How to spot Dyspraxia in the Classroom?
Dyspraxia, also known as Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD), affects children’s coordination and motor skills. For Dyspraxia Awareness Week from 9th to 14th October 2023, it’s important that educators understand the signs of dyspraxia to provide inclusive support to their students.
The experience of dyspraxia/DCD varies for each individual, influenced by factors such as age, skill development opportunities, environmental demands, and the support/understanding received from their surroundings. Nevertheless, there are identifiable common signs of dyspraxia/DCD to look out for. In this blog, we will explore seven key signs that teachers can look out for to recognise a child with dyspraxia in the classroom.
1. Difficulty with Physical Activities:
Children with dyspraxia often struggle with running, jumping, hopping, catching, and throwing, compared to their peers. They may appear less coordinated and encounter challenges in executing these basic motor skills.
2. Frequent Tripping and Falling:
Dyspraxic children may display an increased tendency to trip and fall, which could be attributed to issues with balance and spatial awareness. If a child consistently exhibits clumsiness or experiences frequent accidents, dyspraxia might be a factor worth considering.
3. Poor Pencil Grip and Immature Writing:
A notable sign of dyspraxia is a poor pencil grip, resulting in slow and immature handwriting. Teachers should observe students’ fine motor skills closely, as well as their ability to hold and control writing instruments effectively.
4. Difficulty with Social Interactions:
Children with dyspraxia often find it challenging to keep friends and struggle to judge appropriate behaviour in social situations. They may require additional support and guidance in understanding social cues and forming meaningful connections with peers.
5. Difficulty Following Instructions:
Dyspraxic students may struggle to process and follow instructions effectively. They might require instructions to be broken down into smaller steps, repeated, or provided in a visual format to enhance understanding and ensure successful task completion.
6. Challenges with Time Management:
Managing time can be particularly difficult for children with dyspraxia. They may struggle with gauging time intervals, estimating the duration of activities, and adhering to schedules. Providing visual aids, timers, or structured routines can help them better manage their time.
7. Flourishing in One-on-One or Small Group Settings:
Dyspraxic students often thrive in one-on-one interactions or small group settings. They may benefit from additional support, personalized attention, and tailored teaching strategies to accommodate their unique learning needs.
By recognising these key signs, teachers can identify potential dyspraxic students in their classrooms and provide them with the support and resources needed for their academic and personal success. Dyspraxia Awareness Week presents an opportunity for educators to promote inclusive learning environments and empower every child to reach their fullest potential.
For more information on Dyspraxia and Dyspraxia Awareness Week head to: https://dyspraxiafoundation.org.uk/