Focus on... Clumsy Children

1 November 2004

Publication: Practical Parenting

Have you heard of dyspraxia? According to a survey for the makers of the nutritional supplement Efalex, 40% of parents don’t know what dyspraxia is, despite the fact that one child in 30 is affected. It used to be called ‘clumsy child syndrome,’ and boys are four times as likely to be affected, with common signs including poor co-ordination and motor skills, and slow speech development.

As a toddler, a dyspraxic child is usually slow to walk and talk. He may find it difficult to pedal a tricycle and stay still, may fall over and bump into things constantly, and lack any sense of danger. He’ll usually avoid complex toys such as puzzles or building blocks, find it hard to hold a pencil or use scissors and won’t enjoy imaginative play. You might notice he has trouble understanding instructions, and a short concentration span.

If it’s picked up early and the child is given the right help and support, the problem can be managed. For more info, contact the Dyspraxia Foundation (01462454986; dyspraxiafoundation.org.uk).

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