Is an Adult Dyspraxia/DCD NHS diagnosis possible?
We have interviewed several dyspraxic adults to share how different each person's experiences are and what some of the similarities may be. No two people are the same, even if they share some similarities like eye colour, home town, neurotype, disability, dress sense, educational level, etc.
Lea Marsden Harvey, from the UK, discovered that she was dyspraxic within the last year at age 32. Like many other late-discovered dyspraxics, Lea struggled to get a diagnosis. "My GP tried to support me with a diagnosis but was refused several times by the NHS and too expensive for me to get a private diagnosis."
While the NHS can provide access to diagnosis, like other services (such as mental health services) it can be like a 'postcode lottery'. This means, that depending on where you are in the country, depends on whether or not you can obtain a free diagnosis. Unfortunately, no such data is available as to which counties can offer one. If you also face such issues we advise looking into The Right to Choose scheme. Click this link to go to Psychiatry UK's website to find out more. Please bare in mind that Dyspraxia/DCD is not a listed diagnosis offered by their services but if you talk to your GP they may be able to support you further and liaise with them on your behalf, this is not guaranteed to be successful, but it's worth a try. Visit the NHS website here for more info on adult dyspraxia/DCD diagnoses here.
Lea shared with us that for work she is a HR Partner and Yoga Teacher. When asked if she received or felt like she could benefit from any reasonable adjustment she said she did not feel that she needed any.
Having hobbies that focus on both physical and mental wellbeing is important for having a balanced healthy lifestyle. Here at Dyspraxia Magazine we encourage you to find
hobbies that work for you, whether it's some light gardening and reading a book or in Lea's case, a spot of surfing. Lea was able to give us an insight into how dyspraxia affects her hobbies:
"Yoga - difficulty with left and right but has helped me improve my body awareness.
Knitting and sewing - I find written instructions with these very difficult so tend to pay for video tuition.
Surfing - has taken me a considerable amount of time to learn to surf and I still get frustrated when my body can’t learn something physically new fast."
We asked Lea, if you could give a piece of advice to your younger self, what would it be?
"Be gentle and kind to yourself. Yes, you are different to other people but your differences are what make you beautifully unique."
There can be many positives, and acknowledging those positives does not need to come at the expense of ignoring the challenges one can face. Something many dyspraxics in our community are very passionate about.
With the mention of the dyspraxia community, Lea encourages other dyspraxics to "Find others with dyspraxia, share experiences and you can feel less alone."
There are a number of online communities that are reachable via Facebook, Reddit, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok and more!
We recommend some of the below Facebook groups, but you can find more using the search function in the Facebook app.
DYSPRAXIA - Dyspraxic Adults Surviving in a non-Dyspraxic world