19 Symptoms Of Dyspraxia That Aren’t Just “Being Clumsy”

1. You Have Other Coordination Issues

Some people are just accident-prone. If you have dyspraxia, however, you might notice that other things feel “off”: Maybe you struggle to hold a pencil, or maybe you don’t like crossing your midline (e.g. putting on your left shoe with your right hand).

If you have dyspraxia, it’s likely that your “motor coordination deficits interfere significantly and consistently with age-appropriate activities of daily living as well as school, work and play,” explains Dole. “These challenges would have their onset in childhood.”

Often, people with dyspraxia find specific tasks unbearably difficult. I can’t snap my fingers and I can’t dive; my father, who also has dyspraxia, can’t ride a bike. My brother is athletic, but doesn’t like to rely on the left side of his body — just the right. Some people with dyspraxia find it impossible to tie their shoelaces; Daniel Radcliffe, who told The Daily Mail back in 2008 that he has dyspraxia, moaned at the time,”Why, oh why, has Velcro not taken off?”

2. You Find It Hard To Concentrate

Research into developmental disorders takes into account the “high comorbidity” of dyspraxia and ADHD, meaning that many people with one also show symptoms of the other. (Some experts believe this “comorbidity” is as high as 50 percent.) “There is a great deal of overlap and co-existing occurrence of various learning difficulties or disabilities, and problems of motor coordination,” agrees Dole.

Finding it hard to focus is a hallmark of ADHD, and it’s a common struggle for people with dyspraxia as well. For me, this shows up in specific situations: I can curl up in a corner and read a book for hours, for example, but I know that I can’t watch more than a few minutes of a movie I don’t like, or literally any kind of sports match, without getting jumpy and distracted.

3. You Get Lost Easily

In my sophomore year of college, all of my roommates bought their groceries from the supermarket a ten-minute walk from our home — but you had to take a Z-shaped route to get there, and I kept getting lost. Eventually, I figured out that if I took a right turn after leaving our house and walked straight down that road for 35 minutes, there was another supermarket. I never tried to go to the closer one again.

Don’t get me wrong: Many people with dyspraxia do find it easier than that to get from A to B. Still, if you’re going out of your way to avoid getting lost yet again, you might want to consider whether something’s going on.

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