From birth, there are certain things that parents watch for in children, from the perfect ten toes to their first smile. As they get older, these milestones change and may even show signs of delays or other developmental problems that need attention if they are not met. Dyspraxia is a disorder that impairs an individual's sensory and motor skills and their ability to complete tasks that require these skills and can usually be caught fairly early.
Children with dyspraxia may seem clumsy or incapable of completing tasks, and may have trouble with reading, writing and verbal skills as well as delayed social skills. Treatment for dyspraxia includes speech therapy and occupational therapy although there are several ways parents can collaborate with therapists to help a child with dyspraxia to overcome obstacles that he may face.
How parents can collaborate with therapists to help a child with dyspraxia may vary with each child and the symptoms that they have, but can be as simple as everyday tasks that need to be reinforced constantly. Collaboration begins, however, with parents being able to provide therapists with the developmental milestones that many parents watch for in all of their babies.
Other ways that parents can help include providing various learning opportunities for children at home. Even simply playing with your child can be a form of therapy for dyspraxia when therapists are not there. By allowing your child to play with peers, while risking possible accidents, they can learn skills needed to prevent accidents and even learn to socialize with others.
Depending on the type of dyspraxia that a child has, there are different forms of therapy that they will need. How parents can collaborate with therapists to help a child with dyspraxia depends mostly on the kind of therapy required, but repetition is important no matter what. Many things can be done at home with the guidance of therapists that can help in all different areas.
Word games while cooking dinner or reading a book can assist a child with speech dyspraxia. Simple board games can help improve fine motor skills of a child with dyspraxia. Playing outdoors regularly can teach children how to manage their “clumsiness” so that they are not always in dangerous situations. Regular play dates with peers can help with socialization, and these are all things that start at home under the guidance of parents.
How parents can collaborate with therapists to help a child with dyspraxia is pretty simple no matter where your child’s dyspraxia. However, it is important to follow a therapist’s advice carefully in order to receive the greatest benefits. Before you can begin, your child must first be diagnosed. Some areas of the country may not be as well prepared to deal with dyspraxia as others, but with proper education of the illness, parents can truly be their child’s greatest teacher in matters that are more important than what they may learn in any school.
Safety is important and a “clumsy” child may not simply be clumsy which can put them at risk for serious injuries. Occupational therapy and active play at home are important to putting a child with dyspraxia in a safe, comfortable environment that they would not normally have.
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke - NINDS Developmental Dyspraxia Information Page
Medical News Today - What Is Dyspraxia? How Is Dyspraxia Treated?