top of page
Meisjes in Classrom

Dyspraxia and Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD)

Dyspraxia and Developmental coordination (DCD) are neurological disorders which impact up to 10% of the population. A child with dyspraxia or DCD has difficulty planning and completing smooth and coordinated gross(big) and fine (small) motor movements.

It is a physical learning difficulty that doesn't affect intelligence; however, it can impact language development. To help children with dyspraxia early diagnosis and intervention is key.


Some signs which may indicate dyspraxia are;

  • A young child may take longer to sit, crawl, walk, speak stand or become toilet trained

  • Have difficulty with hopping, skipping, jumping and running due to poor balance and coordination.

  • A child might avoid taking part in playground activities, outdoor games and gym lessons or have trouble catching or throwing a ball

  • They might have difficulties holding a pencil, doing buttons, zips, shoelaces, using cutlery, or handwriting.

  • Poor organisational skills, time management, planning and doing homework can be really challenging.

  • Easily distressed, lower self esteem

  • Difficulty sitting still, learning new skills or copying form the board at school

  • ‘Clumsiness’, difficulty doing self-help skills, including dressing

  • STRENGTHS: As is true of many children with learning disabilities, those with DCD and Dyspraxia often possess amazing gifts. They often have high verbal IQ’s, despite their struggles with organization and language structure. Attention to detail is more common as they look at the world from “outside the box” and must work to make others understand their perspective. They can also be highly sensitive and empathetic to others; they know what it means to live with a hidden disorder that can impact all areas of life. They also tend to be driven to succeed and have a work ethic to match their determination.

Please contact us are concerned about your child’s development or if you need any advice or support on DCD or Dyspraxia.

Occupational Therapy approaches and activities that can support your child with Dyspraxia include:

  • Firstly, observing your child during play and formal assessment to understand their difficulties and strengths, which an individualised program will be created around.

  • Setting functional goals in collaboration with your child, family and teachers

  • Education can be provided to parents, carers and teachers about dyspraxia, the age appropriate skills a child is typically expected to be able to achieve at their age and recommendations for how best to support your child at home or school.

  • Encourage physical skills through play by providing ways/ideas to promote physical activity and participation in team/group activities.

  • Provide opportunities for your child to develop the underlying skills necessary to support whole body (gross motor) and hand dexterity (fine motor) skills. Including:

  1. balance and coordination

  2. strength and endurance

  3. attention and alertness

  4. body awareness

  5. movement planning

  • Support your child to develop their self-confidence to participate in gross and fine motor tasks. By simplifying tasks to the just right challenge and teaching them ways to use their strengths.

  • Using physical and visual models or instructions (wherever possible) not just verbal.

  • Using multi-sensory approaches to learn new skills and increase their sensory processing and body awareness.

bottom of page