What is Dyspraxia?
Dyspraxia is a neurological based disorder. It is the condition in which the motor planning system in the brain and body does not function well from birth. This means that at some point in the process of planning, carrying out that plan and storing that plan for future use, the neurological pathways needed for these tasks are not connecting properly.
The breakdown may be in the following:
- Sensory system (poor collection and storage of sensory information)
- Incomplete dendrite development (the nerve pathways which branch out from neurons in the brain)
- A lack of neuro transmitters (substances which enable the messages to leap across the gaps between dendrites)
- In the storage and retrieval department in the cerebellum.
How do I know if my child has Dyspraxia?
Dyspraxia is like dyslexia in that there are no immediately visible means by which dyspraxic children can be quickly identified. Dyspraxic children look completely normal, and are often very bright, articulate, and just as delightful, curious and loveable as any other child.
The effects of Dyspraxia range from very mild to more severe with symptoms such as difficulty coordinating movements and an inconsistent ability to do motor tasks. The most severe cases are usually picked up in early childhood by paediatricians because of delays in milestones. Milder cases are picked up by parents or early childhood teachers, and the very mild may not be noticed until later on in primary school where tasks become more complex and demanding.
To understand if your child is showing symptoms of a learning or behavioural difficulty, Take our free online test.
Alternatively, you can read more about the specific symptoms of Dyspraxia in our detailed article entitled ‘How do I know if my child is dyspraxic? Common symptoms of Dyspraxia'.
How can the Developmental Learning Centre help?
Through the 100% natural and holistic therapies we use at the DLC, we are able to address the root cause of your child's Dyspraxia and set them free from their difficulties to reach their full potential.
What makes our approach different is that instead of looking at your child’s symptoms on a superficial level, we look for the underlying causes and are then able to address the different physical, social, intellectual and emotional aspects to ensure lasting change.
How do the natural therapies work?
We primarily offer two therapies for children with Dyspraxia:
If your child has dyspraxia, it may also be a result of an auditory processing difficulty or disorder, and they will be likely to benefit from Auditory Retraining Therapy. This therapy uses filtered music to mature the pathways in the brain needed to recognise different sounds when reading and spelling and to process spoken language quickly and efficiently. Music therapy is also used to treat children who are easily overwhelmed, hypersensitive and anxious, and have difficulty regulating their emotions.
It is relatively new and is not used by audiologists and speech and language therapist in NZ as a rule. In fact your GP, your audiologist and your speech and language therapist may not have heard of it. However it has been in existence for approximately 40 years. It was developed by a French ear nose and throat specialist, Dr Alfred Tomatis (www.tomatis.com ) and is incredibly effective for children with auditory dyslexia.
You can learn more about Auditory Retraining Therapy and the amazing results it can have by reading our testimonials here.
Can you imagine trying to build a house without putting in a firm foundation? Trying to remediate a child who simply does not have the equipment (wiring) and foundation (mature neurological system, good spatial awareness, listening skills and visual perception) for their “house of learning” is very difficult.
At the Developmental Learning Centre, we believe our first task is to in address the underlying immaturities to develop a good neurological foundation. To do this we use Developmental Movement Therapy (Extra LessonTM). Central to this therapy is the idea that learning and behavioural difficulties are a result of developmental issues in a child’s early years. This means they may not have received some of the sensory input they needed that form the basis of our learning processes. By repeating early childhood movement patterns, we are able to ‘rewire’ brain and rebuild the pathways and foundation of learning.
What to do if you suspect your child is suffering from Dyspraxia?
The first step is to get an assessment. Here are some options:
- Children under the age of 7 can be assessed by a paediatric occupational therapist at your local Early Childhood Developmental Service. These centres are free, funded by the Ministry for Education.
- Book an Assessment at the Developmental Learning Centre to understand the underlying causes of your child's difficulties - call 0800 543 399 now to speak to a qualified therapist.
- Children over the age of six can be referred by their teacher to the GSE service for assessment and support in the classroom.
- A trained and experienced neuro developmental therapist will also be able to give you an excellent assessment and there are now a number of private practitioners in this field working in New Zealand.
For more information, visit www.dyspraxia.org.nz
Worried your child has Dyspraxia?
Call 0800 543 399 to understan how your child could benefit from our 100% natural and holistic therapies or take our FREE online test to understand if your child is experiencing symptoms.