We support individuals and families affected by dyspraxia. Please help by supporting us:


Having a formal diagnosis of dyspraxia can help a person access the right support. Assessment and diagnostic processes can vary between regions.

If you are a young person and think you may have dyspraxia, a diagnosis can help. It provides a reason to explain your differences. It may also unlock access to resources and support.

You or your parent/carer can speak to your GP. You may be referred to a physiotherapist, occupational therapist, speech therapist, or paediatrician. They will do further assessment.

Whilst there are ways to diagnose dyspraxia in children, there is no agreed way to do this for people over 18.

Before seeking an assessment for dyspraxia consider whether you want:

  • An assessment for diagnostic purposes; or
  • An assessment of your strengths and difficulties to identify strategies and support. This is called a needs-based assessment

Diagnostic and needs-based assessments might be carried out by different people.

Diagnostic assessment

It is not unusual for people to go through life feeling that something wasn’t quite right, but without ever having had a diagnosis of dyspraxia. Some want a formal diagnosis to explain their difficulties. Others are happy to self-diagnose.

Adults over 18 seeking a diagnostic assessment for dyspraxia should contact their GP. Before making an appointment, keep a diary. In it, show how coordination issues affect your daily life.

Diagnostic assessments for dyspraxia will focus on movement skills. Many adults with dyspraxia have trouble with organisation, planning, and attention. They may also have symptoms of depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem. However, these are not core features of dyspraxia. But, these factors can be considered during a needs-based assessment (see below).

A medical assessment is an important part of the diagnostic process for dyspraxia. This is to rule out other possible causes of a person’s movement problems. These include cerebral palsy, a stroke, side effects of certain drugs, anxiety/depression, poor vision, or hearing loss. The GP will also consider if you have other conditions, such as ADHD, autism, depression, or anxiety. You can get support for these if needed.

The GP may refer you to an occupational therapist or physiotherapist. They will do this for further assessment and advice. If the GP has ruled out other conditions with similar movement difficulties, the OT or physio may be able to confirm a diagnosis of dyspraxia.

An assessment for the diagnosis of dyspraxia in adults over 18 should include:

  • A review of information provided by the adult. It may also review information from family members, employers, and tutors if appropriate. It will look at how movement difficulties affect routine daily tasks at home, at work, or in education. It will also cover leisure activities and being out and about.
  • The assessment covers coordination skills. It includes balance and posture, writing, and using tools and equipment.
  • A developmental history to confirm that movement difficulties were present from an early age and did not develop after an illness or injury.
  • A medical assessment to rule out other reasons for a person's movement issues.

Needs-based assessment

A needs-based assessment aims to find strategies, approaches, and tools that will help a person in their daily life. This includes their roles as a parent/carer, employee, employer, student, friend, etc. You do not need a formal dyspraxia diagnosis for a needs-based assessment. The assessment will consider a person’s strengths and difficulties in many areas. It won't just look at motor skills, which a diagnostic assessment for dyspraxia focuses on.

A needs-based assessment might focus on one aspect of a person’s life, for example, work or education. Identifying which aspect of life you want help with will help you work out who to approach for help.

Needs-based assessments can be carried out by

  • Occupational therapists (ask your GP for a referral)
  • Physiotherapists (ask your GP for a referral)
  • Clinical psychologists (ask your GP for a referral)
  • Mental health practitioners (ask your GP for a referral).
  • Specialist assessors/tutors (via your University/College learning support team)
  • Occupational psychologists (via your employer or Job Centre)
  • Disability employment advisors (via your employer or Job Centre)

A needs-based assessment is likely to consider how the following affect your daily life:

  • Balance, posture, ability to play sports, ride a bike, drive a car
  • Fine motor skills such as writing and the ability to handle tools and equipment
  • Organisation, planning and time management skills
  • Memory and attention
  • Sensory awareness and responsiveness
  • Self-esteem, confidence and well-being

A diagnosis of dyspraxia is not necessary to access a needs-based assessment. You must be clear about the aspect of daily life you want help with. Then, you can ask the right person or service for advice and support.

The Dyspraxia Foundation website includes many resources. They are to help you reach your potential in all areas of life. You can also contact our Helpline for further information and support.


Find out about the Dyspraxia Foundation and our mission.

Learn more

Help & Support

Find all the different ways the Dyspraxia Foundation can help and support you, from our helpline service, local groups and FAQs.

Learn more

News & Events

Find all the latest news from the dyspraxic community here, as well as upcoming events.

Learn more