Specific learning difficulties (Dyspraxia)

Pupils with dyspraxia are characterised by the following:

  • Weak gross motor movement; difficulties ‘planning’ movement; general body movement awkward and clumsy
  • Weak motor skills and spatial skills leading to problems moving around the class environment
  • Difficulty sitting up/ sitting still due to weak core strength, weak proprioception and balance
  • Difficulties running, jumping, skipping, kicking, throwing, catching
  • Weak writing skills (including handwriting; layout on the page and organising ideas)
  • Weak fine motor movements, poor pencil control resulting in slow handwriting / drawing skills
  • Difficulty in handling tools generally, eg, scissors, rulers
  • Weak organisational/ planning skills generally - affecting organization of work; language and movements
  • Oral/ verbal dyspraxia e.g. difficulty in eating, dribbling, speech production, organising thought into spoken words and sentences

Teaching and learning strategies typically used by schools for pupils with dyspraxia may include:

  • Clear labels on equipment and furniture
  • Give pupils easily accessible coat pegs; work drawers; lockers
  • Alternative resources in PE, i.e. balls, spots for spatial skills
  • Adapted activities in PE
  • Ensure safety by closely monitoring
  • Provide photocopies of notes (copying out difficult).
  • Allow extra time for responding to instructions and to produce written work
  • Offer alternative methods of recording work to alleviate poor handwriting skills i.e. audio recording devices, scribe, ICT, spider diagrams, mind maps
  • Review adapted equipment/ resources available for all- e.g. writing frames; writing slopes; range of pens and scissors; rulers and non-slip mats
  • Give clear instructions in both verbal and written form, broken down into manageable sized chunks, eg, Task Plans
  • Provide subject related equipment lists for pupil reference
  • Help organize thoughts / answers by – use writing frames / prompts
  • Support organisational skills, eg, assist with the recording of homework in homework diaries, provide colour coded timetables
  • Repeat and reinforce instructions and information regularly.
  • Offer multi-sensory tasks and teaching styles