Since a young age, I have always been more clumsy and uncoordinated than my friends, especially when it came to sports. Throughout school I was quite happy and achieved good grades but always found it hard to keep up with everyone when we were reading or carrying out written exercises. I have always been a ‘sensitive soul’ and up until the last few years found that I got stressed quite easily. Before my diagnosis of Dyspraxia, I didn’t think there could be a reason for any of these things. I always thought they were just “Becca’ traits” but when I went to university I was diagnosed with the learning difficulty Dyspraxia.
This came as quite a shock as my family and I had never really thought that I might have a learning difficulty. I was quite slow at producing work at school but none of my teachers thought there was any need for me to be tested. I have since found out that most of them were, and still are, unaware of Dyspraxia. It wasn’t until I went to college at 16 that I was informed I had a slow writing speed and qualified for extra time on exams. This lead to me being tested at university as they needed to check I still qualified for the extra time!
In a nutshell, Dyspraxia is a “developmental coordination disorder” which can affect people’s fine and gross motor coordination. In addition to this people with Dyspraxia may have problems with organisation and planning, spatial awareness, processing, speech, and performing everyday movements in the correct order. Dyspraxia can therefore also impact on people’s emotions, behaviour and sense of wellbeing. No two Dyspraxic people will be affected in the same way.
For me Dyspraxia affects my writing, multitasking, spatial awareness and coordination. My diagnosis came later than others. I was 20 when I got diagnosed but some people go their whole lives without knowing they have a learning difficulty. I guess you could say there are both pros and cons to being formally diagnosed. My diagnosis has frustrated me at times as I sometimes feel it highlights my flaws but it has also helped me to understand myself more. When I find certain tasks difficult now, I can take a step back and work out a way around it. Also, the diagnosis got me some learning support at university. It was helpful having a tutor I could go to help me improve my study skills and to help structure my thoughts for essays.
I would like this post to raise some awareness of Dyspraxia as I don’t think that many people have heard of it. It would be amazing if more people knew about Dyspraxia and understood what it was. Dyspraxia and other learning difficulties should not be looked on as a negative, they should help you to recognise what you might find more difficult than others and how you can move forward, possibly with some support if you need it. My diagnosis of Dyspraxia has highlighted what I struggle with but has also helped me to appreciate my strengths in other areas such as creative subjects, being highly organised and working with others!
Thank you very much to John for giving me the opportunity to share my story with a wider audience!
If you would like to find out more about this subject you can go to the Dyspraxia section on my blog:
or the Dyspraxia Foundation website: