I have a daughter with dyspraxia who has just left school and is finding it difficult to find a job. Is there anywhere she could go for help and advice?

Before going anywhere for advice it is important that your daughter organises her thinking. So many people just haven’t a clue what dyspraxia is. It would be useful for your daughter to jot down all her strengths and lists what her goals and objectives are. Then it is important to acknowledge the difficulties the dyspraxia creates. For example, these may be: Communication difficulties Motor control Organisation Your daughter could then create a written statement about dyspraxia and the way it affects her. (It is so useful as it can be handed to those she meets rather than her having to continually explain things.) The statement should say what she has achieved, what she is good at and what strategies are useful to accommodate her learning difference. This document should not be longer than 2 sides of A4 paper. There is plenty of information on the Dyspraxia Foundation and Key 4 Learning websites to help. Armed with this document, there are then several places for her to go for help. Jobcentre Plus. Your daughter could go and see the advisors and give them her disclosure document. They will discuss with her a variety of options and government schemes that are available for individuals with learning differences to help them gain jobs. The local careers advisory team and/or Connexions. They will also give support and should have a specialist advisor who will be able to help. Employers. She could to directly to employers by replying to adverts and send her disclosure document with the application form. Once your daughter has a job, there is a government scheme called Access to Work. Both she and her employer can benefit from their help and support ensuring that the appropriate adjustments are put in place to help. Finally, going for a first job is hard for everyone. It is especially hard if you have a learning difference. It is important that your daughter has lots of support. Sometimes a buddy, friend or mentor can help and take the pressure off the family by going with your daughter to the Jobcentre or Careers Advisor. ...read more

I have dyspraxia and I am having problems coping at work. What can I do?

If you are in a large company there will probably be a diversity representative. If there is, this a good place to start. Go and explain the difficulties you are having. Other individuals you could speak to could be; your line manager, a union representative or a member of the Human Resource team. The Government also runs a scheme called Access to Work. You can visit or phone your local Jobcentre Plus and ask for the Disability Employment Advisor who will discuss with you ways in which they can help. Sometimes individuals find it hard to discuss difficulties. It is important to try and identify someone in the organisation that you work in to act as mentor, advocate or buddy. It is also important to identify whether you are recognised as having a disability in the context of the Disability Discrimination Act, as this changes your legal rights. However remember that most good employers will be keen to help and understand your disability as a duty of care. ...read more

Is Alternative Medicine a viable therapy to be used for Dyspraxia?

The Dyspraxia Foundation is unable to endorse or discredit any individual complementary therapy treatment. If one particular therapy has been considered, then gather as much independent information as possible and request the professional or recognised body of the therapist and check their credentials. Parents/those affected should also ask for research to prove the effectiveness of the treatment. The Dyspraxia Foundation issue a fact sheet which can be obtained with regards to treatment approaches, therapies and contact numbers of Professional Bodies. ...read more

I am an adult with dyspraxia or I think I may have dyspraxia. Who can my GP refer me to for an assessment?

Many GPs are unfamiliar with dyspraxia. Therefore it is important to take in information with you. Take in a completed checklist with examples of how the indicators of dyspraxia apply to you. The doctor will probably discuss with you an appropriate referral. Dyspraxia affects people differently, therefore it will be appropriate for some to go to a physiotherapist, for others a speech and language therapist, an optometrist or an occupational therapist. However the GP will also discuss why an assessment is appropriate. Usually it is only necessary if you have hit a “glass ceiling” and your dyspraxia is disabling you from living your life in a way that you want to. ...read more

What is DAMP?

The term DAMP (Deficits in Attention, Motor Control and Perception) is sometimes used to describe people who have signs of both DCD and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). It is most commonly used in Scandinavia. The term ADHD is used to describe people whose difficulties with attention, impulsiveness and hyperactivity affect all areas of the life, in particular their social relationships and educational performance. People with DAMP seem to have a particular difficulty with social relationships. ...read more

How does Dyspraxia effect movement and co-ordination?

Recognised developmental milestones may be affected with a pattern of late achievement in skills such as rolling, sitting, standing and walking. Later more complex movements such as running hopping, jumping or kicking and catching a ball may not be at peer level. Movements can be slow and hesitant and are not picked up instinctively, and there may be lack of confidence to tackle new skills. PE and games may be avoided. Balance and stability are often affected and the child may fall or trip over nothing. The control of fine motor skills such as writing and art work are usually more difficult. Conceptual problems can occur such as mastering jigsaws and sorting games when young, and producing graphs, maps and analysing in science and mathematics later on. ...read more

Are dyspraxia and developmental coordination disorder (DCD) the same thing?

Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD), also known as dyspraxia, is a common disorder affecting fine and/or gross motor coordination in children and adults(Movementmatters.uk). The Dyspraxia Foundation adds to the Movement Matters description, recognising the many non-motor difficulties that may also be experienced by people with the condition and which can have a significant impact on daily life activities. These include memory, perception and processing as well as additional problems with planning, organising and carrying out movements in the right order in everyday situations. Dyspraxia can also affect articulation and speech.(Dyspraxia Foundation, 2015) ...read more

Can my child have both autism and dyspraxia?

Although Dyspraxia may occur in isolation, it frequently coexists with other conditions such as Aspergers  Syndrome, Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD), Dyslexia, language disorders and social, emotional and behavioural impairments. ...read more

Does dyspraxia run in families?

No “dyspraxic gene” has been identified. However many parents of children who have dyspraxia can identify another member of the family with similar difficulties: as dyspraxia is more often found in boys than girls this may be a father, grandfather, uncle or cousin. Sometimes, during the course of an assessment fathers realise that they experienced similar difficulties as a child. They then have to rethink their own life experiences while also supporting their child and partner. Ragu Lingham ( 2009) concluded in his research that there is a hereditary risk factor with coordination difficulties and Michele Lee and Sue Yoxall found in their study  (2007) that 32% reported a family history of dyspraxia or co-ordination difficulties. ...read more

What is the overlap between dyspraxia and dyslexia?

There is a lot of overlap between the signs and symptoms of dyspraxia and dyslexia: research suggests that 52% of children with dyslexia have features of dyspraxia (Kaplan 1998). The term dyslexia is used to describe a difficulty learning to read, write and spell. People with dyslexia often have poor organisational skills and may have difficulty with language (spoken and heard) and with maths. Like dyspraxia, the term dyslexia is used to describe a set of symptoms. It is usually identified by educational experts, and help focuses on specialist teaching of reading, writing and spelling. ...read more