Dyspraxia is the more common name used in education for Developmental Co-ordination Disorder (DCD). DCD is the term that most medical professionals will use. It is a condition that affects all areas of life, making it difficult for people to carry out activities that others take for granted.


A CYP with Dyspraxia may show (amongst other things):

  • awkward or 'clumsy' movements

  • Poor spatial awareness (which may result in frequent bruising)

  • Difficulty learning movements to carry out practical task such as cooking

  • Difficulty organising things such as time, equipment and ideas

  • Short attention span

  • Long pauses between questions and answers

  • Verbal dyspraxia - difficulty making the sounds for clarity of speech


If you think your child may have Dyspraxia, speak to your child's GP, class teacher or SENCo. They may suggest that you start to record how your child manages daily activities and they may do the same in school. School may refer to a specialist teacher for support and may refer to a medical professional for an exploration of needs.

If your child is referred to a medical professional, there may be further exploration as Dyspraxia can occur with other conditions such as ADHD, language disorders and some others. A diagnostic assessment shod be conducted to see if Dyspraxia is the correct explanation.

A diagnostic assessment may include:

  • looking at information (including developmental) from home, school and the child / young person

  • an assessment of movement

  • an assessment to rule out any other conditions


Click here and here for further information.


See below for some ideas for support in school

Difficulties with handwriting

  • Ensure typing skills are accurate and efficient

  • Allow access to a laptop/computer for extended pieces of writing.

  • Allow additional time for the student to process information

  • Use pen/cil grips

  • Use writing slopes

  • Guided handwriting paper can sometimes be useful

Eye to hand coordination difficulties

  • Practice gross motor skills whenever possible

  • Provide activities for fine motor skills such as picking up grains of rice; modelling clay / icing etc

  • Ensure that the CYP is able to cross the midline - if they are not able to, give strategies to encourage practice in this area

  • Provide larger spaced lines for writing

  • Encourage the CYP to slow down when engaging fine motor skills

  • To improve large muscle movements in the earlier years, provide balance or wobble boards, walking on the line activities, and hand-to-hand throwing using beanbags or water filled balloons. Make these ‘fun’ activities with supportive peers if the student feels in any way embarrassed

  • If dressing / changing is a difficulty, allow loose fitting / easy on off clothing such as pull up trousers and velcro fastenings on shoes to reduce frustration and embarrassment

Can voice ideas, but have difficulty transferring to paper.

  • Break down work tasks into smaller, more manageable sections

  • Talk through each one in turn to reinforce expectation

  • Consider the use of a 'talking button' or similar recording device

  • Provide frames for organisation

  • Use checklists

Struggles with the classroom environment

  • Avoid fluorescent lights

  • Do not use moving displays and keep displays off the ceiling

  • Keep wall displays to a minimum

  • Keep the classroom uncluttered

  • Warn the CYP if furniture arrangements are going to change


  • Ensure that the CYP has access to a personalised workspace if needed

  • Promote a ‘no disturbance’ culture, showing genuine respect for each CYP's learning style and work space

  • Make use of an agreed ‘time out’ strategy if the CYP is becoming over stimulated

  • Reduce social demands while the CYP is engaged in the learning process


  • Use visual prompts for classroom routines

  • Keep resources in the same place and practice obtaining the correct equipment

  • Give explicit equipment requirements

  • Use prompts / sentence starters / paragraphs starters for organising writing

  • Use talk to text if necessary

  • Use visual timetables / now and next cards

  • Teach routines