Dyspraxia’s affect on motor functions: A child with signs of apraxia/dyspraxia may…

Have Difficulty Nursing, Drinking, and/or Eating

They may have difficulty with the sequence and coordination of these fine motor movements. In addition, the child who is extremely sensitive in the mouth may not want to move the tongue as much to produce speech, as it may be this type of touch may be very irritating.

It is very important for infants and toddlers to experience lots of oral input by exploring objects with their mouths, by chewing and swallowing,and by producing sounds. Often the child with oral or verbal dyspraxia may have an underlying oral defensiveness that prevents the oral practice needed to be able to drink, eat, and talk.

Be Late to Talk

 An early sign of dyspraxia is a reduction in the amount and types ofbabbling a child produces at ages 6-9 months. At age 9-12 months,a child typically is able to string together more complex consonant-vowel combinations and add inflection, as if having a conversation.

The child who has poor, unintelligible articulation may demonstrate dyspraxia due to the difficulty sequencing and producing sounds rapidly to produce speech.

Be Late to Sit, Crawl, Stand, and/or Walk

A child who does not achieve early Developmental motor milestones may be having difficulty with praxis. There are other reasons, such as muscle weakness or sensory processing problems, that may cause a child not to sit, crawl, stand, and/or walk ‘on time,’ but dyspraxia should be one possible culprit.

The child who does not play with toys at age 9-18 months, may not be interested due to the difficulty to perform the motor movements required to activate and play with toys. This child may throw toys due to his inability to play effectively and receive enjoyment from doing so.

Actions such as throwing toys or moving from toy-to-toy may be misinterpreted as ‘bad behavior’ or just not being interested, when dyspraxia may be root of the problem.

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