What Teachers Need to Know About Dyspraxia and Apraxia of Speech

Pre-K

At this age, dyspraxia is hard to definitively diagnose, since kids develop at different speeds. But a dyspraxic toddler will usually learn to speak later than other children, possibly not speaking full words until the age of three. They’ll also take much longer to learn to talk in complete sentences. They’re often very clumsy, unable to catch a ball or use scissors. Learn more about pre-K dyspraxia signs here.

Elementary School

This is the age at which dyspraxia is most commonly diagnosed. Speech problems become more apparent, with the slurring of words and difficulty moderating pitch, speed, and volume. Writing may be difficult, as the fine motor skills needed to hold a pencil are lacking. These students are physically clumsy, and they struggle to learn to ride a bike or tie their shoes. They also find sequences of actions confusing and often take much longer to complete seemingly simple tasks. Learn more about elementary school dyspraxia signs here.

Middle and High School

Older students with dyspraxia have trouble keeping up with note-taking during lectures because handwriting is difficult. They may continue to demonstrate indistinct speech, which may vary wildly in volume and speed. Dyspraxic students avoid gym class and playground activities, because they lack coordination. They have trouble following long sequences of directions, and seem to take forever to do their homework. Learn more about middle school and high school dyspraxia signs.

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