A child with dyspraxia may show the following:

  • Poor balance.
  • Poor posture.
  • Poor awareness of body position in space.
  • Poor sense of direction.
  • Difficulties with vision.
  • Poor fine and gross motor skills; for example, difficulties with throwing and catching a ball, skipping, or riding a bike.
  • Sensitive to touch; even a label in a t-shirt may itch. Finds some clothes uncomfortable.
  • Upset when having hair or teeth brushed, or nails and hair cut.
  • Clumsy; falls often or bump into things.
  • Difficulty with reading, writing, speech.
  • Confusion with regards to right and left, for instance which hand to use.
  • Slow to learn to dress themselves.
  • Poor social skills.
  • Emotionally immature.
  • Easily frightened, impatient.

A great deal of the above overlaps with what you would encounter in a child with dyslexia, autism and ADD. Dyspraxia is a global term for difficulties related to language production and perception. The jury is still out on what causes dyspraxia but an auditory processing disorder is most likely a major factor.

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Fortunately something can be done with all of the above symptoms. Not just through Listening training, but also via speech therapy, and working with a good occupational therapist or a body-oriented therapist. And last but not least by joining forces with the school if they have time and resources to support your child.

What’s at stake:

Generally the neurons that process sound have about a thirty milliseconds rest before it’s ready to fire again. Eighty percent of language-impaired children take at least three times that long, which means that they lose a lot of information, since the signals aren’t clear for them. Often, they cannot hear the beginning of a syllable, or the sound change within the syllable.

Improper hearing leads to weaknesses in all the language tasks, from vocabulary, to reading, writing and comprehension.