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What is difference between CP and motor dyspraxia

We were told that my son has motor dyspraxia and hypotonia but when I read about mild CP the symptoms sounded the same to me.  

He had a difficult birth.  He was full term but my labor was induced with pitocin, a monitor showed that his heart stopped beating at one point during the delivery, and the doctor had trouble getting him out right away and had to use forceps.  The cord was wrapped around his neck.   One doctor wrote "possible mild birth asphyxia" on his medical records.

At 12 months my son had a 50 percent delay in gross motor skills and when we put him up against furniture he could hold on but his legs would shake like his muscles were weak.  He did not crawl.  He wasn't able to pull himself up until about 13 months.  He walked at 18 1/2 months.  

My son had six sessions with an OT who told us that he had sensory integration issues.  

He has had no other therapy for his hypotonia or low endurance.   He is homeschooled so we are able to work around handwriting and sensory issues, but he is crossing over to Boy Scouts and we know there is no way he would be able to do a 10 mile or a 20 mile hike.   They can make accommodations if we can get a doctor's statement saying what he can and can't do, but there is a long waiting list to see a developmental pediatrician.

Is there a difference between mild CP and motor dyspraxia and if so,  how can we tell which one it is?  

10 Responses
723488 tn?1278339300
Wow! I dont know if can help or not but my son went through the same stuff. He's 12 now. He was also delayed in walking and did crawl -with his hands only. The doctors sent us a physical therapist to the house to work with him who said his Hamstrings were way to tight. When i tried to stand him -he would be "tip-toed" and scream his heart out. He finally started walking (18-19 months) but always on his toes. He also has problems with his writting skills and uses special pencils in school with a dr.s note. and now types alot of his work for school too so the teachers can read it better. After therapy for his legs the past 10 years -he's now in metal leg braces 8 hours a day -which are not helping much at all either. He has been diagnosed with Spastic Diplegic CP. I dont remember any mention of Motor Dyspraxia, what exactly is it?
Avatar universal

How is your son? Dyspraxia is a term that refers to a specific disorder in the area of motor skill development. People with dyspraxia have difficulty planning and completing intended fine motor tasks. Babies with dyspraxia may avoid crawling and rolling over, and may resist tasks involving motor skills. Though not always, dyspraxia often co-exists with other learning disabilities. ( ref: http://www.ncld.org/index.php?option=content&task=view&id=466)

On the other hand, cerebral palsy refers to any one of a number of neurological disorders that appear in infancy or early childhood and permanently affect body movement and muscle coordination. It is not caused by problems in the muscles or nerves but by abnormalities in parts of the brain that control muscle movements.

I hope this helps. Take care and regards.
Avatar universal
I was told my brother,s cerebral palsy and epilepsi were caused by DPT and other multiple shots when he was five and just entering school.  We even have pictures of him when he was healthy before.
Avatar universal
I just went to a Developmental Pediatrician today for my daughter who is 2 1/2.  She has the same problems that your son is having and we thought that she might have a mild case of CP.  He is the last of specialist that we have seen and I am finally satisfied.  He diagnosed her today with having the motor dyspraxia.  He said it wouldn't be fair to give her a  diagnosis of  CP although they are very similar.  He said the reason why was because cognitively she was intact and her problems are with motor skills mainly gross a few with fine motor due to her gross motor skills.  They put her a year behind when it comes to where she is at for gross motor development.  She has been to a Neurologist and they did and MRI that came back clean so between that and her gross motor development this is why he diagnosed her with the motor dyspraxia instead of CP.  I hope this helps out in the answers you are looking for.
Avatar universal
The doctor is a making a serious error when he/she suggests that a child with CP has cognitive problems. He/she is continuing a mythology around CP that makes some parents afraid to accept a formal diagnosis. My daughter had a doctor who told me that his friend has mild CP -- and his friend is a surgeon! Some people with CP have cognitive impairments. Many do not. Please do not pass on the CP mythology now that you are aware of this.
Avatar universal
I realize that this is a bit late in getting to you but just in case someone else is reading your question I thought I'd mention that Dyspraxia (Developmental Coordination Disorder) cannot be diagnosed as a condition if the child has complex medical history such as your son's.  There is the possibility that he lost oxygen around the period of birth (perinatal period). This would suggest the possibility of CP. A note from your family doctor explaing that he has hypotonia is enough for your child to be allowed to skip the hike (or be allowed to take breaks or a shorter hike).

If you have not done this already, ask your family doctor to show you the report from the OT or PT who diagnosed him. This may be enough to get funding in you live in Canada or parts of Europe (I'm not sure about the U.S.).  It is a recognized medical condition. You don't need to be diagnosed with CP to get support but you do need a diagnosis. Look into your local Variety Club if you have one in your country.

I'm not a medical expert but I research a great deal on the subject as a parent of a child with similar issues. We were not allowed to be given the diagnosis of Developmental Coordination Disorder (somtimes referred to as dyspraxia or apraxia depending on your country and which profession is discussing it) because our child had mild respiratory distress and a seizure shortly after birth.
Avatar universal
My son is experiencing some mild dyspraxic or mild cp like symptoms as well and I am also confused about the difference.  I was in Vascular Surgical stent sales for 15 years and found that medicine is so much an art and not a perfect science and that doctors often have differing opinions, especially those who come from different specialties.  Perhaps doctors don't know the difference between the two diagnosises.  Perhaps there is no difference...people assume medicine is fact...only laws of physics are facts.  Some medical theories hold more weight than others.  The better theories are supported by enough, repeatable, quality studies and accepted by peer review and most other doctors.  I'm still researching these two conditions to determine if there is enough evidence to support the diagnosis.  Until then, I keep reminding myself that I may never have all the answers and that I should focus more on treatment.  
Avatar universal
I too have been through similar problems, my son was starved of oxygen at birth and is now 20 months old we have been going through the diagnosis path and last week got a diagnosis of diplegic CP where he has hypertonia of the lower limbs and immature grip of the hands, he can no sit unaided by himsef nore can he pull himself into sitting and he also can not take any weight on his legs as a physio myself i fought with the hospitals for a diagnosis - has he had an mri brain scan because from what i can determine the differnce in the diagnosis is the effects that the lack of oxygen has on the brain causes particulr damage and also i have linked an probably the most helpful website i have come across i wish you all the best through this time
Avatar universal
My son was diagnosed with mild cp at the age of 2 years after an MRI scan. Untill then it was global development delay, hypermobility and hypetonia and hypernotia. They found some abnormal white matter on the scan. Since then he has been found to have mild heamapligia, clonus is his right leg and valgus feet.
Avatar universal
I'm 37 and only just been diagnosed as having Dyspraxia.

My story is eerily similar to lorjhill's son.

I was born with the cord around my neck and wasn't breathing/crying at birth - my APGA was 0, 3, 3.

I never crawled - instead I would sit on my leg and 'scoot' around - and started walking at 18 months.

My speech was delayed, and I have always had co-ordination and balance problems my entire life. My mum knew something was wrong, and took me to multiple doctors who all called her neurotic and fobbed her off - so a diagnosis was never made.

I had to take co-ordination classes as a child, and hated sports because I could not run, jump, throw or catch. As a teenager I got in to Archery (which I excelled at) but never able to do any team or physically demanding sports.

I've always been "unco" but 3 years ago my balance problems got so bad that I had to start using a crutch to get around outside. Indoors on flat floors I'm fine, but outside on uneven ground I keep tripping over my feet and losing balance.

I went to multiple specialists - and kept getting fobbed off, so decided to research it myself. I found out about Dyspraxia and took the details to my GP and insisted on a referral to an Occupational Therapist or Physiotherapist who knew what it was about. Finally I got my answer!

I have Dyspraxia - which I've been told is a form of mild CP, though not sure just how accurate this is. Now having physiotherapy and occupational therapy and waiting to see if it helps.

Just to let the parents on this site know - dyspraxia does not necessarily limit your childs learning potential. It does not affect intelligence etc. It may, however, co-exist with other conditions such as Autism - which again,  does not affect intelligence, just makes people stand out as different.

I have graduated from University with a Masters in a medical field with distinction, am a computer programmer and accountant.

Never let a diagnosis of Dyspraxia (or any other physical disability) determine educational outcomes.

If you want proof that physical disability does not affect the mind, take a look at Stephen Hawking!
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