Dyspraxia refers to difficulties with coordinated movement in which messages from the brain are not effectively transmitted to the body. It can result from acute damage to the brain (as might be caused by a head injury or stroke) or be a part of a dementing disorder that develops gradually later in life. Dyspraxia may also be a developmental disorder of the brain, mostly affecting males. There are a number of variations of this disorder that can lead to difficulties in performing single or multi-level motor tasks such as catching a ball or holding a pencil or getting dressed.
Verbal dyspraxia is a form in which the individual has difficulties in performing the mouth/tongue movements necessary to form sounds, leading to problems with speech.
Intervention by physiotherapists, occupational therapists and/or speech therapists that is tailored to the person’s specific areas of difficulty may be helpful.
The outlook for people with dyspraxia depends on the severity of the disorder, its cause and the availability of early intervention. People with dyspraxia may be able to learn the skills necessary to circumvent their difficulties and lead normal, productive lives.
Further Information and Support
Dyspraxia Kids Australia
The Communication Disorders Treatment and Research Clinic
The University of Sydney, East St, Lidcombe NSW 2141 Australia
PO Box 170, Lidcombe NSW 1825
Tel (02) 9351 9539 Fax (02) 9351 9163
The Dyspraxia Foundation - UK
The National Center for Learning Disabilities
The Dyspraxia Support Group - NZ
Reviewed by Dr Laurie Miller, Clinical Neuropsychologist, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Camperdown.