Dyspraxia symptoms & treatment

Dyspraxia Symptoms – What To Look For

Dyspraxia in children and in adults is similar because the disorder makes it hard to talk.  However, the causes are quite different and so symptoms can be somewhat different too.  Also, dyspraxia in children can look a little different depending on the stage of a child’s development. Here is a list of dyspraxia symptoms to look for, at different stages of life:


Dyspraxia Symptoms in Babies

  • Difficulty latching on and breastfeeding
  • Difficulty imitating facial expressions
  • Limited range of baby sounds
  • Babble less than other babies
  • Less changing of sounds as they babble
  • Drooling or dribbling
  • Difficulty transitioning to food with lumps
  • Difficulty copying sounds such as animal noises or vehicle noises
  • Limited range of the sounds of speech
  • Sounds are mostly vowel noises, less consonants
  • Late to start saying words

Read read more about dyspraxia in babies here.

Dyspraxia Symptoms in Toddlers

  • Limited vocabulary  (less than 50 words by two years)
  • Less words being joined together
  • Difficulty making the basic sounds needed for words
  • Difficulty in being understood by other people
  • Limited range of sounds and noises in play
  • Resist attempts to help them talk
  • Using made up words to represent a common object or food
  • Difficulty repeating the same syllable twice (eg bub-bub)
  • Difficulty blowing or sucking
  • Difficulty drinking out of a cup without spilling
  • Difficulty transitioning to solid foods
  • Fussy or finicky eating
  • Difficulty with foods that contain more than one texture
  • Difficulty biting and chewing
  • Difficulty copying facial expressions
  • Good comprehension, starting to follow instructions

Read more about dyspraxia in toddlers.

Young Children – Symptoms of Dyspraxia

  • Fussy or finicky eating – less range of foods than other children
  • Resist eating meat or hard fruits and vegetables
  • Sensitive to having things in their mouth (eg toothbrushes)
  • Difficulty eating from a cup
  • Difficulty blowing bubbles
  • Difficulty poking tongue out (eg to lick ice-cream with tongue extended)
  • Difficulty joining sounds up to make words
  • Difficulty saying words with multiple syllables
  • Difficulty putting sentences together
  • Stresses on the wrong syllables or missing stresses
  • Leaving out syllables in words
  • Difficulty repeating the same sound over and over quickly
  • Words pronounced differently on different occasions
  • Distorted vowel sounds
  • Frustrated behaviour
  • Can follow instructions well and understand others with good comprehension

Read more about the symptoms of dyspraxia in children

Older Children – Symptoms of Dyspraxia

  • Understand (comprehension) much better than their talking
  • Difficulty getting a message across to others
  • Unclear words
  • Use short sentences
  • Speech (articulation) errors
  • Inconsistent errors – words can be said different ways at different times
  • Difficulty imitating speech of others
  • Difficulty saying syllables of multiple syllables
  • Words sound disjointed
  • Unnatural sounding syllable stresses
  • Unnatural sounding tune in the voice
  • Inaccurate grammar
  • Speech becomes more difficult under pressure
  • Fussy eaters, refuse some food consistencies


Adult Symptoms of Dyspraxia

Adults can ACQUIRE dyspraxia as a result of a stroke (CVA) or disease or brain lesion of some kind.  The severity can range from mild to severe, and so the symptoms will vary accordingly.  The following is a list of possible adult dyspraxia symptoms:

  • Difficulty talking
  • Difficulty eating, drinking (or swallowing, called dysphagia)
  • Better comprehension than talking
  • Difficulty making speech sounds
  • Difficulty imitating facial expressions
  • Difficulty imitating blowing, kissing noises
  • Repeat the same sound over and over when attempting to talk
  • Using jargon instead of real words
  • Automatic speech (eg saying the days of the week) easier than real speech
  • Substituting one word for another for well-known objects
  • Can sing
  • Longer words are harder than shorter ones
  • Real words are easier than imitating made-up words
  • Consonant sounds are harder than vowel sounds but vowels can be distorted
  • Errors increase with repeated attempts

Click here for more about dyspraxia in adults.

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