How to help a Child with Dyspraxia Rad and Spell

From the first time it’s diagnosed in a child, parents must realize dyspraxia is not a shameful condition. Additionally, it doesn’t indicate mental deficiency, often just late development in reading, speaking clearly and spelling. Too many children with the affliction are wrongfully and cruelly labeled as less than normal.

Many well-known people have struggled with childhood dyspraxia and similar youthful afflictions. They include Albert Einstein, Ernest Hemingway, George Orwell and Daniel Radcliffe, who portrayed Harry Potter. Each of them overcame their problem, and so can your children.

Typically, children with dyspraxia have difficulties with simple movements, including controlling their limbs and in speech. It’s usually mild, in some undetectable, and the condition usually disappears as children enter their teens. Boys more often show symptoms than girls. When it involves stuttering and lisping, the socialization problems are more difficult for the child, because of ridicule by peers in school and on the playground.

Parents may find many ways to help children with dyspraxia to read, spell and overcome other communication and socialization problems.

1. The symptoms often appear as early as children learn to speak. If they persist until age four, consult with the family physician. If professional help is deemed necessary, bring in a speech therapist. With advice and guidance, parents can follow a sensible plan to work with the therapist. 

2. Start early reading of simple books to children who appear to have dyspraxia symptoms. Starting at age two, encourage them to participate with you by speaking the names of simple objects in the book. As the children age, use more sophisticated books and work your way into reading aloud more complex phrases and sentences.

3. Understand that once dyspraxia-afflicted children can compare themselves with those of their own age, they may become angry and impatient. Continue the reading as often as possible with flash signs, books, magazines, newspapers and everything else that can help.

Bedtime is the most comfortable hour for daily reading, spelling and comprehension . Without being impatient or piling on pressure, teach them to read and spell out more complex words and sentences. At times it may be productive to ask the children to tell spontaneous stories or to recount what they did during the day.

4. Take advantage of the digital revolution. Use iPhones, SmartPhones, TV and other devices, as well as CD and DVD players. Reciting poetry and singing lyrics along with recorded material can not only improve reading and spelling, but also bring those skills up to the level of their peers.
5. Recognize when the children’s dyspraxia is causing them physical problems, such as lack of coordination and balance. Incorporate the reading and reciting with play-acting. For example, when a TV program, CD or DVD is about physical exercises, join with the children in acting out the sequences.

6. To further encourage socialization, invite other children of the same age into your home and organize games where all participate together. If your children’s dyspraxia is very pronounced, first ask the parents of the other children to encourage them to be respectful and patient.

Continually praise and encourage children with dyspraxia for their ongoing efforts, and when they achieve successes in reading, spelling and other skills. Parents must always be there for comfort when the difficulties are the worst, and for kind words when progress is the best.