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Dyspraxia

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Updated April 28, 2008

Definition:

Dyspraxia is a type of learning disability in which children have problems with motor skill development, especially fine motor skills.

Specifically, children with dyspraxia have problems planning and completing tasks such as holding a cup, eating with a spoon and fork, catching a ball, or riding a bike. Unlike cerebral palsy and other causes of motor delays, with dyspraxia, the child's strength and muscle tone is normal.

As they get older, children with dyspraxia may have problems with learning to button their clothes, tie shoelaces, and may have poor handwriting. They may also have poor coordination, some speech difficulties, and problems making and keeping friends.

Children can be tested by a school's special education department if a parent or teacher suspects that a child might have dyspraxia. Because it affects a child's motor skills, some children with dyspraxia are also evaluated by a child neurologist.

Also Known As: developmental dyspraxia
Examples:
A child whose fine motor skills are way behind his same-age peers may have dyspraxia and should be evaluated by his pediatrician.

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