This information that is quoted from this web site and shared with you, is in hopes that you gain more insight into your child’s specials needs…   We do not endorse the websites referenced.  A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions.  Information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition.

Why is my child clumsy?

Type of Special Need 

D y s p r a x i a

School Term :(SLD - Specific Learning Disability

This condition is a lack of development in planning of physical movement and organization.  The affected motor problems result in difficulties in academic learning and also in daily life skills.  This may be seen in delayed crawling, walking etc.  They often have difficulty coping with multi-sensory stimuli and can feel pain from too much sound or visual stimuli.  Children with dyspraxia often appear to be above average verbally and this can lead teachers to believe they are more competent than they actually are.

What to look for:

In school the child will usually have difficulties in handwriting, in physical education, in tying shoelaces etc.  He/she may knock over or drop things easily.  Getting all the items he/she needs out of his schoolbag can require a great deal of effort.  The child can be of high/satisfactory ability in verbal skills but writing/gross motor skills can be very poor.  This child can appear to be lacking in concentration and motivation and ‘lazy’.

Teaching Strategies

Related Conditions

There is an overlap between dyspraxia and other developmental problems such as dyslexia.

Dyspraxia and dyslexia overlap and often co-exist in the same person. Dyspraxia is an impairment of the organisation of movement that is often accompanied by problems with language, perception and thought. Dyslexia is primarily a difficulty with learning to read, write and spell and is often accompanied by other other problems such as poor organisational skills. The pattern of difficulties experienced by a person with dyspraxia may vary widely as with dyslexia.

There may also be overlaps with conditions such as ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder), ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), Asperger's Syndrome and Dyscalculia (difficulty with mathematical concepts). Some people with dyspraxia have tactile defensiveness - they are over-sensitive to touch. Others may have articulatory dyspraxia, which causes difficulties with speaking and pronunciation.


What Is Developmental Dyspraxia

Developmental Dyspraxia is a neurologically based disorder, a motor planning difficulty present from birth. It is believed to be an immaturity of parts of the motor cortex (area of the brain) that prevents messages from being properly transmitted to the body. 

There are three (3) types of Developmental Dyspraxia. Oral Dyspraxia, Verbal Dyspraxia (DVD), and Motor Dyspraxia. The three variations effect approximately 5% of the population with approximately 70% of those effected being boys.

Oral Dyspraxia causes children not to be able to reproduce mouth movements. When asked to put their tongue up to the top of their mouth a child with oral Dyspraxia may not be able to, even though they do this unconsciously.

Children with Developmental Verbal Dyspraxia have difficulty in making sounds or making sounds into words. For example, a child with DVD might have trouble producing sounds in the beginning, middle or end of words such as 'sh'. When trying to say "shop" it might come out as bop, regardless of how hard they try to produce the sound/word correctly..

Motor Dyspraxia inhibits an individual from moving as planned and organising sensory input. Children with Motor Dyspraxia appear to be clumsy, but don't confuse a clumsy child with a child that has Motor Dyspraxia. While some refer to Motor Dyspraxia as "Clumsy Child Syndrome" they Are Not the same thing.

Dyspraxic children are usually of average or above intelligence. As you can imagine, having Dyspraxia and not being able to get your body to do what you want it to do, when you want it to do it, (i.e. talk properly or throw a ball correctly) can be very frustrating to a child.

Austrialian Dyspraxia Support Group & Resource Centre Inc.


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