Dyspraxia is a neurodivergent condition that affects how the mind processes actions, usually affecting coordination and movement, balance, and organisation abilities. Motor difficulties include poor hand-eye coordination and spatial awareness, which can make it difficult for people with dyspraxia to carry out everyday functions such as writing, cooking, and driving a car.
Dyspraxia does not affect a person’s intelligence, meaning they may have thoughts and ideas, but can struggle to express these coherently. This can lead to stammering or confused speech. People with dyspraxia often do not know they have this neurodivergence, and are often mistaken as ‘clumsy’. However, this can cause people with dyspraxia frustration and negative mental health, as they feel misunderstood or frustrated that they cannot express themselves clearly or perform tasks quickly.
Statistics estimate that around 10% of the UK population (6.7 million people) have dyspraxia, with 2% of the population (1.3 million people) having dyspraxia which affects them ‘severely’. However, as dyspraxia is often misunderstood, these numbers may be higher.
Dyspraxia (or Developmental Coordination Disorder DCD) is a neurodivergence which affects fine and gross motor skills, coordination, and processing. It is estimated that around 10% of the population has dyspraxia. As dyspraxia is a life long neurodivergent condition, it is protected under the Equality Act 2010 and disability law.
While dyspraxia does not affect a person’s intelligence, difficulty processing information and using motor skills can impact on students’ progress and achievement, so it’s important that students with dyspraxia receive the support available to them.
For example, they could benefit from additional time in examinations to process the information, 1-1 support for subjects such as maths, clearer instructions in subjects such as food technology or woodwork, and consideration in sports.
Some people with dyspraxia can develop a stammer, as they can take longer to process their thoughts and explain themselves. This may be mistaken for a lack of confidence, so it’s important teachers give their students with dyspraxia time to respond.
Teachers can help school pupils with the following:
As every individual is different, it is best for employers to speak with their employees 1-1 about how they can best support them. However, the following reasonable adjustments could help adults with dyspraxia make the most of their skills in the workplace:
Dyspraxia is considered to be a hidden disability as the physical signs can be difficult to recognise. Dyspraxia is also less well known and often misunderstood, many people with dyspraxia do not realise they have the condition until later in life. For example, many people think they are simply ‘clumsy’, and as the condition does not affect intelligence, many people with dyspraxia can learn a wide range of skills, they just may have taken a little longer than other people.
To find out if you have traits of dyspraxia, try taking our online dyspraxia test.