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How parents can help
If your child is diagnosed with dyspraxia/DCD before they start school, you may well notice they have difficulty acquiring skills which ‘come naturally to other children.
Please see our Early Years Guidelines for hints and tips to help your child develop foundation movement and independence skills.
The Dyspraxia Foundation may have a local group or contact which can offer support. You can also refer to Dyspraxia Early Years Guidelines
Difficulties with movement and coordination often become apparent when a child enters school.
You know your child better than anyone else. If you have concerns about your child’s development, make an appointment to discuss these with their teacher. They will be able to confirm whether your child is finding tasks difficult compared to other children of the same age. You can work together to develop a good understanding of your child’s strengths and difficulties at home and at school. Your child’s teacher will be able to signpost you to local sources of information and support. They may also be able to refer you for specialist assessment.
The following resources will help you help your child at home and at school.
- Toolkit for parents/carers of school-aged children with dyspraxia/DCD
- Refer to Dyspraxia Friendly Classroom Guidelines
Adolescence is a tough time for any young person and physical, emotional, social and educational changes can feel overwhelming, especially for a young person with dyspraxia/DCD. Appropriate recognition and support are required to ensure dyspraxic teenagers develop the skills and confidence they need to fulfil their potential and lead full and happy lives.
You can help by:
- Establishing a home routine that ensures a healthy balance of home (including showering, eating/drinking), school (homework) and leisure activities.
- Encouraging and supporting your young person to take part in physical activity. This is important for their physical and mental health. Find an activity that interests your child and support them to take part, joining in if necessary. Good activities include Park Run, martial arts, cycling and swimming.
- Identify school tasks that may be difficult and practice them together, for example carrying a tray, using a compass to draw circles and using a tin opener.
- Support your teenager’s independence by identifying skills and activities that are important to them, and that they want to master. Teach them how to use public transport and how to order food for example.
- Encourage and support your child to identify and connect with peers who share similar interests. Facilitate virtual or in-person meetings if necessary.
- Signposting them to the Dyspraxia Youth closed Facebook group and other resources.
- Seeking professional help if you are concerned about your teenager’s mental or physical health.
The following resources may be of interest: