Working with a client recently to help with his job search he told me that he has dyspraxia.

I wondered how this was impacting his working life as he had experienced some difficulties.  Dyspraxia wasn’t something  I knew much about so I’ve looked on line to find out more
A useful site includes details on adult symptoms of Dyspraxia can be found here.
These can include:

  • Poor balance
  • Poor hand-eye coordination
  • Lack of manual dexterity
  • Difficulty with typing, handwriting and drawing
  • Unclear speech and unable to pronounce some words
  • Tendency to be over sensitive to noise
  • May be unable to distinguish between left and right
  • Difficulty in planning and organising thought
  • Poor short-term memory
  • Accuracy problems
  • Difficulty in following instructions
  • May only do one thing at a time properly
  • May daydream and wander aimlessly
  • Tendency to opt out of things that are too difficult
  • Slow to adapt to unpredictable situations
  • Prone to low self esteem

I now have a much better understanding about my client and think that these symptoms are one of the reasons why he hasn’t stayed at a job. So, to be successful in a job he is going to need to educate a company.
Another site suggests that job seekers create a one or two page summary that they submit to companies along with application forms.
The following link should help you create something relevant to you:
Help and guidance for employees:
Help and guidance for employers:
If you have dyspraxia how do you deal with it at interview and what impact has this had on your career?  You can use the ‘add comment’ link below
A reader suggested some additional resources,
Tenants Rights and Housing Assistance for the Disabled
Managing Your Child’s Transition to Adulthood
Transition to Adulthood: Home Remodeling for Young Adults with Special Needs
Special Needs Checklist: How Disability-Friendly is Your City?
The 9 Most Hazardous Chemicals for People With Special Needs
Vocational Training for Adults with Special Needs
These are from Christy of wondermoms.org

Published On: June 12th, 2010 / Categories: Students and Graduates / Tags: , /

23 Comments

  1. Suzi October 5, 2013 at 10:34 pm - Reply

    I have dyspraxia, however I was only diagnosed a few years ago after going back to uni as a mature student. I was was worried as I had failed an attempt to get a degree many years before. I uni though they concentrate more on dyslexia (which I also have but it is secondary) and they provided support specifically for that.
    In work however, I have struggled for years. I always suspected I was dyslexic, but the profile never completely fit. I had very poor self esteem due to struggling to form friendships in primary school, people couldn’t relate to me and I always wondered why they were always picking on me. I had an explosive temper and my parents tried to get school to address the bullying but all school saw was me giving as good as I got, in fact, it must have always seemed that I was the trouble maker.
    Educationally, in primary school, I was way ahead of everyone else but once I got to secondary I started to struggle. I’d just got used to the way things were in primary. I made more friends but I struggled to organise my homework and which books I needed for each day. I had nightmares about being late for class or getting lost or losing my timetable so I wouldn’t know which class to go to. As a result I over-prepared all my planning tasks but didn’t do homework and regularly forgot books and equipment. But initially I felt proud, because I was working hard and making the effort. Or at least I thought so until the reports and parents evenings. Basically, they all said one thing – “very bright, intelligent girl but must try harder”, “has a lot of potential but is lazy”, “spends too much time staring out of the window but remarkable gets very good results in test”.
    I got great GCSE’s – mainly B’s, some C’s and a G in a subject that was all coursework.
    A-levels were worse, but I couldn’t figure out why until years later. Apparently I was supposed to have done a lot of extra reading, but no one had ever told me nor had they said which books to read. Everyone else seemed to know. I got 2 E’s and a D and I had to drop out of one subject half way through so did an AS -level but got a D.
    Getting into Uni wasn’t a problem, the year I left 6th form, most uni’s were undersubscribed. After a lot of persuasion from my parents, I rang a uni in London and arranged an interview. Despite my nervousness and lack of belief in myself (I had failed all my a-levels!), I was extremely good at interview and they accepted me.
    And this is where I think some of my coping mechanisms come in. Despite struggling social in my early life, once I started to learn what was expected (I loved reading books and also psychology and anthropology), I was able to “pretend” I was doing okay. I’ve been the same in interview all through my life. Yes, I go over and over all the things I missed (or didn’t miss, but think I missed because my short term memory is awful and I often completely blank out the most stressful periods – trauma?) but I’m nearly 40. I’ve worked in many jobs (many of which I was under qualified for – yet perfectly capable of doing) and I have never failed an interview, I have always got the job.
    I’ve panicked over them and stressed about them but when I’m there being asked the questions, I seem to be able to get my point across.
    Yet if you asked me if I was good at interviews, I would say no. Usually if I’m put on the spot, I stall and stutter, or at least that’s what I remember,
    I must be doing something right.
    However, in work, I need constant reassurance, clear guidelines, procedures, structure and targets. I second guess myself all the time. I still over-prepare – leading people to believe I am very organised but wondering why I don’t actually appear to be doing any work.
    I have come to the conclusion that since I am constantly second guessing myself and people appear to think I am slow and lazy, I start to believe that and this makes it difficult to apply for new jobs. I also struggle with the application forms and this is usually my stumbling block. I used to constantly tell myself I couldn’t do it. But the fact is I can! Just differently to everyone else – and I addition to that – I often do it better, even if it takes time. Unfortunately the working world (and the educational world ) is not patient. They struggle to get their heads round dyslexia (seeing it as simply a spelling and reading issue) never mind dyspraxia which is even more hidden (seeing it as something that makes you clumsy). Yes, it is but unfortunately it is more than that.
    I have started to have more faith in myself. I have faced challenges minute by minute that no one knows about and many struggle to understand and yet I am where I am. I have a good job, a great marriage, I’ve bought a house, I pay bills, I can cook (takes a while ;)), and much more.
    Sometimes I feel I could have achieved better, after all I have an IQ of 129. If I was “normal” (whatever that is), maybe.
    But I’m not – why shouldn’t I be proud.
    I look back an see through my life, it’s not that I couldn’t do things (like interviews), it’s just I believed I couldn’t and I thought other believed I couldn’t too. It was all my own lack of self-esteem but I’ve learned that I don’t need self-esteem – I shouldn’t be comparing myself to other, who haven’t had the challenges I’ve faced (they’ve had their own challenges). I need self-compassion, accepting my self for who I am, accepting that I will make mistakes, that I am not perfect (and neither is anyone else) and being the best I can, looking back and seeing what I’ve achieved with what I have.
    —-
    As far as interviews go though – I’ve learned to take each question as it comes, split them down in to smaller parts, not be afraid to ask them to repeat the question (several times sometimes – just tell them you’re being thorough so you don’t miss anything out), take notes if needed, pause at the end of your answer (to stop them butting in say “and…” Or “let me just make sure I’ve answered to question… Yes, I think I have”), try not to feel rushed (just be aware that under pressure we can’t sense time – everything appears to be in fast forward), think up a few questions to ask them before hand, I always opt for something about opportunities for self development, etc.. And thank them for their time at the end. Dyspraxics new to interviews need to feel fully prepared, we hate the unknown (it’s not like you get the questions the day before) we don’t deal well with surprise, but we can always pretend if put on the spot (even if we distract by changing the subject). However, it’s always good to remind us that we do have that ability and that we will do well.

    • Denise Taylor June 26, 2015 at 3:49 am - Reply

      Hi Suzi. David who comments later wants to get in touch with you. A comment to his comment will get the message to him, I hope. I can act as a go between but don’t want you posting your email here

    • Amy November 21, 2017 at 10:18 pm - Reply

      I completely identify with all you have said, I'm 26 and I was only diagnosed last year. I've struggled with a lot of the same issues, were I am working at the moment I'm facing issues in that I don't k ow strategies to use, so I'm asking for help but when asked what I need I've no idea what to say. I have a very small circle of friends and have like zero social skills.  It's been picked up at work I play with my hair which is something I've always Done, and sometimes do absent mindedly I also have anxiety so unsure this is due to that or dyspraxia, but I've been told it's unprofessional and I've no idea how to stop this, and when I'm trying to focus I put my hands on my head when I'm struggeling.

      • Denise Taylor November 22, 2017 at 6:56 am - Reply

        Hi Amy, at work it might be worth talking with your HR department to see what support they can provide. There are some organisations that are meant to be helpful and it's worth searching to see if there are forums. There's probably several and/or facebook groups

        All the best, Denise

         

  2. Denise Taylor October 6, 2013 at 7:33 am - Reply

    Thanks for sharing, I’m sure people will find this really helpful.
    I’m very pleased you shared the techniques that work for you.
    For questions at the end of the interview you could write them down and then refer to them. One last concern for you.
    All the best, Denise

  3. Angelina Reilly December 19, 2014 at 1:39 pm - Reply

    Hi Suzi,
    I’ve never left a comment before reading something before but just had to say thank you now. I’ve never read anything about dyspraxia really. Like you I was diagnosed as a mature student and although initially intrigued quickly managed to turn it into another thing to have low self esteem about.
    I’m amazed how similar our school years sound!
    Anyway, thank you. It’s given me a lot to think about.

    • Denise Taylor June 25, 2015 at 9:28 pm - Reply

      I am so pleased to provide a space for Suzi to share. All the best to you, Denise

  4. David June 25, 2015 at 5:29 pm - Reply

    I have to say i found your piece very enlightning Suzy I am 33 was only diagnosed in last few years. And have had a lot of similiar experiences Ive had the same job for a while and seem to be going through a bad phase at the moment. But reading pieces like yours is very inspirational and I will get back on top of things thank you.

    • Denise Taylor June 25, 2015 at 9:29 pm - Reply

      I am so pleased to provide a space for Suzi to share. I’m very pleased it has been helpful to you David, Best wishes, Denise

  5. David June 25, 2015 at 10:28 pm - Reply

    Thanks so much Denise I would like to Contact Suzi if at all possible is there anyway I could get her contact details.

    • Denise Taylor June 26, 2015 at 3:50 am - Reply

      Just posted a reply to Suzi s earlier message. She will get notified.

  6. Abdul July 6, 2015 at 7:28 am - Reply

    I am 36 years old. I have dyspraxia, aspergers traits(borderline asperger syndrome) both diagnosed in adulthood.
    I have GCSEs, A Levels, including an A in Maths A Level. I have a BSc(Hons) in Mathematics & Computer Science, PGDip in Financial Maths related. In 2008, I obtained a Professional Qualification in Statistics in 2008. I did not do very well at university, because I was undiagnosed with Dyspraxia.
    I want to become a Statisician/Data Analyst. I could never to get into Finance. It is too hard, to get a permanent job in IT, due to outsourcing and workers using cheap workers. I doubt, they will take a person in their late 30s.
    I do not have a very good work history.
    I cannot undertake manual work or retail work, because I am clumsy.
    I passed my driving test after 10 attempts in a manual car, I am scared of new roads !!!
    I am slow, so administration jobs are unsuitable. I have worked in some call centres but I could not work in a call centre all my life, I can have problems remembering instructions and multi-tasking. Call centre work is temporary/casual, employers are generally not supportive. I get tired easily, especially commuting long distances. Over the years, call centre jobs have declined. Many non – graduate jobs, I am over-qualified for.
    Graduate jobs are very competitive, I am not considered a recent graduate. I always failed assessment centres for companies such as Prudential, Unilever, Tesco etc. A few psychometric tests are problematic.
    I have undertaken work in IT/Maths Tutoring, Telemarketing/Market Research/Traffic Survey, Research Assistant.
    I am doing unpaid data analysis work.
    It is easier to get work in London.
    How do I get a stable, well paid job, given my dyspraxia, aspergers traits(only I do not have brilliant communication skills) ?
    When I am 40 year old, am I almost finished.
    I know people with dyspraxia, they have problems with work, they can be unemployed or underemployed. Aspergers sufferers generally do not know what to. I cannot get support for aspergers traits.
    Society is ignorant of Autism Spectrum Disorders and Asperger Syndrome, but support for dyspraxia is much worse.
    There is a lot more support for children, often controlled by parents, it is harder for people who are diagnosed in adulthood.

    • Denise Taylor July 6, 2015 at 7:34 am - Reply

      Hi, thanks for sharing. I’m not an expert in this area.
      Have you contacted the relevant bodies- dyspraxia society etc to find out what help they can offer?
      Denise

  7. Abdul July 6, 2015 at 7:46 am - Reply

    DANDA is good, but they lack resources. The Dyspraxia Foundation has little useful information. Key4Learning ran a useful few workshops, but it does not help a lot. The National Autistic Society had Prospects, which was based in London, but they shut down. It is suited to aspergers /autism sufferers, not for neuro-diverse sufferers, borderline cases. Their understanding of dyspraxia was not good. Often, people were placed in adminstration jobs in London.
    The job centre were useless, rude or ignorant.

    • Denise Taylor August 1, 2017 at 8:12 am - Reply

      Hi Abdul – sorry not to have replied earlier, I missed the notification. I’m not an expert in this area. I think it can be helpful to be clear on where you strengths lie and aim for something related to that, work wise,

  8. Mari August 1, 2017 at 6:22 am - Reply

    Hi
    I’m 56 and diagnosed a couple of years ago with Dyspraxia. I always knew there was a problem. I work in admin, much slower than anyone else, forget things and appear to be very slow. I second guess everything and can’t remember every detail of every task, or every implication of ticking every box on a database. I get confused and muddled. I am extremely organised yet can’t get the work done in time.
    My last 3 jobs have all reached the stage where I have been invited to a meeting, shown all the complaints/mistakes about my work and asked what I want to do. I have felt each time that they are clearly cornering me into resigning-to be fair, I can see their point.
    Yesterday I had my last time of a meeting like that. I’d been making mistakes, costing them huge amounts of money, missing important deadlines and not getting through the work fast enough. I did tell the manager that I’d asked for notes on how to do the job, that the training wasn’t enough, and that there wasn’t any support. However, in this day and age no company can provide that level of support. One really important aspect of the job was emailed to me, but never followed up, and didn’t get done in time. I did feel that if this was so important and costing the company so much money, I should have been told and chased well before the deadline had passed.
    I have recently done audiotyping. I was good at it and enjoyed it, so I’m going to stick with that. I have promised myself not to put myself through the stress and misery of trying to keep any other kind of job. I have started my own craft business and hope to develop that, but it won’t be in time to pay the bills. I have started drawing some of my pension just to survive.
    I find temp work usually better as I’m usually only asked to do one job.
    At home, I have a husband with a mental illness (though he can hold down a job more than me), son who is autistic and a 10 year old daughter who is incessantly demanding, never happy and constantly pressurising me about all the millions of things she isn’t happy with. Time to start being kind to myself I think!

    • Denise Taylor August 1, 2017 at 7:50 am - Reply

      Hi Mari,
      Thanks for writing about your experience, I’m sorry it has been such a tough time at work. HR should provide more support to people with a disability. It can be the best choice, to choose something within your comfort zone and that you enjoy.
      All the very best with your craft business, it could bring in some side income.
      Do come over to my other website – http://www.the50pluscoach.co.uk/

  9. Mari November 22, 2017 at 5:21 pm - Reply

    Hi Everyone
    At long last, peace in my life. I have gone back to Audiotyping as I only have one job to do at a time. The Gods are on my side, there is a shortage of Audiotypists so I'm much in demand. By a freak turn of events, I've ended up in an office all by myself – usually it's 9 or 10 people squashed into a small room. I'm typing for different teams so always get written instructions which I can print out and refer to.
    HR is totally and utterly useless. in my previous role they could not find any job suited to me, having spend thousands on getting me diagnosed. The best advise in my whole life, I got from a temp agency. They told me to think what jobs had gone well, and only have those skills on my CV so now I don't get into any jobs I can't do.. I had long forgotten that I could audiotype. 
     
    There is a modern trait with employers, to get in young people and combine 3 full time jobs into 1. The result is that there is an 85% increase in stress consultations at GPs. I now avoid any jobs that mention working under pressure, tight deadlines,confliciting priorities etc, they basically point to a life of hell for anyone, not just me. 

    • Denise Taylor November 22, 2017 at 10:01 pm - Reply

      Hi Mari, this is a great story, I’m pleased you are able to play to your strengths and find a role where you are happy, and not stressed. Sorry to hear that HR haven’t been helpful.

  10. Peter Heywood May 17, 2018 at 10:57 am - Reply

    I am 52 year old Male who has dyslexia and dyspraxia and Struggle with Computer and applying for jobs . Due to my Disability i find that Employers do not understand what i go through copying with jobs .

    • Denise Taylor May 17, 2018 at 3:16 pm - Reply

      Hi Peter, I’m not an expert in this area but this article has resonated with many. Some employers are more receptive and perhaps getting to talk with the HR department as you apply will mean they can make ‘reasonable adjustments’ at interview.

  11. Tricia Combs August 15, 2018 at 5:02 pm - Reply

    Hi, I am 50 years old and have two sons with dyslexia. My younger son has had more challenges than my older. He has had struggles and sensory issues that I have also had my entire life however, I had no struggle with reading and writing. People tried to get us to medicate him for add as well but I knew this was not the real issue or struggle. I have always wanted to go back and finish school. My dream if I would have had the courage or belief in myself when I was younger would have been to be a naturopath and Accupuncturist. So now at 50, I have gone back to school to become a massage therapist with the idea of going into other healing modalities with it such as cranial and META work. However, since that first massage class, it all cane flooding back to how un coordinated I am and how I can’t remeber sequences and how I have to do something a hundred times to maybe almost get it when it comes to body movements, confusing left from right, ect. Mind you, I know this was always with me but found ways to compensate or just avoid all together because I knew I couldn’t do it. I am determined to get through this program but the struggle is real and people don’t get it. Never did. In fact, I never understood it until I did all the research with my younger son and started to put the pieces together for myself. I am feeling like I might be crazy going to massage school!! Who in their right mind with these challenges would go to massage school?!! It is not my end goal but I have to go through all the steps to get where I am going. Just needed a place to exhale.

    • Denise Taylor August 15, 2018 at 5:11 pm - Reply

      I wish you well for your course. It may be worth telling the tutors as they may be able to make some adjustments. All the best, Denise

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