Table of contents:
- Types of dyspraxia and main signs
- Possible causes
- How to confirm the diagnosis
- How the treatment is done
Dyspraxia is a neurological disorder in which the person has difficulty coordinating body movements, so there may be difficulty maintaining balance and posture and, in some cases, difficulty speaking.
This condition is most often observed during childhood, when children with dyspraxia are often considered as “clumsy children”, as they tend to break objects, trip and fall for no apparent reason. However, it is also possible for it to develop in adults, especially due to a stroke or head trauma.
It is important that the person with dyspraxia is accompanied by a multiprofessional team, which must be composed of a physical therapist, occupational therapist and speech therapist, as it is possible to establish the best treatment plan, according to the type of dyspraxia, promoting quality of life.
Types of dyspraxia and main signs
Depending on the type of movements affected, dyspraxia can be classified into:
- Motor dyspraxia: is characterized by difficulties in coordinating muscles and performing movements, interfering with day-to-day activities such as dressing, eating, walking, jumping, running, drawing, painting, writing, using cutlery and brushing teeth, for example. In some cases also be associated with slowness to make simple movements;
- Speech or verbal dyspraxia: difficulty developing language, pronouncing words incorrectly or imperceptibly;
- Postural dyspraxia: it makes it difficult to maintain a correct posture, whether standing, sitting or walking, for example, and movements without fluidity and little rhythm.
Dyspraxia is usually diagnosed between 3 and 5 years old, and until that age the child can be seen as being clumsy or lazy, as it takes a long time to master the movements that other children already do.
Dyspraxia does not have a very well defined cause, however it is believed that it may be related to some genetic alteration that makes nerve cells take longer to develop.
However, dyspraxia can also occur due to trauma or brain injuries, such as stroke or head trauma, and these situations are more common in adults.
How to confirm the diagnosis
The diagnosis in children should be made by a pediatrician through observation of behavior and evaluation of reports from parents and teachers, since there is no specific test. Therefore, it is recommended that parents write down any strange behavior they observe in their child, as well as talk to the teachers.
In adults, this diagnosis is easy to make, as it arises after brain trauma and can be compared with what the person was able to do previously, which also ends up being identified by the person himself.
How the treatment is done
Treatment for dyspraxia is done through occupational therapy, physiotherapy and speech therapy, as they are techniques that help to improve both the physical aspects of the child, such as muscle strength and balance, as well as the psychological aspects, providing more autonomy and safety. In this way, it is possible to have a better performance in daily activities, social relationships and the ability to deal with the limitations imposed by dyspraxia.
It is important that an individualized intervention plan is made, according to the needs of each person. In the case of children, it is also important to involve teachers in the treatment and guidance of he alth professionals, so that they know how to deal with behaviors and help to overcome obstacles on an ongoing basis.
Exercises to do at home and at school
Some exercises that can help the child's development and maintain the training of techniques performed with he alth professionals are:
- Making puzzles: in addition to stimulating thinking, they help the child to have a better visual and spatial perception;
- Encouraging your child to type on the computer keyboard: easier than handwriting, but also requires coordination;
- Squeeze an anti-stress ball: allows you to stimulate and increase the child's muscle strength;
- Throwing a ball: Stimulates the child's coordination and sense of space.
Already at school, it is important that teachers pay attention to encouraging the presentation of oral rather than written work, not asking for too much work and avoiding pointing out all the mistakes made by the child at work, working one at a time.