My Child Was Just Diagnosed With Dyspraxia. Now What?

By Lexi Walters Wright

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Dyspraxia can go by many names: Developmental coordination disorder. Motor learning difficulty. Motor planning difficulty. But they all refer to a brain-based issue that makes it hard to plan and coordinate physical movement. If your child was recently diagnosed with dyspraxia, here’s what you can do next.


Learn all you can about dyspraxia.

Discover how dyspraxia might impact your child and the skills dyspraxia affects. Learn more about gross motor skills and fine motor skills. And find answers to the commonly asked questions about dyspraxia.


Investigate dyspraxia treatments and therapies.

Kids don’t outgrow dyspraxia. But there are several treatment options that can help your child work through motor challenges. For example, occupational therapy (OT) can help kids improve motor skills. OT can also help with balance and body awareness. And speech therapy can be helpful for kids whose dyspraxia affects how they pronounce words.


Discuss dyspraxia supports and services with the school.

Assistive technology, such as dictation software and touchscreens, can be a big help to kids who have trouble with motor skills. Classroom accommodations are another important tool. And services like OT, motor training and speech therapy may be available at your child’s school. You may also want to see what an expert says about dyspraxia and gym class.


Discover ways to help your child with dyspraxia at home.

There are simple activities you and your child can do together that can help build both fine and gross motor skills. Look into fun sports for kids with motor skills issues. You can also check out Tech Finder for apps to help kids who struggle with motor skills.


Teach your child to self-advocate.

Self-advocacy will help your child feel more comfortable speaking up for what she needs at school and beyond. Practice things your grade-schooler or middle-schooler can say to self-advocate.


Know the emotional impact.

Learning and attention issues like dyspraxia can also affect your child’s emotions. In some cases, there’s a higher risk for mental health issues. Know the signs of anxiety and depression. Talk to your child’s doctor if you have any concerns. You can also explore Parenting Coach for practical tips on how to help your child navigate everyday social and emotional challenges.


Put dyspraxia in context for your child.

Both Daniel Radcliffe (of Harry Potter fame) and Florence Welch (of the band Florence + the Machine) have dyspraxia. They’re just two examples of people with dyspraxia who’ve gone on to achieve incredible success.


Stay in touch with the school.

Get tips on how to talk to teachers about dyspraxia. Communicating with your child’s teachers helps you stay on the same page about whether her supports and services are working.


Find dyspraxia support.

You can visit your local Parent Training and Information Center (PTI) to learn about dyspraxia services near you. And connect with parents who’ve been there in our community. Hearing their stories and tips could help make your experience easier—and remind you that you’re not alone on your journey.

About the Author

Portrait of Lexi Walters Wright

Lexi Walters Wright is a veteran writer and editor who helps parents make more informed choices for their children and for themselves.

Reviewed by

Portrait of Mark Griffin

Mark Griffin, Ph.D., was the founding headmaster of Eagle Hill School, a school for children with specific learning disabilities.

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