Advice for adults – Do you think you have dyspraxia?

Assessment and diagnosis

If you suspect you have dyspraxia you should consult your GP, in the first instance, with a view to being referred to an educational or clinical psychologist, occupational therapist, speech therapist or counsellor. Write your symptoms down, take a friend or relation to support you and be persistent. You can refer yourself to a private therapist or doctor.

Treatment

There is no cure for dyspraxia but there are many strategies that can help. Occupational therapists will look at fine motor and perceptual skills, together with activities of daily living such as household tasks and organisational skills, and help develop strategies to improve these. They can suggest suitable equipment to help with these tasks. Speech therapists can help with speech or language problems and also sometimes with communication and social skills. Counselling can help to overcome some of the problems. Drugs such as anti-depressants can be of use where depression and anxiety are a big problem.

Remember

A diagnosis can help you come to terms with your problems, put things into perspective and improve you self-esteem. Think positively and keep your sense of humour. Many people with dyspraxia are very creative, determined, persistent and intelligent. You can buy a book from the Dyspraxia Foundation which shares practical hints about coping with the condition. Living with Dyspraxia

Relaxation

Try assertiveness and self-development classes or join a self-help group. Join the Dyspraxia Foundation Adult Support Group to share your problems with others who understand. Try to carry out some kind of relaxation exercise every day such as yoga or the Alexander Technique. Try going to the fitness gym to improve your muscle strength and co-ordination. Do any sport/activity that might improve your co-ordination and manual dexterity such as computer games, bowling, swimming, rock climbing, walking and aqua aerobics. Find something that you really enjoy doing.

Organisation

Use diaries, calendars, post it notes to plan your daily life. Prioritise things you have to do first. Finish one task before you start another. Mind maps and flow charts can be useful, particularly at work. Use any implement in the home to help you carry out your daily tasks such as electric toothbrushes, electric shavers, kettle-tippers, special tin openers and potato peelers, word processors with spell checks and lap-top computers. If you are learning a new sequence of actions, see that you get clear, precise instructions. Use a video if this helps.

Further information can be found on our Useful links page