Many with Autism Have Dyspraxia, But What Is It, Exactly?

Some symptoms of dyspraxia include…

  • Child does not have the same motor abilities as typical children of the same age; development is delayed
  • May not have a dominant hand, or may be slow to develop having one
  • Appears clumsy—dropping things, tripping, bumping into stuff, moving stiffly, or otherwise moving in uncoordinated ways
  • Struggles to grasp things
  • Speech is slow or difficult to understand, with words often pronounced differently each time spoken
  • Struggles to play with other children
  • Inconsistency with movement; sometimes the child is able to do something, other times not
  • It takes a long time to learn new movements
  • Responses to requests may be delayed
  • Repetitive movements due to child getting “stuck” in motor patterns (and they welcome having their movements stopped).



Photo: Adobe Stock/EvgeniiAnd


Dyspraxia seems to be the result of a disconnect between the brain and the body. The brain may have trouble processing information and sending complete signals to the body’s muscles, which results in difficulties with motor tasks.

As for what leads to this issue, experts aren’t sure. We don’t have great evidencethat it’s genetic, but some believe it could be. It is also believed to be more common in those born prematurely or with low birth weight, as well as those who were prenatally exposed to alcohol.

See the next page for more information on dyspraxia—including the effect it has on life, ways it can be treated, and one final, very important note we want to make.


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