Developmental Verbal Dyspraxia

Myth:

Children with Dyspraxia are lazy, naughty, need to concentrate more, or need to try harder....



Truth:

Children with Dyspraxia or Developmental Coordination Disorder have serious issues with muscle coordination. They know what they want but can not get their brains to coordinate their body to do so when they are asked to do so.

A task as simple as holding a pen can be very difficult for these children especially when someone asks them to do it. This simple task needs one to reach out to a pen, move fingers together and lift hand appropriately to ensure the pen is held on to! This requires a lot of planning and coordination by the brain and body. When the child fails to follow your directions, you may feel that s/he is lazy or does not want listen to you. 



What is Developmental Verbal Dyspraxia (DVD) ?

Dyspraxia can affect a child's general, fine movements and / or speaking. This is a form of neurological disorder that a child is born with. In DVD the motor planning (i.e. planning by the brain to perform actions of the body) for making verbal sounds gets affected. Movement of the structures like tongue and lips, in a coordinated manner, may be very difficult when demanded. The level of difficulty varies from child to child. Some children may not be able to make movements of their lips to make a sound of 'aaa' when asked to; others will not be able to say words correctly - when asked to (they may say 'bot'  for 'ship')



What can be done?

For children with DVD, a lot can be done; but one must remember the key words- 'consistency' and 'intensive'! Intensive inputs for a child at a young age is very effective in improving overall coordination and planning skills. Focusing only on verbal output is not effective and will lead to a very frustrated child.



A good therapy plan which builds on the existing skills and ensures multiple repetitions is crucial. Keeping motivations and spirits high is essential. 

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