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What is Dyspraxia?

By Moshe Elbaum of
Alex was a beautiful baby. His delivery was difficult and he spent the first few days of his life in the NICU. As he grew into a toddler, Alex was content to simply lay on the floor and bat at toys that were placed near him. By the time he was three years old, he was still toddling instead of walking freely like other child his age. His parents were worried about Alex playing with other children because he seemed to have poor balance.

Growing older, Alex struggled to get dressed. Tying shoes, zipping zippers, buttoning shirts were all challenges that Alex disliked. Every morning was a fight to get Alex ready for the day.

When Alex started kindergarten, other children in his class would laugh at him because he lacked the ability to speak clearly and appeared clumsy. He had difficulty catching and throwing a ball. He couldn’t run without falling. He frequently bumped into tables and chairs, and was often left with bumps and bruises.

While Alex was an outstanding student in subjects like science, social studies, music, and reading, he struggled in math and writing. He nearly flunked out of physical education. Alex hated sports, which was even more challenging because his father was passionate about athletics. A

lex, like many dyspraxic children, suffered from motor learning difficulties.

What is dyspraxia?
Dyspraxia was once known as the clumsy child syndrome but is now called developmental coordination disorder (DCD). Nearly 10% of all people have some form – mild, moderate, severe – of dyspraxia. Additionally, four out of every five children with dyspraxia are boys.

Dyspraxia affects all aspects of motor function, including speech. As a result, many children are perceived as mentally challenged when, in reality, these children as very bright and simply have delayed motor development.

What causes dyspraxia?
Most experts believe that dyspraxia is caused by motor neurons (the nerve cells which control motor functions and muscles) are not developing properly. As a result, the child’s motor function develops at a slower rate than other children his age.

What are the common signs and symptoms of dyspraxia?

  • Younger children may take longer to sit, crawl, stand, walk, talk, etc.
  • School age children may have difficulty writing, getting dressed, tying shoes, using silverware.
  • School age children may have difficulty in playground or P.E. classes; they may choose to avoid activities such as jumping rope, playing hop-scotch, kicking/throwing a ball, etc.
  • School age children may find it difficult to keep friends (e.g. other children may shun your child because of the motor coordination problems).
  • School age children may have difficulty writing because they don’t use a good grip.
  • School age children may be unable to learn in a classroom setting but do very well in one-on-one learning environments.
  • School age children may have difficulty remembering or following directions.

What is the treatment for dyspraxia?
The Intelligence Integration Method can help to develop and improve the physical awareness and skills to a point that the dyspraxia symptoms lessen. In some cases, the child can develop normal motor skills.

Moshe Elbaum, Founder and Developer of the method, , has taught and helped thousands of children, adolescents, and adults throughout the last 22 years in training centers, colleges, grade schools, and in his private practice in Israel and around the world. .

Disclaimer: Internet Special Education Resources (ISER) provides this information in an effort to help parents find local special education professionals and resources. ISER does not recommend or endorse any particular special education referral source, special educational methodological bias, type of special education professional, or specific special education professional.


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