In honor of Disability Employment Awareness Month, the Office of Special Services (OSS) is working to raise awareness of disabilities by offering daily facts and tips about people with disabilities and living with disability. Please take a minute to read and broaden your understanding.
Oct. 11-17 is Dyspraxia Awareness Week
What is dyspraxia?
Dyspraxia isn’t a sign of muscle weakness or of low intelligence. It’s a brain-based condition that makes it hard to plan and coordinate physical movement. Children with dyspraxia tend to struggle with balance and posture. They may appear clumsy or “out of sync” with their environment.
Dyspraxia goes by many names: developmental coordination disorder, motor learning difficulty, motor planning difficulty and apraxia of speech. It can affect the development of gross motor skills like walking or jumping. It can also affect fine motor skills. These include things like the hand movements needed to write clearly and the mouth and tongue movements needed to pronounce words correctly.
Dyspraxia can affect social skills too. Children with dyspraxia may behave immaturely even though they typically have average or above-average intelligence.
Kids don’t outgrow dyspraxia. But occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech therapy and other tools and strategies can help. Kids can learn to work around areas of weakness and build on their strengths.
Different Kinds of Dyspraxia
Dyspraxia can affect different kinds of movement. Professionals you speak to might break it down into these categories:
- Ideomotor dyspraxia: Makes it hard to complete single-step motor tasks such as combing hair and waving goodbye.
- Ideational dyspraxia: Makes it more difficult to perform a sequence of movements, like brushing teeth or making a bed.
- Oromotor dyspraxia, also called verbal apraxia or apraxia of speech: Makes it difficult to coordinate muscle movements needed to pronounce words. Kids with dyspraxia may have speech that is slurred and difficult to understand because they’re unable to enunciate.
- Constructional dyspraxia: Makes it harder to understand spatial relationships. Kids with this type of dyspraxia may have difficulty copying geometric drawings or using building blocks.
The above information was taken from and can be found on Understood.org.