Difficulty with coordinating physical movements, practical tasks, spatial awareness, and pencil control for handwriting
Dyspraxia affects up to 6% of children in school. Dyspraxia is usually diagnosed by health service professionals (Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists, or Paediatricians). Like dyslexia, it varies from mild to severe. Once diagnosed, most children with dyspraxia can be helped by a programme of exercises that can be done at home or at school. Psychology4education can advise you either before you obtain a medical diagnosis or subsequently if there are educational implications and the child is experiencing difficulty in school.
“Dyspraxia” is a diagnostic label that can be helpful as a first step in specifying what a child’s strengths and learning needs are, what needs to be taught, how it needs to be taught, and for how long.
A diagnostic assessment by an educational psychologist includes standardized testing of verbal ability, non-verbal ability, motor co-ordination (both gross and fine motor), visual perception, reading, written English, spelling, handwriting speed and letter formation, phonological skills and numeracy (written arithmetic and oral maths problem solving). It is the first step towards planning effective, targeted teaching programmes for the child that address the complexity of the learner’s needs.
If you would like to discuss an assessment for dyspraxia, please contact us.
Find Out More about dyspraxia
- Dyspraxia has had many names over the years, such as “Clumsy Child Syndrome” “Minimal Cerebral Dysfunction” and, recently, “Developmental Co-ordination Disorder”
- Tends to run in families
- Often occurs with dyslexia
- Varies from mild to severe
- Dyspraxics very often have subtle visual processing difficulties and may need to see a behavioural optometrist for special therapy
- There is insufficient teacher training about dyspraxia
- The medical diagnosis is a starting point. The educational needs should not be overlooked or ignored
- There may not be an Occupational Therapy service to the school
- There are helpful organizations for Dyspraxics, such as www.dyspraxiafoundation.org.uk. 01462 454986 www.danda.org.uk
- The earlier a child is identified and helped with specialist teaching and / or therapy, the better the outcome
- Children usually have to experience failure before they are identified
- Dyspraxic learners have rights as disabled people
- We know a lot about how to teach dyspraxics effectively
- A professional assessment by an educational psychologist is the first, essential step to help