What is Dyspraxia?

NewsGuard 100/100 Score

Dyspraxia is a developmental disorder. It can affect all phases and aspects of a child’s growth including physical, social, memory, language, sensory development, intellectual and emotional growth.

There may be underlying problems with language, perception and thought leading to impairment in the learning process. (1, 2, 3, 4)

Causes of Dyspraxia

Normally the brain processes information via sensory pathways and nerves. Movement is thus coordinated.

In a child with dyspraxia this process of creating ideas, planning a movement and its execution is disrupted.

The result is difficult, hesitant and awkward physical activities. In fact the condition is more of a developmental co-ordination disorder. It is also called Perceptuo-Motor Dysfunction, and Motor Learning Difficulties. (2, 3)

Symptoms of dyspraxia

The characteristic features of the condition are clumsiness, lack of co-ordination and problems with language, perception and thought.

The condition was earlier referred to as “clumsy child syndrome” or Minimal Brain Damage.

Earlier signs that the baby might develop dyspraxia include features of avoidance of crawling and rolling over and other tasks involving motor skills. As they become older, children with dyspraxia are prone to other motor problems.

Incidence of dyspraxia

It is difficult to assess the exact incidence of this condition. Some studies have shown that around 1 in 50 children, yet others argue that the numbers are as high as 1 in 12.

It affects boys more than girls and may often be inherited.

Dyspraxia and other disorders

Children with dyspraxia may also suffer from other behavioral disorders like Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Dyslexia etc.

While the former is characterized by symptoms of inattentiveness, hyperactivity and impulsiveness; the latter is a learning difficulty that mainly affects the skills involved in reading, writing and spelling words.

ADHD may affect nearly half of all children with dyspraxia.

Dyspraxia and intelligence

What is important to note is that dyspraxia does not affect intelligence.

A child with dyspraxia in other words, is not mentally retarded. However, due to their learning difficulties they may need extra help at school to keep up with their peers.

Treatment for dyspraxia

There is no cure for dyspraxia but there are interventions and therapies that can help children with dyspraxia.

These include speech and language therapy, occupational or vocational therapy etc. Up to 9 out of 10 children with dyspraxia may continue to have difficulties as a teenager and adult. (4)

Further Reading

Last Updated: Jun 8, 2023

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Written by

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Dr. Ananya Mandal is a doctor by profession, lecturer by vocation and a medical writer by passion. She specialized in Clinical Pharmacology after her bachelor's (MBBS). For her, health communication is not just writing complicated reviews for professionals but making medical knowledge understandable and available to the general public as well.


Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:

  • APA

    Mandal, Ananya. (2023, June 08). What is Dyspraxia?. News-Medical. Retrieved on May 28, 2024 from https://www.news-medical.net/health/What-is-Dyspraxia.aspx.

  • MLA

    Mandal, Ananya. "What is Dyspraxia?". News-Medical. 28 May 2024. <https://www.news-medical.net/health/What-is-Dyspraxia.aspx>.

  • Chicago

    Mandal, Ananya. "What is Dyspraxia?". News-Medical. https://www.news-medical.net/health/What-is-Dyspraxia.aspx. (accessed May 28, 2024).

  • Harvard

    Mandal, Ananya. 2023. What is Dyspraxia?. News-Medical, viewed 28 May 2024, https://www.news-medical.net/health/What-is-Dyspraxia.aspx.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
Post a new comment

While we only use edited and approved content for Azthena answers, it may on occasions provide incorrect responses. Please confirm any data provided with the related suppliers or authors. We do not provide medical advice, if you search for medical information you must always consult a medical professional before acting on any information provided.

Your questions, but not your email details will be shared with OpenAI and retained for 30 days in accordance with their privacy principles.

Please do not ask questions that use sensitive or confidential information.

Read the full Terms & Conditions.