Do Children Outgrow Dyspraxia?

By Jim Rein

Do children outgrow dyspraxia?

Jim Rein

Former Dean, Vocational Independence Program, New York Institute of Technology

The basic answer is no. Studies show that motor difficulties don’t simply disappear as kids get older. However, effective interventions can reduce the impact of dyspraxia on daily life skills.

For example, repeating an activity such as walking on a balance beam can help develop what’s called a motor pathway. This pathway helps the brain get better at planning and carrying out that movement.

To understand why practicing helps kids move more smoothly, think of the brain as a big field of tall grass. Creating a motor pathway is like walking the same path over and over until a deeper path is formed. The deeper the path, the easier it is for people to see where they’re headed and use less effort to get there.

This is why athletes, musicians and dancers practice a particular skill over and over and over again. It’s also why taking lots of lessons can help amateurs become effective players.

Doctors call these kinds of improvements “acquired sports skills.” They’re a regular part of physical education class. If your child is eligible for special services in school, you may want to ask about adaptive physical education classes as part of her IEP or 504 plan.

About the Author

Portrait of Jim Rein

Jim Rein has lectured on postsecondary options and summer programs for kids and young adults with learning and attention issues.

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