Dyspraxia and Myths: The hidden condition
May 1, 2019 - Daniel Aherne
In the first of our series aimed at tackling misconceptions about neurodiverse conditions, we focus on dyspraxia and myths.
Myth: Dyspraxia is just another word for being clumsy
Fact: As with other neurodiverse conditions including ADHD, autism and dyslexia, dyspraxia is a wide-ranging condition that affects different people in different ways. Yes, dyspraxia can often affects both gross and fine motor skills, but it can also affect orientation, organisational and sequencing skills. As always, though, it’s dangerous to make assumptions. Watch England rugby star Ellis Genge – who speaks openly about his dyspraxia – scything through his opponents and you’ll struggle to find any evidence of poor coordination…
Myth: Dyspraxia is incredibly rare, isn’t it?
Fact: Far from it. One of the reasons we wanted to focus on dyspraxia and myths was that its such an unrecognised condition. It’s thought that dyspraxia affects around 5% of the UK population, which is as many as 3.3 million people in the UK. Which is about the same size as the population of Wales! Dyspraxia doesn’t have the media profile that other neurodiverse conditions receive and therefore doesn’t receive the public recognition it deserves, despite celebrities like Singer Florence Welch, actor Daniel Radcliffe and legendary photographer David Bailey being dyspraxic.
“It’s thought that dyspraxia affects around 5% of the UK population, which is as many as 3.3 million people in the UK. Which is about the same size as the population of Wales!”
Myth: Dyspraxia affects intelligence
Fact: This old chestnut comes up time and time again in connection with neurodiverse conditions and – guess what? – it’s simply not true. There’s no connection between dyspraxia and intelligence, and people with the dyspraxia often have attributes that make them extremely valuable to employers including great communication skills, high levels of creativity and the ability to think outside the box. Many dyspraxic people described themselves as tenacious too! Ellis Genge puts his success down to sheer determination not to let his symptoms get in the way.
“people with the dyspraxia often have attributes that make them extremely valuable to employers including great communication skills”
Myth: We can cure dyspraxia
Fact: There’s no cure for dyspraxia and crucially we are not looking for one. Neurodiversity is the celebration and acceptance that we all think differently. At Adjust we passionately believe that the more employers understand neurodiversity and play to the strengths of their employees, the more productive they will become. However, simple workplace adjustments like providing clear signs in your office, more desk space, mind-mapping software and the time to plan a working week can really ensure you are supporting employees with dyspraxia to reach their full potential in the workplace.