are aware of this
    • Provide a quiet place, without auditory or visual distractions, for testing, silent reading or work that requires great concentration
    • Warn the student when bells will ring or if a fire drill is scheduled
    • Whisper when working one to one with the child
    • Allow parents to provide earplugs or sterile waxes for noisy events such as assemblies
    • Make sure the parent knows about what is observed about the student in the classroom
    • Refer student for occupational therapy or sensory integration training
    • Be cognizant of light and light sources that may be irritating to child
    • Use manipulatives, but make sure they are in students field of vision and don’t force student to touch them

(www.ldamerica.org/disabilities/dyspraxia)
Excerpted from the LDA of California and UC Davis M.I.N.D. Institute “Q.U.I.L.T.S.” Calendar 2001-2002