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Dyspraxia - Symptoms and Funding Options

Table of Contents

• What is dyspraxia?
• What are the causes of dyspraxia?
• Detect dyspraxia early
• My child has dyspraxia - what should I do?

What is dyspraxia?

In contrast to many other learning difficulties, the designation is Dyspraxia Most people in this country are hardly familiar with the concept, although the developmental disorder was already described by experts in the 1950s and today affects an estimated five to ten percent of children in Germany. While, for example, ADHD or dyslexia are increasingly being taken into account in everyday school life and practical concepts for individual care and support for affected children are being developed, dyspraxia is also known under the name "Syndrome of the clumsy child" known, often not even recognized. This developmental disorder affects the nerves for a lifetime significant difficulties in learning movement sequences. The symptoms of congenital handicaps are often confused with those of other illnesses, and larger problems often arise in children when they start school.

Developmental dyspraxia sufferers, of whom there are more boys than girls, cannot plan movements and actions in a goal-oriented manner from birth and therefore have problems with motor processes. This can affect all areas of motor skills, such as Gross and fine motor skills or also the Articulation. The preparation of such processes is limited in dyspracticers, which often results in a kind of searching movement or stuttering when speaking when grasping objects. What works automatically for other people first requires extensive and targeted thinking in dyspraxia patients. With them, learned, everyday activities do not become flesh and blood, but have to be thought through again and again with considerable mental effort, there the brain is unable to anchor movement sequences. Affected children therefore often appear inhibited, clumsy and not developed appropriately for their age, which often leads to wrong conclusions about their intelligence for outsiders. Dyspraxia does not affect intelligence in any way.

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What types of dyspraxia are there?

There are different forms of dyspraxia, which occur individually or in combination and can be of different severity. The motor dyspraxia is expressed in the fact that those affected find it difficult to implement a planned action, for example putting on clothes or tying shoelaces, eating with normal cutlery, using toys appropriately or doing sports. It is not uncommon for parents to notice that the child has difficulties in keeping their balance, an unsteady gait or generally has no pronounced feeling for their own body. At school, dyspractical children have problems with guiding the pen and following the boundaries of sheets or lines, among other things.

Children with verbal dyspraxia show a planning disorder of the speech movements, they are often referred to as "silent babies" and often only learn to speak after a considerable delay - possibly even after they have started school with learning to write. Although those affected often have difficulties with pronunciation, neither the motor function of the speech organs themselves nor speech comprehension, speech processing or other cognitive abilities are impaired. In verbal dyspraxia, the ability to execute meaningful speech movements in a coordinated and controlled manner is impaired.

The third form is that ideatory dyspraxia. Affected children do not suffer from motor impairments and can usually imitate and carry out actions without any problems and without delay, but they find it difficult to plan, visualize and describe sequences of actions. For example, a child with ideational dyspraxia can easily catch a ball, but cannot theoretically describe the steps required to perform this movement.

What are the causes of dyspraxia?

What exactly causes this developmental disorder is not fully scientifically clarified. The dyspraxia is probably the result of damage to the brain or immature neuronal development. There is evidence that growth retardation in the womb, premature birth or low birth weight are associated with an increased risk of dyspraxia. Depending on which areas of the brain are affected, the disorder is more or less serious. It is noticeable, however, that the dyspraxia rarely occurs in isolation, but rather frequently in combination with other developmental disorders and learning disabilities like dyslexia or dyscalculia. Asperger's syndrome and autism are not infrequently associated with dyspraxia. How these individual factors are interrelated, however, varies greatly from person to person and must first be scientifically researched in more detail.

How can you identify dyspraxia at an early stage?

Even if dyspraxia is a lifelong disorder and there is no real cure, parents can get their children through life Targeted support, diverse therapy options and practical everyday aids make it much easier. The prerequisite for this, however, is that the dyspraxia is recognized as such. The difficulty here is not only that - as already mentioned - it often occurs in combination with other developmental and coordination disorders and it sometimes requires a lot of tact to distinguish the symptoms and signs from the very individual development of each individual child.

Dyspractical children often suffer mentally, are often loners in kindergarten and school due to their deficits and have the feeling that they cannot keep up with their peers and classmates. Being able to tell affected children the exact reason for this and actively work with them to improve the situation can be theirs Self esteem decisively strengthen and support them in dealing with the disease in a positive way.

What signs and symptoms can you recognize in everyday life?

Even if most of the dyspractical children do not really notice their behavior until they are at school, they often already exist early signsthat may indicate a developmental disorder. However, since many of these behaviors can also have other and sometimes quite harmless causes, parents should always contact the treating pediatrician with their suspicions.

Possible early signs of dyspraxia:

  • Problems with eating, i.e. frequent choking or coughing
  • Problems with the transition from pulpy to solid food with increased salivation
  • Loud drinking that involves swallowing a lot of air
  • Delayed language development
  • Problems with articulation and mimicking sounds, for example the lack of consonants in word formation
  • General insecurity and clumsiness when moving, poor balance
  • Increased stumbling, falling and bumping into things, lots of bruises
  • Clumsy use of toys and devices, for example on the playground
  • Motor processes do not appear age-appropriate and take much too long, such as putting on clothes
  • Frequent knocking over and dropping of objects
  • Play processes appear confused and incoherent
  • Frequent derailment of facial features
  • Uncoordinated movement of arms and legs
  • What problems can arise in school?

    Depending on the severity of the symptoms, most dyspractical children begin to have problems with which they are without appropriate assistance very difficult to cope with alone. A conversation with the responsible teachers and the comparison of observations on the behavior of the child is the first step in order to be able to realistically assess the situation.

    Possible abnormalities in school children:

  • Problems with properly holding pen, scissors, and other utensils
  • Difficulty handling small things like buttons and fasteners
  • Unclear pronunciation
  • Inability to tell sounds apart within words
  • Clear deficits in grammar and sentence structure
  • Noticeably poor typeface and slow writing speed
  • Difficulty doing handicrafts, cutting and other fine motor activities
  • Problems staying within given limits while painting and writing
  • Difficulty in hand-hand coordination
  • Frequent one-sided handling of objects, also with changing hands, but without crossing the middle of the body
  • Difficulty imitating simple movements and procedures while exercising, for example jumping jacks
  • No age-appropriate idea of ​​one's own body becomes clear when painting, among other things
  • Frequently accompanying reading and / or spelling weaknesses, confusion and twisting of numbers and letters
  • Noticeably poor imagination when it comes to spatial relationships such as position and direction or sizes, quantities and lengths
  • General learning disabilities due to permanent stress
  • My child has dyspraxia - what should I do?

    If the diagnosis of dyspraxia has been unequivocally confirmed by specialists, this may be a challenge for children and parents, but it is often beneficial some relief with itself and at the same time offers the opportunity to get through targeted measures to support and treat. Even if the disease has so far been considered incurable and those affected have to deal with their handicap for the rest of their lives, their living situation can often be decisively improved and stabilized with the right support.

    What support measures and everyday aids are there?

    In general, due to the persistence of symptoms in the therapy of dyspractors, it is particularly important to repeat exercises constantly and continuously. In any case, parents are also in demand here, and their commitment is essential for the successful advancement of the children. For example, movement sequences and coarse and fine motor coordination can be carried out Physiotherapy and occupational therapy as well as motopedics be trained in a targeted manner. The purpose of the training is not to make all deficits disappear, but to improve them as far as possible and then give the patient methods to cope well with the status quo. If you have language problems you can use a speech therapy treatment achieve an improvement, oral motor exercises help not only with speaking, but also with eating, drinking and swallowing. The exercise plans drawn up by therapists should also be followed meticulously at home in order to achieve lasting success and to give the children security.

    Since the disease does not affect intelligence, dyspractical children should also have the opportunity to enter a age-appropriate standard class to be integrated and to attend secondary schools. Dyspraxia patients at school are often entitled to a corresponding one in order to compensate for existing developmental disorders and learning difficulties Compensation for disadvantages.

    Perhaps the most important aspect of promoting dyspractical children is that Support from parents and the family environment. In addition to a clearly structured daily routine that is repeated as often as possible with fixed times for certain activities, it is important to have their To build self-confidence through patience, understanding, frequent praise and explicit encouragement. Instead of excluding those affected from what is difficult for them, one can try to actively involve them in an atmosphere that is as stress-free as possible. For example, parents and children can choose the clothes for the next day the evening before, or prepare breakfast or the break box. Cutlery with particularly wide handles is easier to use and helps you eat independently. When doing homework on your desk at home, for example, adhesive strips can mark where books and notebooks should be placed. Because supposedly small aids in everyday life often have a major effect on independence, self-determination and thus also on the mental health of the patient.

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