Apraxia/Dyspraxia

What is it?
A child with Dyspraxia has difficulties in learning skills and voluntary movements. Unlike reflexes, voluntary movements are produced with conscious control by the individual who carries them out (power, tone, coordination and sensation). In other words, voluntary movements are the result of us getting our bodies to do what we want when we want them to do it! Some of theses important movements include physical play, dressing, handwriting and drawing.

The development schedule for voluntary movements unfolds between the ages of two and 12 years, when an adult level of competence is possible. Organized physical movement is dependent upon sensory information. The sensors that are important for movement are:

  • Vestibular receptors - equilibrium (state of balance), gravity.
  • Prorioceptive receptors - movement and weight position.
  • Tactile receptors - light, touch, pain, temperature and pressure.

What are the symptoms?
Important developmental milestones include:

  • By Five Months - Transfers object from hand to hand.
  • By Six Months - Can roll over.
  • By Eight Months - When held upright, steps by putting one foot in front of the other.
  • By One Year - Pulls self to stand, walks around furniture stepping sideways, crawls on hands and knees.
  • By Thirteen Months - Climbs on a ledge or low step.
  • By Fifteen Months - Walks alone.
  • By One Year Six Months - Runs stiffly upright, eyes fixed on the ground, beginning to jump with both feet.
  • By Two Years - Picks up an object without falling.
  • By Three Years - Can run round obstacles and corners even when pushing a large toy.
  • By Four Years - Walks downstairs one foot per step.

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