Sensory Integration (Part 8): Praxis

Motor planning

Sensory integration  –  Overview of Praxis

Ayres describes praxis as “A uniquely human skill requiring conscious thought and enabling the brain to conceptualise, organise and direct purposeful interaction with the physical world.  Thus, the ability by which we figure out how to use our hands and body in skilled tasks like playing with toys, using tools (including a pencil or fork),  building a structure (whether a toy block tower or a house), straightening up a room,  or engaging in many occupations”.

Ideational praxis is the process linked to interaction, with the environment, involving tool use and goal attainment. 

Adequate body perception is necessary for body-environment interaction.

Dyspraxia is difficulty translating sensory information into physical movement / new movements / multi-step movements. 

Sensoroy-integrative-based dyspraxia is often overlooked by parents and the pre-school as children’s milestones usually fall within the expected range. 

Children with dyspraxia often lack the following skills:

  • To interact effectively with people and objects
  • Self-confidence
  • Internal drive
  • Engaging with peers
  • Group involvement

Praxis consists of :

Ideation/conceptualisation: generating ideas of possible object-person interaction

Motor planning: organising, problem-solving, judgement & timing

Motor execution: involving motor actions / adapted interaction with the physical world

Integration mechanism necessary for functional praxis

  • Arousal                                          –           registration and orientation
  • Motor engrams                              –           learnt motor acts
  • Body scheme                                 –           awareness of your own body
  • Object & environment scheme   –           conscious awareness of objects and the environment
  • Corollary discharge                       –           the intention to move
  • Motivation & drive                        –           influenced by your emotional state
  • Movement Scheme                        –           activates postural anticipation

If you suspect that your child suffers from dyspraxia please consult an occupational therapist.

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