Symptoms of Dyspraxia/DCD in Teens

teensThe symptoms of Dyspraxia can vary between individuals and may change over time. Any one person might only experience a few of the following symptoms.

When a child with Dyspraxia moves up to secondary school. Difficulties in keeping up with their peer group will probably become more obvious and they are at real risk of feeling inadequate, losing self-confidence or becoming isolated. Teenage language and chatter is fast, witty and difficult to process and keep up with.

In some cases Dyspraxia is not identified until the child reaches secondary school. They may have managed to cope in National/Primary school where they had one teacher all day who got to know the best way to work with them. The structure of secondary schools with different teachers for every subject movement from class to class, use of lockers, etc, may prove to be more difficult for the young person.

  • Difficulty keeping up with the Teacher in class
  • Difficulty following instructions
  • Difficulty coping with the organisational skills that are required in secondary school, books/locker/classes
  • Difficulties with physical activities especially team sports.
  • Difficulty with eye-hand and eye-foot co-ordination (i.e. cookery, science, art woodwork)
  • Poor posture, body awareness and clumsy or awkward movements
  • Tendency to lose or forget things
  • Poor concentration in class
  • Poor short term visual and verbal memory - copying from the board, following instructions
  • Writing difficulties both with style and speed - frequently students have an awkward pen grip
  • Difficulty getting the information from his/her mind down in writing, e.g. essays or long answers
  • Particularly sensitive and easily upset
  • Problems with time keeping, needs constant reminders
  • Often have poor exercise tolerance, tire easily and may require longer periods of rest and sleep
  • Extra sensitive to external stimulation e.g. different levels of light, sound and smell
  • Particularly fussy about food
  • Overly aware of the 'feel' of clothes, labels, fabric, tightness etc
  • Lack of awareness or over-cautious of potential danger.
  • Feeling of inadequate or different
  • Tendency to be a loner and have limited development of social skills


"Monica helped my daughter immensely from her initial assessment in Junior Cert to her final assessment in Leaving cert. It was Monica's clear understanding and astuteness that enabled her to make a correct diagnosis of Dyspraxia for my daughter. Her compassion, patience and kindness as well as her hard work are to be applauded. We are indebted to Monica for everything she did for my daughter and the interest she showed in her."

D.C. mother of Secondary School pupil

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