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Movement planning deficit (dyspraxia)

In dyspraxia there is an impairment in the brain’s control of purposeful movements. A child with dyspraxia can carry out individual movements, but has difficulty coordinating these movements in order to perform a particular task.

Dyspraxia is a common cause of clumsiness. Children with dyspraxia may also have speech difficulties (verbal dyspraxia) and occasionally have a tendency to dribble saliva because of poor swallowing control.


Agnosia refers to difficulties in processing information about bodily sensations. Children who have agnosia have difficulty judging the position of parts of their body in space. This may cause clumsiness.

One of the common tests for agnosia involves asking the child to tell the position of his fingers when they are moved by the examiner. The child keeps his eyes closed and is reliant on his brain interpreting information coming from the fingers.

As we carry out an action, our brain must continually process incoming sensations to judge the position of the moving parts of our body (head, neck, and limbs) at any moment in time. Our brain must do this quickly, and automatically initiate appropriate small muscular contractions and relaxations to fine- tune the action so that it can be carried out in a smooth and competent manner. In children with agnosia this does not occur, and movements are awkward and inaccurate.

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