Help your child with DCD/dyspraxia, low muscle tone and hypermobility

FAQ'w.jpgAs parents and teachers we become concerned when we notice that an infant or child has difficulties doing some of the things their peers can do. Health professionals provide a reason for why the infant or child is experiencing these difficulties - it may be a fairly vague term such as "low muscle tone", dyspraxia  or developmental delay, or a more specific diagnosis such as joint hypermobility, developmental coordination disorder or autism. 

But whatever the label or diagnosis, the best way to help your child is to:

  • Identify what he or she can and cannot do
  • Figure out what can be done to change the situation
  • Create opportunities for practicing and improving skills and fitness 

There are two ways to approach skills and fitness training - both are valuable 

  1. Create dedicated practice times - even just 10 - 15 minutes a day for training skills and fitness.
  2. Use everyday routines and activities as opportunities for encouraging skill and fitness development.

Thabo's story
Thabo is having difficulties with handwriting - he is slow and the teacher is complaining about his pencil grip. He gets tired sitting and working at a table and leans on his one arm and puts his head down on the desk when writing. The pediatrician has diagnosed "low muscle tone", but the physiotherapist using a routines and task based assessment has identified  that Thabo is unfit, has some tightness in the back and hip muscles, and that his grip suits his hypermobile hands. Read more


Where do I start?

A list is often a good place to start.  Make a list of all the activities in your child's daily routine. Then you can put a large tick next to everything that your boy or girl manages well and a small cross next to the activities that need attention. Most likely the ticks will outnumber the crosses. Read more

Next identify the tasks and activities you wish to improve - choose just a few 

Think about why your child is having difficulties with each task. What can be changed to make it easier for your child to accomplish the task? Can the task be adapted?  A bit of extra skills training with guided practice or fitness training might be helpful.  Read more

Lastly decide when and how: You need to think about whether you want to incorporate the training into your daily routine or want to put aside some time in the day to work on the activity. 


 

Infant Developmental Gym 

Ways to promote  rolling, sitting, crawling, cruising,standing, walking, walking, jumping, clambering 

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