5 Celebrities & Famous People With Dyspraxia

The actor Daniel Radcliffe is speaking on a panel at a Comic Con event.

Featured image by Gage Skidmore, flickr.com

What is Dyspraxia?

Dyspraxia, also known as Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD), is a neurodivergent condition that affects physical coordination. People who have dyspraxia may have problems with ‘learning new skills,’ ‘daily living skills’ such as getting dressed, ‘writing, typing, drawing and grasping small objects,’ ‘social skills,’ dealing with emotions and ‘time management.’

One way to deal with dyspraxia is for people who have it to ‘learn to talk positively about [their] challenges and how [they] have overcome them.’ The following famous people with dyspraxia have done exactly that by using their talents to help them overcome their challenges:

Daniel Radcliffe (Actor)

Daniel Radcliffe in the character of Harry Potter is flying on a broomstick.

Image by Dave Catchpole, flickr.com

Best known for his titular role in the Harry Potter films, Daniel revealed that he had a mild form of dyspraxia in 2008 in an interview for his Broadway debut in Equus. He was unsuccessful at school and ‘he sometimes still has trouble tying his shoelaces.’

Daniel’s mother suggested he audition for a role in David Copperfield (1999 television mini-series) in order to boost his confidence. Since his first appearance as Harry Potter in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001), he has earned ‘an estimated personal fortune of £17 million.’

Cara Delevingne (Model, Actress and Singer)

The model Cara Delevingne is posing with her chin resting on her hand.

Image by tricks ware, flickr.com

Cara has both dyspraxia and ADHD. Signs of her dyspraxia included struggling at school and finding exams a nightmare. While she was told she had the reading ability of a sixteen-year-old when she was nine, she was told she had the reading ability of a nine-year-old when she was sixteen. Cara ‘struggling to truly communicate how she was feeling’ is a part of her ADHD.

Cara began her modelling career in 2009 while she made her acting debut in 2014 in the Sky Arts drama Timeless in which her partner’s service in Afghanistan affects their relationship and, in turn, mirrors her grandmother being ‘separated from her lover due to war.’ Not only does Cara sing, but she also plays the drums and the guitar.

Florence Welch (Singer)

Florence Welch, lead singer of Florence + the Machine, is performing on a stage.

Image by Lee Gwyn, flickr.com

Florence Welch is the lead singer of her band Florence + The Machine. She often opens up about her dyspraxia and dyslexia in interviews by saying she is proud to have them. Florence thought school was difficult. She ‘got into trouble for impromptu singing’ and ‘preferred climbing trees and visiting the library over schoolwork’. She was also involved in “special lessons” at school where she learnt to write in sand for example.

Despite her impromptu singing causing her to get into trouble at school, she turned it into her successful career in Florence + The Machine. She has said the following about her dyspraxia: “The fact that I work in a creative industry probably helps. We dyspraxics think in a different way.”

David Bailey (Photographer)

A black and white photograph of the photographer David Bailey holding a camera.

Image by Clive Varley, flickr.com

When David was a child, “he was considered clumsy and struggled with writing and spelling.” Two of his children also have dyspraxia and his wife Catherine, former chairperson of the Dyspraxia Foundation, has said of their children: “The children see what Bailey has done through his endeavour, and they realise their difficulties don’t really matter.”

David became interested in photography while still a child and developed his interest into a career as an adult. He has photographed several celebrities from the Beatles to Jude Law.

Emma Lewell-Buck (Labour MP of South Shields)

Emma Lewell-Buck, the Labour MP of South Shields, is posing in front of a grey background.

Image by Chris McAndrew, commons.wikimedia.org

Emma was diagnosed with dyspraxia at the age of 27. She has said her diagnosis has greatly affected her at work and has claimed to have a poor sense of direction also due to her dyspraxia. She perceives a map as ‘a blank piece of paper’ and has to find her way through landmarks. Emma also put her shoes on the wrong feet and spilt drinks as a child, which are other signs of her dyspraxia.In spite of her dyspraxia, Emma spoke proudly of her diagnosis at the launch of Neurodivergent Labour, ‘a political campaign group that will fight for the rights’ of neurodivergent people ‘both within the party and in wider society.’ She said that people of neurodivergence ‘are the ones who always have the ability to think outside the box and come up with solutions to some of the world’s greatest problems.’

Blog Author

April Slocombe