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Language and Learning Difficulties

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What is Dyspraxia?

Developmental Dyspraxia is often known by many different names, these include 'developmental co-ordination disorder', 'the hidden handicap', 'motor learning problems', 'minimal brain dysfunction', 'sensory integrative problems' and ‘perceptuo-motor dysfunction. Developmental Dyspraxia is thought to be a neurologically based disorder, a motor planning difficulty that is present from birth. It is believed to be an immaturity of the motor cortex part of the brain that prevents messages from being properly transmitted to the body. It is thought to affect up to one in 20 children. With boys identified four times more frequently than girls.

There are three types of Developmental Dyspraxia. Oral Dyspraxia,Verbal Dyspraxia and Motor Dyspraxia. Oral Dyspraxia affects children at the level of reproduction of movements of the mouth; children have a hard time making the correct movements with their mouth for the formation of words. Motor Dyspraxia can be seen to inhibit an individual from moving as planned, Motor Dyspraxia also effects the organization of sensory input. Verbal Dyspraxia causes children to have difficulties making sounds into words. Verbal Dyspraxia is often characterized by an individual’s difficulty in producing speech sounds and in sequencing them together into words. Expressive language is usually delayed. Often children with Verbal Dyspraxia are also diagnosed with oral or Motor Dyspraxia too. It is however, important to recognise the distinction between these different terms.

 

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