Motor Planning Disorders / Dyspraxia

Motor planning is what a young child does when she thinks of something she’s never done before, such as take a book down from a shelf, and then plans out how she’s going to accomplish the task. Once a child has performed a skill a few times, it becomes integrated into her brain operation and she no longer needs to plan it out. But any skill has to be motor planned the first time we do it, so we can learn it.

To be able to motor plan, a child has to be able to see that she is moving and any way she is off course, and to choose ways to course-correct. She has to be able to pay attention and concentrate on what she’s doing, and time her movements correctly. She has to be able to locate her body in space, and see, hear, and feel what she’s doing, while keeping her balance. It’s a complex process! If any of these abilities are lacking, a child may take a long time to learn new skills, and may become confused and clumsy in the effort.

How can I help my child with a motor planning disorder?

At CTS, our occupational therapists work with children with motor planning disorders to help them identify, integrate, and interpret information from the many sensory systems of the body, including the tactile, proprioceptive, vestibular, visual, and auditory systems. We can also provide you and your family with fun strategies for home and school that will involve you in the process of improving your child’s fine, gross, and oral motor skills as a result of improved motor planning.