Developmental Dyspraxia

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What is developmental dyspraxia?

Developmental dyspraxia is a disorder characterized by an impairment in the ability to plan and carry out sensory and motor tasks. Generally, individuals with the disorder appear "out of sync" with their environment. Although individuals with the disorder may be of average or above average intelligence, they may behave immaturely. Symptoms vary and may include:

  • Poor balance and coordination
  • Clumsiness
  • Vision problems
  • Perception difficulties
  • Emotional and behavioral problems
  • Difficulty with reading, writing, and speaking
  • Poor social skills
  • Poor posture
  • Poor short-term memory

    Treatment is symptomatic and supportive and may include occupational and speech therapy, and "cueing" or other forms of communication such as using pictures and hand gestures. Many children with the disorder require special education.

    Developmental dyspraxia is a lifelong disorder. Many individuals are able to compensate for their disabilities through occupational and speech therapy.

    Learn About Clinical Trials
    Clinical trials are studies that allow us to learn more about disorders and improve care. They can help connect patients with new and upcoming treatment options.

    How can I or my loved one help improve care for people with developmental dyspraxia?

    Consider participating in a clinical trial so clinicians and scientists can learn more about developmental dyspraxia and related disorders. Clinical research uses human volunteers to help researchers learn more about a disorder and perhaps find better ways to safely detect, treat, or prevent disease.

    All types of volunteers are needed—those who are healthy or may have an illness or disease—of all different ages, sexes, races, and ethnicities to ensure that study results apply to as many people as possible, and that treatments will be safe and effective for everyone who will use them.

    For information about participating in clinical research visit NIH Clinical Research Trials and You. Learn about clinical trials currently looking for people with developmental dyspraxia at

    Where can I find more information about developmental dyspraxia?

    More information is available from the following organizations:

    American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)
    Phone: 800-638-8255 or 301-296-5650


    Order publications from the NINDS Catalog
    The NINDS Publication Catalog offers printed materials on neurological disorders for patients, health professionals, and the general public. All materials are free of charge, and a downloadable PDF version is also available for most publications.