Dyspraxia

Developmental Dyspraxia and Apraxia describe difficulty planning, organizing and executing smooth and controlled physical movements.

Causes of Dyspraxia & Apraxia

The cause is unknown but, recent studies suggest immature development of neurons in the brain.

Strengths of people with Dyspraxia & Apraxia

  • Entrepreneurial creative and thinks outside the box.
  • Observant.   
  • Great long-term memory.
  • Resilient.

How to identify Dyspraxia & Apraxia

  • Toddlers and preschoolers may display delayed motor development, for example, The young child may delay sitting, crawling and walking.
  • Young children may have difficulty learning new motor skills such as, running, riding bikes, swimming or catching balls.
  • May have difficulty interpreting and mantling social and professional relationships.
  • May seem distracted and show decreased attention.
  • May avoid physical activities and exercises.
  • May not tolerate changes in plans, may appear stubborn and inflexible.

Subcategories of Dyspraxia & Apraxia

  • Design Copying Praxis – The ability to copy or reconstruct 3-D or 2-D designs and movements.
  • Oral Praxis – The ability to produce and imitate movements and positions with one’s tongue, mouth, and check. Oral praxis difficulties may impact expressive speech.
  • Manual Expressions or Symbolic Praxis – The ability to pretend to use objects from pictures. Manual Expressions or Symbolic Praxis requires the integration and planning of visual-motor skills and manual manipulation of hands.  
  • Sequencing Praxis – The ability to plan, arrange and creatively change sequences of movements.
  • Verbal Command Praxis –  The ability to conduct gestures on verbal command.

Management

  • There is currently no cure for Dyspraxia and Apraxia but Occupational, Speech and Physical therapy following sensory integration techniques have proven to be successful.
  • Improve and practice motor and executive functioning skills such as planning, organization, timing, focus, flexibility and self-control and awareness.
  • Practice new and challenging motor skills by breaking such skills up into smaller manageable steps will aid in the execution of complex motor skills.
  • Young children will benefit from playing outside and navigating through obstacle courses and adults may try out challenging and new physical skills.
  • General sensory stimulation may assist in the management of Oral Dyspraxia, use various textured objects placed against cheeks, Vibrating toothbrushes, lollipops, chewy tubes, blowing bubbles or honey dippers may be used to strengthen oral-facial muscles.  

© Ntsaki Mashele, May 2022

Experts

Ntsaki Mashele, OT
Ntsaki (Master of Occupational Therapy) is an experienced therapist with a passion for children, research, coaching and integration.  She believes in an inclusive society and inclusive education where all children can thrive.
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Panayiotis Constantinides
Panayiotis Constantinides is an English teacher, certified oral examiner and licensed Dyslexia evaluator. He lives in Greece. Speaker about Dyslexia, Dysanagnosia, Dysgraphia, Dysorthography, Dyscalculia, Dyspraxia.
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Prof. Dr Annemie Desoete
Dyscalculia & Dyslexia, ADHD and DCD (also called Dyspraxia).
Prof. Dr. Desoete, is a Full Professor at Ghent University and Artevelde University College (Ghent).
Prof. Dr. Desoete has extensive experience in research in early characteristics of learning disabilities (dyscalculia, dyslexia).
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Griet Warlop
From Ghent University.
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Bhu Venkatesan
OT – Paediatric Occupational Therapist) Dysgraphia, Dyslexia, Dyscalculia.
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Prof Amanda Kirby
Medical doctor and neurodevelopmental specialist.
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Dyslexia
Dyslexia can be best described as a range of difficulties that make the acquisition of reading, spelling, writing and sometimes mathematics difficult for those afflicted.
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ADHD

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is characterised by differences in attention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity.

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Dyscalculia
Dyscalculia is described as a developmental learning disorder that is characterized by a lack of “skills related to mathematics or arithmetic.
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