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Dyspraxia: types, causes, symptoms and treatment

Dyspraxia: types, causes, symptoms and treatment

June 11, 2024

Tying shoelaces, eating, writing or combing are activities that for most people can be easy and automatic. However, most of these activities involve a set of different actions and movements that we must learn to coordinate.

But some people have serious difficulties to do so since childhood, not reaching to develop that capacity. It's about people suffering from dyspraxia.

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Dyspraxia: definition of the concept

Dyspraxia or developmental disorder of coordination It is one of the disorders of neurodevelopment, in which children who suffer from it show great difficulty when carrying out coordinated activities and movements, involving simple gestures or actions that involve sequencing of movements.


The most obvious symptoms are the presence of clumsiness, incoordination and slowness motor, interfering with the habitual life and the development of the subject. It is common to have difficulties in postural maintenance and when performing acts that require fine mobility, requiring help to perform basic actions.

As well immature behaviors and social difficulties may appear . It is not uncommon that there are communicative problems. However, these alterations do not have to do with the existence of any psychic disability, those who suffer from dyspraxia have a normal intelligence.

Unlike apraxia, in which previously acquired faculties are lost, dyspraxia is characterized because the subject has never developed the ability to correctly sequence his movements. It is common for the first symptoms to be observable during the first two years of age, being common that they present delays in the development of the motricity and take longer than usual to reach some of the development milestones.

Although it arises during childhood it is also observed in adults, it is important to start treatment as soon as possible in order to reduce social stigma and the possible consequences throughout the development. There tends to be comorbidity with other disorders, such as other motor problems or with ADHD.

Types of dyspraxia

As with apraxias, there are different types of dyspraxia depending on the type of where in the process of movement or organism the difficulty occurs. Four types stand out in particular.

1. Ideational dyspraxia

This type of dyspraxia is characterized by the fact that the problem is not only at motor level, but that the subject presents difficulties to plan at an idea level the sequence of movements necessary to carry out a concrete action.

2. Ideomotor dyspraxia

In ideomotor dyspraxia, the main difficulty lies in following the chain of movements necessary to carry out a simple action. The difficulty is only given at motor level, the subject can perform the action correctly in the imagination . Often the difficulty is linked to the use of an instrument or object.

3. Constructive dyspraxia

It is a type of dyspraxia in which the sufferer has difficulty understanding spatial relationships and acting in accordance with them. For example, a child with this problem will have trouble performing a copy of an image or when organizing .

4. Oromotor dyspraxia or verbal apraxia

In this type of dyspraxia the subject presents difficulties in the coordination of the movements necessary to communicate orally, despite knowing what he means. It is difficult to produce intelligible sounds.

Causes of dyspraxia

The causes of the appearance of dyspraxia are not completely known, but it is suspected that they are due to existing alterations throughout the neurodevelopment that generate that the cerebral areas linked to the integration of motor information and its sequencing do not mature correctly. These brain areas are located in the back of the frontal lobes and around the fissure of Rolando .

It is usually due to innate causes, but can be caused by injuries, illnesses and injuries during childhood.

Treatment and therapeutic strategies

Dyspraxia is a disorder that does not have a curative treatment, although it is possible to use different strategies in order to improve the adaptation of those affected to the environment and teach them to perform the different actions. The treatment of dyspraxia is multidisciplinary , taking into account both the clinical and especially the psychoeducational.

In order to help these children, strategies such as occupational therapy are often used to stimulate the subject and help develop their capacity for movement. Another element to emphasize is the physiotherapy.

Speech therapy is also usually essential in order to educate the minor and allow him to develop the necessary coordination to be able to emit words correctly. At an educational level it may be necessary to establish individualized plans that take into account the minor's difficulties.

It can also be very useful to use expressive therapy or techniques that foster the child's self-esteem, which may be diminished by the perception of their difficulties. Social skills training it also facilitates a correct link with the environment. The psychoeducation for both them and the environment can be of great help in order to facilitate the normative development of the subject and the understanding of the difficulties in it.

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Diagnosis of Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS) (June 2024).

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