What is Dyspraxia?
Praxis, also called motor planning, is the ability to conceptualize, plan and execute a novel or new motor act. Dyspraxia occurs when a child has difficulty with any one step of this process. Dyspraxia can affect gross, fine, and/or oral motor skills.
What are symptoms of Dyspraxia?
Children with dyspraxia may have been slow to crawl and/or walk and may have skipped typical developmental milestones. Children with dyspraxia are typically clumsy and appear uncoordinated. They may have difficulty imitating the movements of others and are often unable to relate and orient their bodies to their environment. They may frequently only observe their peers rather than join in and may also shy away from imaginative play due to their difficulty with motor planning. Due to the condition, a child may have difficulty learning to use feeding utensils, learning how to dress themselves or to tie their shoes. Learning to write and use scissors may also be difficult. Sports and riding a bike also prove to be a challenge for a child with dyspraxia.
What is the natural course of Dyspraxia?
The natural course of this condition is specific for each child; however, without treatment and education a child with dyspraxia may fall behind both academically and socially as the demands for motor planning increase with age and grade level. Because of the hidden nature of dyspraxia, children with this deficit may be labeled as inattentive or unwilling to try. Their self esteem may suffer and frustration levels become high because the academic and social demands become overwhelming.
Our approach to Dyspraxia at North Shore Pediatric Therapy
The treatment approach for dyspraxia at North Shore Pediatric Therapy is specific to the needs of the child. Dyspraxia can affect gross motor, fine motor, and oral motor skills in unison or in isolation. Therefore, our treatment approach and goals are developed to target the specific needs of each child. The process of evaluation may include an evaluation by an Occupational Therapist, Speech Language Pathologist, or Physical Therapist, depending on the child’s individual needs. Once the necessary evaluations have been completed a variety of treatment methods are utilized to attain child centered goals.