Dyspraxia (Sensory Integration Disorder)

Posted on February 24, 2020 / 13 Listing verified by admin as genuine
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Dyspraxia (Sensory Integration Disorder)

Submitted by: Haleema Abdul Hayee

Government College University, Lahore


“Dyspraxia involves problems with movement, coordination, language and speech. It is a disorder that is characterized by difficulty in muscle control”.


Although it is not a learning disability Dyspraxia often exists along with Dyslexia, Dyscalculia or ADHD. It causes problems with movement and coordination, language and speech, and subsequently can affect a child’s learning so that’s why placed in the category of learning disabilities.


  • Exhibits poor balance; may appear clumsy; may frequently stumble.
  • Shows difficulty with motor planning.
  • Demonstrates the inability to coordinate both sides of the body
  • Has poor hand-eye coordination
  • Exhibits weakness in the ability to organize self and belongings
  • Shows possible sensitivity to touch
  • May be distressed by loud noises or constant noises like the ticking of a clock or someone tapping a pencil.
  • May break things or choose toys that do not require skilled manipulation
  • Has difficulty with fine motor tasks such as colouring between the lines, putting puzzles together; cutting accurately or pasting neatly
  • Irritated by scratchy, rough, tight or heavy clothing

Causes/Risk factors

  • Genetic History in family
  • Complications during or before birth
  • Other learning disabilities
  • Brain injuries or lesions
  • Some developmental disorders

Assessment Process

  1. Screening ( Behavioral and language observation, informal interviews with parents or teacher, brief test and review of medical, school work histories)
  2. Evaluation (Language and processing speed test, Timely Eye-hand coordination and motor abilities tasks, Wechsler Individual Achievement test in order to detect whether the child has learning problems in other areas).
  3. Diagnosis (a statement specifying the results of the assessment, including the type of LD identified and specifying that whether or not this problem is associated with other).
  4. Recommendations (based on the results of diagnosis a recommendation for work, school, and/or daily living is given)

Strategies for Management at the Individual level

  • Pre-set students for touch with verbal prompts, “I’m going to touch your right hand.”
  • Avoid touching from behind or getting too close and make sure peers are aware of this
  • Provide a quiet place, without auditory or visual distractions, for testing, silent reading or work that requires great concentration
  • Warn the student when bells will ring or if a fire drill is scheduled
  • Whisper when working one to one with the child
  • Allow parents to provide earplugs or sterile waxes for noisy events such as assemblies
  • Make sure the parent knows about what is observed about the student in the classroom
  • Refer student for occupational therapy or sensory integration training
  • Be cognizant of light and light sources that may be irritating to the child
  • Use manipulative, but make sure they are in the student’s field of vision and don’t force the student to touch them.

  Implementations of Management plan in Schools

Classroom Interventions

  • Academically focused instructions should be given according to child ability.
  • Classroom adjustments involving special seating assignments should make.
  • Alternative or modified assignments.
  • The quiet environment should be provided to such students.

Modelling of Academic Skills that has to be learned

  • Teacher’s demonstrations of different subject skills and higher-level procedural steps have been found effective in problem-solving behaviours in students.

Self-instructional Strategy

  • The self-instructional strategy is to teach a student first verbalize the steps that should be used in solving a particular academic problem. Once the student has mastered the application of problem-solving, the student is taught to self-instruct but using sub-vocal directions.

Strategy Training: Task Analysis

  • A task analysis of the relevant cognitive operation is demonstrated and explained to the students. When students have mastered the component skills, strategies are provided that help the students integrate the steps and apply them in a different problem-solving context.

Individualized Educational Program

  • The children with dyspraxia are challenged with respect to their language and motor control so it is most beneficial to teach the child within a structured educational plan that cater every subject for improvement in baby steps.

Tutorial Interventions

  • More time for processing information and for motor tasks should be given.
  • Pictorial or concrete representations should be used for more clarity.
  • Special equipment should be used as word processors with spell checkers and Text-to-speech and speech-to-text programs.
  • Practising with prompting and gradual fading for a motor or verbal task.
  • Intensive timed practice with different motor and language tasks.
  • Self-regulation strategies should be used as research has shown that students that set their own learning goals are more successful than students who worked on teachers designed learning goals.
  • A cumulative review of the previously mastered skills.
  • Provision of reinforcement on showing improvement


  • Reiff, Henry B.; Gerber, Paul J.; Ginsberg, Rick (1993). “Definitions of Learning Disabilities from Adults with Learning Disabilities: The Insiders’ Perspectives”. Learning Disability Quarterly. 16 (2): 114–125. doi:10.2307/1511133. JSTOR 1511133.
  • Excerpted from the LDA of California and UC Davis M.I.N.D. Institute “Q.U.I.L.T.S.” Calendar 2001-2002.
  • Reschly, Daniel J.; Hosp, John L.; Schmied, Catherine M. (2003). And Miles to Go. State SLD Requirements and Authoritative Recommendations (Report). National Research Center on Learning Disabilities (NRCLD). Recommendations for Change in SLD Definition and Classification Criteria. Archived from the original on 25 September 2010. Retrieved 2010-05-01.
  • Specific Learning Disorder. American Psychiatric Association DSM-5 Development. American Psychiatric Association. 15 May 2013


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