Dyspraxia is defined as the brain dysfunction of coordinating and performance of muscle movements. The areas in the brain that could be affected by this issue are the Cerebellum, Brain Stem, Motor Cortex, and Pre-Frontal Cortex. There is not one symptom or characteristic that defines Dyspraxia and it can often be accompanied by visual and speech complications. Dyspraxia is not linked to an intelligence level but affects 4 times as many boys as it does girls. Speech therapists have studied Dyspraxia, its symptoms and treatments for many years. It is well documented that evidence-based speech therapy practices help in the treatment of Dyspraxia.
Symptoms and Difficulties:
The range of symptoms for Dyspraxia and Motor Coordination issues is wide-ranging and can vary from person to person. Children who suffer from this can be anywhere from being considered “clumsy” to completely dependent on another person. Children with Dyspraxia can have trouble developing skilled motor movements and may be unable to direct their body in the way they are commanding it. Many children who suffer from this are unable to express themselves with movements, i.e. handwriting, drawing, etc. As children who are affected greatly continue to grow, they may start to struggle as they try to learn to be independent in everyday life. These children can often times be mistaken for having a learning disability, and can often struggle in school if the situation is not addressed by a qualified speech therapist. If the symptoms go unaddressed in a child, the fear of failure, upsetting their parents and teachers, and becoming frustrated can grow tremendously.
Speech Therapy and treatment options for you child:
Speech Therapy is the main treatment used in Dyspraxia. The therapy sessions are aimed at changing a child’s ability to create fluid and accurate movements in order to achieve the desired result such as writing. Learning to control their body gives children a sense of accomplishment and begins to strengthen their self-confidence and motivation. As a child progresses, the therapy focuses on developing the skills they need for everyday life such as organizational skills, academic skill, fine and gross motor skills, and even incorporating sporting activities.
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