Dyspraxia symptoms: Dyspraxia is also known as developmental coordination disorder (DCD), is a chronic condition that begins in childhood and causes difficulties with movement and coordination.

Dyskinesia symptoms: It causes a wide range of movement and coordination problems. Some of these may appear at an early age, while others may not appear until your child is older. Dyskinesia affects the child’s coordination, making it difficult to ride a bike or play sports. It can also affect their fine motor skills, such as typing or pressing buttons.

In the most recent edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), developmental coordination disorder is classified as a movement disorder within a broader category of disorders of neurological development. It was previously classified as having a learning disability.

Who does movement disorders affect?

Dyspraxia symptoms: The first signs of a movement disorder (developmental coordination disorder) begin during childhood. Because it is a chronic condition, motor impairment can also continue into adulthood.

Movement disorders affect males and assigned female at birth more often than females in general.

Your baby may be more likely to have a movement disorder if:

He was born before the 37th week of pregnancy, especially if he was born before the 32nd week of pregnancy.

The baby has very low (less than pounds) birth weight.

The baby has a family history of developmental coordination disorder.

Dyspraxia Symptoms

The signs and symptoms of a movement disorder (developmental coordination disorder)

Movement disorder (developmental coordination disorder) causes widespread coordination and movement problems. Although most people with movement disorders show signs of the disorder when they start school, some people have milder forms of the disorder that are harder to detect.

Signs of Movement Disorders in Infants and Toddlers

A delay in reaching expected developmental milestones can be an early sign of movement disorders in infants and toddlers. For example, your baby may take longer than expected to roll over, sit up, crawl, or walk.

You may also notice that your child:

  • Has difficulty playing with toys that require good coordination, such as stacking cups.
  • Has difficulty learning to eat with a spoon and fork.
  • Has difficulty going up and down stairs.

Signs of movement disorders in older children include:

  • Difficulty with balance: They may bump into things, fall often, or appear clumsy.
  • Difficulty with movement and activities, such as riding a bicycle, jumping, catching, throwing, or hitting a ball. They may avoid activities due to lack of coordination.
  • Compared to other children of the same age, difficulty writing, drawing/coloring and using scissors.
  • Difficulty dressing, buttoning, brushing teeth and tying shoes.

What causes movement disorders?

Executing coordinated movements and motor skills is a complex process involving many nerves and parts of the brain. Any problems with this process can cause difficulties with movement and coordination (dyskinesia).

Researchers are unsure of the exact cause of movement disorders. However, premature birth (before 37 weeks’ gestation) and low birth weight put babies at risk of movement disorders.

How are movement disorders diagnosed?

Although the signs of dyskinesia (developmental coordination disorder) are present from an early age, they can easily go unnoticed because children develop at very different rates. Therefore, CT is not definitively diagnosed until a child is 5 years of age or older.

Movement disorders must be diagnosed by a professional team qualified to review disease-specific criteria, which may include:

  • Pediatrician
  • Occupational therapists or physiotherapists
  • Child psychologists
  • Pediatric neurologist

There are no medical tests that can definitively diagnose movement disorders. Instead, your child’s team of health care providers will ask detailed questions about your child’s medical history, development, and symptoms. They will assess your child’s gross and fine motor skills, coordination and balance. They will also assess your child’s mental ability to see if he or she is within the expected range for his age.

The healthcare professional must also rule out other possible causes of the child’s movement difficulties, such as cerebral palsy or muscular dystrophy.

To be diagnosed with a movement disorder (developmental coordination disorder), children typically must meet all of the following criteria:

Their motor skills are significantly below expectations.

Their motor skills and coordination affect their daily activities and school    performance.

The symptoms of dyskinesia appear in the early stages of development.

Motor difficulties cannot be better explained by another medical condition.

 Care and Treatment

Movement disorders (developmental coordination disorder) cannot be cured, but different types of treatment, such as occupational therapy and physical therapy, can help children and adults with movement disorders improve their motor skills and coordination.

Because movement disorders affect each person differently, your child will benefit most from an individualized treatment plan that addresses physical difficulties and improves self-confidence.

Task-based interventions are one of the main types of techniques that providers use to help children with movement disorders. This includes working with your child to identify specific tasks that are causing difficulty and finding ways to overcome them.

For example, an occupational therapist can help your child improve the difficulty of specific tasks by breaking movements into smaller steps. They then teach your child to use and practice these individual movements regularly.

Your child may also benefit from modifying certain tasks to make them easier to complete. For example, adding special grips to pens and pencils can make them easier to hold.