Strategy 1 – Patience is key when helping those with dyspraxia!
These children and adults can struggle to think of ideas and to organise themselves. This is just how their brain is wired. Becoming frustrated or annoyed yourself, doesn’t help their brain to be more organised. So, they need your patience. Individuals with dyspraxia typically need more support at the start, but once they have learnt the activity they are successful. So, build in this time. With the extra support for planning they really can fly.
Tip 2 – With dyspraxia you must remember planning
Planning is very important to remember when you are helping a child or adult with dyspraxia. Make sure where possible you give physical demonstrations of what you’re doing rather than just saying what you want done. When children and adults have dyspraxia often they can’t figure out how to do things so if you show them this is a big help.
Parents and teachers can be very good at setting activities up to ensure that their children are successful. Sometimes, this means that they innately do the planning for their children. This is understandable as they don’t want the child to fail. And, sometimes they are short of time themselves.
When there is time and the child is calm, it is important to have the expectation that the child does start to plan. Sometimes, it can help if the adult talks through their steps out aloud. This helps the child to understand that the adult is thinking about many things. Also, playing ‘what if’ games can be a nice way to come up with an idea, especially if these can be done through play.
Strategy 3 – Make sure you support ideation
Ideation is often the forgotten part of dyspraxia. When children have difficulties with ideation, they often struggle to get started. They are often the ones that follow rather than lead. This is because following is much easier for them than coming up with the idea. So, for these individuals it is important that they are given extra opportunities, and more encouragement, to think about ideas.
Sometimes you need to really look out for children who struggle with ideation as they are great followers. So, they can easily be missed as they watch others and copy. However, they will struggle when put into situations where they need to think of the idea. This could be for creative writing, art or even self-occupying their time. They might mask their difficulties in larger groups, especially if they have a lot of siblings around them! So keep an eye out.