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Dyspraxia is a neurological
(brain) disorder in which messages from the brain to the muscles
are disrupted. It can affect many different functions such as
writing, dressing, speaking, eating or skipping. Dyspraxia is
usually referred to as a motor planning and execution
Dyspraxia can develop
through damage to the brain from an accident, stroke or illness.
Dyspraxia may also develop in young children when there is no brain
injury or no obvious cause.
Children with oral
dyspraxia usually have no problems with automatic oral movements
such as licking an ice cream, but they have great difficulty with
doing oral movements on demand, for example, poking out their
tongue when you ask them to.
Verbal dyspraxia is also a
neurological disorder and affects the production of speech. There
is no actual damage to the nerves or muscles used in speech, but
the child cannot voluntarily coordinate their muscles to produce
the right speech sounds or words. Verbal dyspraxia can develop
after an injury to the brain. A speech pathologist can
diagnose and help treat verbal dyspraxia.
These depend on the
severity of the problem. For instance a child may:
A speech pathologist can
assess whether a child has verbal dyspraxia or is possibly having
other difficulties with their speech and language
There are several ways
to help with dyspraxia depending on the severity of the
disorder. Therapy involves specific exercises designed by your
speech pathologist. For example therapy may focus on producing
different consonants or vowels, or words and phrases of various
lengths and complexities. For children with more severe
dyspraxia, the speech pathologist may consider alternative ways of
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