Dyspraxia Queries
I hear from many people wanting to know more about dyspraxia, or share their experiences of being dyspraxic.

For businesses and organisations wanting speaking or training, I aim to reply within two working days. I can't always promise to reply quickly to non-business messages: it depends what I'm up to and work always has to take priority. But I try my very best. I do read and appreciate every message.

Please note I am not qualified to diagnose dyspraxia, or give medical or legal advice. I also can't give individual advice about careers or relationships, except at speaking events/Q&As. The following UK websites may help you:

  • The Dyspraxia Foundation and Dyspraxia UK have information on getting a diagnosis of dyspraxia.
  • The website Dyslexia A2Z has a searchable UK-wide directory of professionals who support those with SpLDs, including educational psychologists and specialist schools/tutors.
  • Disability Law has advice on disability and the law 
Some common questions:

  • Where/when were you diagnosed? Where can I get a diagnosis as an adult?

I was diagnosed age 21 in 2005 by Dr Liam Brown, Clinical Psychologist at Oriel Business Psychology, employed by Durham University, where I was studying at the time. A diagnosis is normally carried out by an educational/clinical psychologist, occupational therapist or consultant neurologist. Your options will depend on where you live and whether you are studying or in work. If you're studying, your university or College's Disability Centre should assess you, at a reduced rate. If you're in work, your employer may be able to arrange and pay for an assessment. A simple Google search should help you find qualified assessors. Two reputable ones I've spoken with at events are Carol Leather and Dr David Grant, author of That's The Way I Think: Dyslexia, Dyspraxia and ADHD Explained.

  • What are the best careers for someone with dyspraxia?

Though all dyspraxic people are similar, no two are the same. Dyspraxics will all have different backgrounds, interests and qualifications, and no one career will suit everybody. Dyspraxics themselves are often (not always, but often) the best judges of their own strengths and limitations.

  • Do you do workplace assessments for dyspraxia? 
I don't carry out individual workplace assessments or arrange Reasonable Adjustments. I know of several firms who do, mostly based in the South East of England.
  • Where can I get counselling?

In England, free therapy is available through the NHS's Healthy Minds programme. This is often short-term, limited to 6-12 sessions, and uses a very specific approach known as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). Some people find CBT helps control their negative thoughts associated with dyspraxia, others find it too basic and limiting as it focuses on the present and not how past events may have influenced certain behaviour. Groops is a North London-based counselling centre specialising in dyslexia and other SpLDs. The British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy's website (BACP) has a searchable directory of private psychotherapists, where you can narrow your search to counsellors who specialise in "Disability." Some private therapies have bursaries for those on a low income. It is always worth mentioning your dyspraxia when you arrange therapy as some therapists are very knowledgeable of it and others are not. If you need to talk to someone immediately, please visit Samaritans UK or call 08457 90 90 90.

  • Will you help me sell my story about dyspraxia? / Will you write a piece about me?  

If you'd like some help telling your story to the media, here are some tips:

- Read different newspapers, magazines and websites to get an idea of where the story might fit. Magazines that publish pieces on dyspraxia include education, society and healthy sections as well as specialist health/disability/education titles.

- Find out the name of the features editor or commissioning editor.

- Think of a catchy headline and use this as your email subject to get their attention, along with "feature pitch" or "story pitch." e.g "Feature pitch: "The boy who couldn't catch a ball".

This blog by journalist, PR coach and speaker Janet Murray has some useful advice on how to sell your story to journalists or get publicity for your event. It's aimed at PR professionals but works just as well for anyone else trying to get media coverage.

If you'd like me to write a piece, please get in touch. 

  • How do I get publicity for my event related to dyspraxia? 

In order for a newspaper to write about your event they need a story to go with it. For example, if you are running a scheme to help dyspraxic young people in the workplace they will need someone who is prepared to talk about their experience of being dyspraxic at work and how your scheme has helped (or hopes to help). Sponsored events for charity can be hard to publicise because so many people do them. In order to stand out, you need to show that what you're doing is a greater challenge for you than most because you have dyspraxia.

  • I'm doing an event related to dyspraxia. Can you retweet? 

Yes. You should also contact the Dyspraxia Foundation and Dyspraxia UK if you haven't already. 

  • I'm making a documentary/film/item about dyspraxia, can I talk to you?

Yes. But please only contact me when you've got a serious chance of being funded and a proper schedule, not just an idea. I've been to a few meetings about kickstarter documentaries that have never been made. I don't work in TV or film so unfortunately I can't help you find funding or producers.

  • What's the best school for a child with dyspraxia? Is it better to go private?

The best school for a child with dyspraxia is probably a school which encourages tolerance, has good pastoral care and, preferably, understands dyspraxia (not just dyslexia). It's best not to generalise about the state or private sector: there are plenty of good and bad schools in both.

  • I'm trying to contact [person with dyspraxia]. Can you help?

 If they're a speaker or trainer, I may know them (but Google is probably quicker). For celebrities, you'll need to get in touch with their agent or PR rep.