Why Teachers Need to Know About Dyspraxia and Apraxia of Speech at School

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When it comes to waking hours, teachers often get as much (or more) time with children than their parents do. Teachers are sometimes in a position to notice various illnesses or disorders that may be impeding academic progress.

Of course, you can only notice things that you are aware of. This is why it's crucial for teachers to learn more about what might be affecting their students constantly.

Dyspraxia is a great example. It affects large numbers of children, and it can be treated in a variety of ways, but most people mistake the signs of dyspraxia for Clumsiness.

Keep reading to learn more about what this is, how it is treated, and what you can do in the classrooms!

What Is Dyspraxia?

Dyspraxia is a kind of developmental disorder that may affect a child in many ways. They may have trouble when they talk, walk, write, or possibly all three. And there are different levels of dyspraxia. Some children may be affected slightly, and some may be more severely affected.

Up to one in ten children may have dyspraxia, but it is very difficult to diagnose. This is because many of the more obvious symptoms could easily be mistaken for something else. This is why it is so important to get the opinion of medical professionals.

What About Apraxia of Speech?

Another possible term for dyspraxia is "apraxia of speech." While this terminology Refers to only one aspect of dyspraxia, the two words are often used interchangeable.

The reason that this term focuses on speech is that many people with dyspraxia may have difficulty speaking. Many people mistake this for a matter of intellect, but it's Merely physical: children who have difficulty coordinating their faces and mouths are naturally going to have trouble articulating words.

The speech element is another reason to try to get children diagnosed sooner rather than later. Many parents might mistakenly try to treat the child for another issue or see how it plays out on its own. Ultimately, though, a child can not entirely overcome dyspraxia without diagnosis and treatment.

How Can It Be Diagnosed?

The only sure way to diagnose a child is, of course, for the parent to take them to their physician. However, teachers may be able to make recommendations based on the behaviors they observe in the classroom.

For really young children, signs may include issues with coordination (such as catching a ball), speaking, and walking. They may also have very sensitive skin.

For elementary age children, they may exhibit trouble holding pens, playing sports, keeping up with conversations, or making friends. They may also seem to have various obsessions and / or phobias of different things.

For teens and young adults, they may have continued speech issues (including volume modulation) and difficulty typing. They may have trouble cooking, driving, or even grooming themselves. They may also present very heightened senses.

How Can It Be Treated?

While it will not fall under the purview of the teacher, many educators are wondering how dyspraxia can be helped after diagnosis. The truth is that it may be treated in any number of ways.

Unfortunately, no medication directly helps with dyspraxia. The most prominent treatment methods are different forms of occupational therapy. For example, the physician may try to gauge what the child is having the most difficulty with prominent and offer specialized treatment to help develop the Corresponding motor skills.

Because of the overlap of their conditions, those with dyspraxia are often given speech therapy along with children suffering from other speech-related issues. And the physician may ASSESS if any other problems are occurring along with dyspraxia, dyslexia or dry as autism, and provide a customized treatment plan.

What Can Teachers Do?

First of all, if a child is diagnosed with dyspraxia, make sure you work with your school to develop an IEP for that child. In the classroom, you may make many accommodations to help students who have been affected.

The most basic option is to give students extra time on assessments. Those with coordination issues will typically have trouble completing assignments promptly.

You can also offer handwriting Individualized assistance to students who struggle. And if students are having trouble understanding complicated instructions, try to break it down into a series of individual steps for them.

Mostly, though, you can signal your ongoing support for the student. Be their advocate that parents and school officials, and do your best To ensure they are not getting bullied or ostracised in your classroom.

I always found students who are mature enough, with leadership qualities can work closely with others with dry difficulties. Peer to peer teaching is extremely powerful. 

Final Thoughts

Dyspraxia can be difficult to diagnose and treat, but it's always more difficult for those experiencing it. With your help, these students will not have to feel like they are struggling on their own.

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