Symptoms of Dyspraxia/DCD in Children

kidsChildren with Dyspraxia tend to fall loosely into two groups:

Those with high muscle tone who tend to be overactive, loud and over responsive and
Those with low muscle tone who tend to be underactive, slouching, quiet, under responsive.
Both groups experience difficulty with coordination, balance, planning, social skills and confidence. The symptoms of dyspraxia can vary between individuals and may change over time. Any one child might only experience a few of the following symptoms.

  • May tend to be over-active or under-active
  • Frequently bumps into objects and trips or falls
  • Unusual gait (way of walking or running)
  • Difficulty with pedalling a tricycle or learning to cycle
  • Lack of any sense of danger or overly cautious (jumping from heights etc)
  • Messy when eating, face gets more dirty than average
  • Difficulty using knife and fork may prefer to eat with their fingers,
  • Clumsy movements often spills drinks or knocks things over
  • Avoids constructional toys, such as jigsaws or building blocks
  • Poor fine motor skills. Difficulty in holding a pencil or using scissors.
  • Drawings may appear immature
  • Difficulty with school routines, e.g. sitting still, lining up, organising his/her lunch
  • Difficulties in Physical Education lessons
  • Slow at dressing. Difficulty with shoe laces, buttons, belts etc.
  • Difficulty with forming letters, slow awkward handwriting
  • Immature drawing and copying skills
  • Limited concentration and poor listening skills
  • Inability to remember more than two or three instructions at once
  • Slow completion of class work
  • Hand flapping or clapping when excited
  • Tendency to become easily distressed and emotional
  • Often lacks confidence
  • Difficulties forming and retaining relationships with other children
  • Sleeping difficulties, including wakefulness at night and nightmares


"We refer students to Monica Macnamara for assessment because of the comprehensive nature of her testing.  She takes a holistic and inclusive approach, seeing the subject as a person.  She investigates their challenges in a thoughtful and learning focused way. Her reports are evidence based and helpfully descriptive in manner."

Learning Support Department, Secondary School, Co Kildare

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