WHAT IS DYSPRAXIA / DEVELOPMENTAL COORDINATION DISORDER (DCD)?

"A student with Developmental Coordination Difficulties (known as dyspraxia in the UK) may have an impairment or immaturity in the organisation of movement, often appearing clumsy. Gross motor skills (related to balance and co-ordination) and fine motor skills (relating to manipulation of objects) are hard to learn and difficult to retain and generalise. Writing is particularly laborious and keyboard skills difficult to acquire. Individuals may have difficulty organising ideas and concepts. Pronunciation may also be affected and people with dyspraxia/DCD may be over/under sensitive to noise, light and touch. They may have poor awareness of body position and misread social cues in addition to those shared characteristics common to many SpLDs." (SASC)

WHAT ARE THE MAIN DIFFICULTIES I SEE IN ADULTS WITH DYSPRAXIA?

  • a history of being uncoordinated, such as walking into or dropping things
  • being a messy eater
  • finding it hard to maintain a tidy home, workspace, etc.
  • taking longer to ride a bike, learn to drive or tie shoe laces
  • finding new skills challenging to master, e.g. make-up, shaving, DIY
  • poor organisation skills, such as easily losing items, planning a meal from scratch, folding up clothes
  • feeling overwhelmed when trying to stay on top of things, which can lead to anxiety, stress and/or depression
  • taking time to process what other people are saying to you
  • slow writing speed and illegible writing
  • finding your way around new places

ARE THERE FAMOUS PEOPLE WITH DYSPRAXIA / DCD?

It can be helpful to know that having a specific learning difficulty doesn't that you can't achieve your goals. Indeed, many people with SpLDs have careers play to their strengths which might include creativity, lateral thinking, being empathetic, etc. Over the years, I've assessed many artists, photographers, architects, company directors, teachers, nurses, GPs, vets, an A&E consultant and an international human rights lawyer.

Here are names of just some famous people with dyspraxia/DCD who haven't let their difficulties hold them back:                

Film, television and music: Daniel Radcliffe, Robin Williams, Marilyn Monroe, Stephen Fry

Successful business people and scientists: Richard Branson, Einstein (couldn't tie his laces as a child or adult), Isaac Newton, Bill Gates

Authors: Emily Bronte, Ernest Hemingway

Artists and photographers: David Bailey, Picasso