Learning disorders like dyspraxia are not signs of low intelligence or in the case of dyspraxia, muscle weakness. They are actually brain-based conditions that make it difficult for the affected child to orchestrate physical movements, control speech and learn in a traditional classroom environment.
If your child has been diagnosed with this condition, they may struggle with posture and balance. In fact, they may seem “out of sync” or even clumsy.
How Does Dyspraxia Affect a Child?
The condition can affect your child’s ability to jump or walk, as well as other gross motor skills. It may also impact their fine motor skills, such as hand movements needed to write properly, and tongue and mouth movements needed to properly pronounce certain words.
Dyspraxia may also affect a child’s social skills. The child may not be as mature as others their age, even though they have intelligence that’s above average.
Common Symptoms of Dyspraxia
The condition affects every child differently, while some experience mild symptoms and others more severe. The signs seen may also differ as your child ages. However, in most cases, the symptoms are seen early in life, with babies being extremely irritable and having problems feeding. They may also have a hard time meeting developmental milestones, including sitting up, rolling over and walking.
The signs also change as a child ages.
For toddlers, some of the signs of the condition include:
Prefers to eat with fingers, not utensils and is an overall messy eater
Is delayed when toilet training
Can’t play ball or ride a tricycle
Doesn’t play with puzzles or construction toys
Unable to talk well with kids their age and may not say single words until the age of 3
For preschool and early elementary school children, the common symptoms include:
Bumping into things and people
Issues learning to skip and jump
Difficulty working zippers, snaps and buttons
Unable to speak at the right pitch, volume or speed
For grade school and middle school aged children, the signs include:
Desire to avoid gym class
Trouble following directions
Weak muscle tone
Symptoms in high school children include:
Issues with sports
Falls, trips and bumps into things often
Repeats things and talks constantly
Loses and forgets things
Can’t pick up on nonverbal signals
If you are worried about your child, it’s a good idea to speak with a professional about how to best address dyspraxia. For academic challenges that may arise as a result of dyspraxia, consider the Brain Balance Program. Contact us to learn more!