Many Children with Dyslexia also have Dyspraxia

Questions about Dyspraxia
(A snippet from a mailing list conversation)

You are all talking about Dyslexia, can anyone fill me in about Dyspraxia?

I have a useful magazine article which lists Dyslexia danger signs to look for in children. Many Dyslexic children seem to have Dyspraxia problems too. One of the signs on the list is:

# Clumsiness, or poor co-ordination: trouble learning to ride a bike, swim or catch a ball; struggles with buttons and shoelaces, messy written work."

Although these were listed as pointers to Dyslexia, these are also pointers to Dyspraxia.

I know a child with Dyspraxia who couldn't walk down a corridor (8 ft wide) without hitting the walls on each side. He also has *real* problems writing. He reads really well, so reading isn't a problem for him.

My own son doesn't have the same problems writing, but didn't jump or hop or skip for a long time.  When he was 3 or 4,  I was wondering if he was ever going to *run*, he was a very clumsy runner, all legs and arms.    He has problems with knowing his body position in space.  This has an effect on other areas, it is probably why he has trouble sculpting with clay for example.

How is Dyspraxia diagnosed?

It is easier (and cheaper) to get Dyspraxia diagnosed than Dyslexia, although the child may not be given a 'label' as such. Dyspraxia is classed as a developmental problem and therefore it should be possible to get help from your doctor through the NHS.  We attend a Child Development Centre at our local hospital.  Our son was assessed by a Physiotherapist and an Occupational therapist. It was all very painless, and we've found it to be a positive experience for him overall. He had some one-to-one therapy sessions at first and now goes to group sessions once a month.

What approach does therapy take?

The children are given exercises. Some of my son's exercises are to strengthen his pelvic girdle and to improve his gross and fine motor skills.

Developmental Dyspraxia is a practical manual for parents and professionals. By Madeleine Portwood. I would advise getting this book from the library. This is the authors web site - it is worth checking out.

Dyspraxia Foundation
This is a good place to start looking for information about Dyspraxia on the internet.

I can recommend the book: "The Out-of-Synch Child" by Carol Stock Kranowitz (It is an American book - but available through It isn't a book about Dyspraxia, it is much wider in scope. The reason that I have included it here is that it gave me a better understanding of my child's Dyspraxia problems. It also helped me to see where his other difficulties fitted into the Dyspraxia picture.