8th October-14th October is dyspraxia awareness week. Dyspraxia is a neurological disorder described as a delay in motor skills development. As well as this, there are many other difficulties that a child with dyspraxia may experience. Farmer, Echenne and Bentourkia (2016) identified three core sub-groups of difficulties related to dyspraxia, including:
- Clumsiness and other co-ordination difficulties.
- Self-esteem and peer relation difficulties
- Language difficulties and orofacial dyspraxia
So, as dyspraxia has got such a wide range of symptoms and difficulties associated with it there are also a range of different interventions that can be used to support children and young people with dyspraxia. Interventions for dyspraxia can be categorised into:
- Language and speech interventions (e.g. speech and language therapy)
- Physio-therapy and co-ordination interventions (E.g. Occupational therapy)
- Socio-emotional and mental health interventions (e.g. Social skills groups)
- Learning support interventions (e.g. classroom interventions)
In terms of classroom interventions; Roy and Dock (2014) investigated using drama as an intervention for dyspraxia. This form of therapy applied support for co-ordination, self-esteem and learning. This intervention consisted of using drama to challenge negative self-belief, develop new skills and access the rest of the curriculum.
Accommodations can also be made in the classroom to help a child with dyspraxia to access the curriculum. These can include:
- giving the child more time to complete work or find their way around; which compensates for a low processing speed.
- Also delivering multi-sensory teaching can help the child to see the information in different ways and may help them process what they are being taught.
Written by Lauren Milton-McNally