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What Is the Best Dyspraxia Treatment?

A child with dyspraxia.
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  • Written By: Tricia Ellis-Christensen
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 26 July 2014
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The best dyspraxia treatment depends largely on age of the person diagnosed and what symptoms are manifested. Dyspraxia, which has also been called “clumsy child” syndrome affects each child individually and may have many different aspects. Among these are pronounced delays in gross and fine motor skill development, but speech is another area that may be affected. Additionally, dyspraxic children and adults have higher incidences of conditions like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and they may have difficult relationships with peers or be subject to social ostracism for which they’ll need help and support.

Ideally, dyspraxia treatment begins in very early childhood, with the condition diagnosed because of fine and gross motor delays and speech problems that become evident during the first few years of life. Some children don’t receive any formal diagnosis until reaching school, and some people aren’t diagnosed as children even if the bear all the signs of the condition. Early treatment may take several different forms, and the most common of these would to work from three areas simultaneously. In early childhood, this could mean having a combination of physical, occupational and speech therapy.

These therapies don’t fully make up all the deficits of the dyspraxic child, and they’re only needed if a child shows problems. For instance, some children don’t have speech delays and wouldn’t require speech therapy. Assessment of the child’s individual manifestation of symptoms is the best way to determine most appropriate dyspraxia treatment.

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It is very likely, since fine and gross motor skill delays and speech issues will continue into school age, that dyspraxia treatment would also continue into the school years. To minimize stress on the child, individualized education plans (IEPs) are usually created. These help to change school requirements so they are friendlier to a child with continuing deficits, and they often mandate continuing services such as speech therapy. In many countries, these services are given freely in public schools as part of individualized education plans.

The tendency for the dyspraxic child to develop ADHD may suggest other forms of dyspraxia treatment, if this condition is manifested. One option is to give drug treatment to reduce symptoms, or people may alternately look to natural treatments like radical changes to diet. Any individualized education plan would take into account difficulties with ADHD and could proposed accommodations that help these children cope.

A different area of dyspraxia treatment could address the psychosocial difficulties of the condition and its effects on peer relations. Psychotherapy is definitely advised for people who were undiagnosed until adulthood because the constant sense of being different, and the negative results from peers and/or teachers can take a huge emotional toll. Children may also benefit from therapy, and therapy could not only focus on problems with peers but on issues like developing friendship and coping skills that may be of great use.

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