Students with Dyspraxia

Dyspraxia, sometimes known as Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) is a type of Specific Learning Difficulty. It results in poor co-ordination of movement, often affecting speech, perception and thought.

The main characteristics of dyspraxia are:

  • Difficulties with gross-motor coordination, often meaning that dyspraxic people may find sports or physical activities particularly challenging
  • Difficulties with fine-motor coordination, often resulting in difficulties requiring fine, precision movements, such as handwriting
  • Clumsiness, as a result of coordination difficulties and problems with spatial and perceptual awareness
  • Problems with concentration; being easily distracted and finding it hard to do more than one thing at once
  • Speech and language difficulties, such as very quick and loud speech, difficulties with pronunciation, stuttering
  • Organisational difficulties such as remembering appointments, working to deadlines, selecting items needed to pack in a bag  
  • Difficulties with short-term memory and sequencing, resulting in difficulty remembering verbal instructions, difficulty taking notes in lectures, may frequently lose things
  • Social difficulties, such as maintaining relationships with peers, working in groups and experiencing low self-esteem
  • Sleeping difficulties

Strengths which dyspraxic people often display include:

  • Creative and original thinking
  • Strong problem-solving skills
  • Strategic thinking
  • Determination

It must be remembered that all dyspraxic people are different and will experience their dyspraxia in different ways and to differing levels.

Support for dyspraxic students

Students at the University of Leeds who have Dyspraxia (DCD) can access a variety of support services, subject to availability and suitability, without applying for any additional funding. 

These include:

  • Transition support to assist you in making the transition from school to university
  • modified examination arrangements, such as extra time, the use of a PC, the use of a separate room, a prompter, rest breaks etc
  • extended library loan facilities, so that you can borrow library books for longer
  • access to campus-based computers with assistive technology (including text-to-speech, mind-mapping and magnification software)
  • the loan of small items of equipment, such as recording devices
  • assistance in requesting copies of handouts or lecture presentations in advance from your department
  • term-time drop-in sessions to talk to member of staff in the Disability Team, from Monday to Friday, 12:30pm – 1:30pm during term time
  • term-time guidance appointments with a Disability Coordinator
  • advice and guidance to both you and your department about the impact of your condition on various study tasks, and how to accommodate this

To access a range of other support services, you will need to apply for additional funding.  Depending on your requirements, these services include:

  • a full assessment of your academic support needs
  • weekly study strategy support sessions with an experienced tutor
  • support from a Specialist Mentor to help you to stay on track with academic work, organise your studies and help you settle in to University life
  • personal assistant and/or note-taker support
  • the opportunity to attend relevant workshops
  • computer equipment or assistive software to support you in your studies
  • allowance for photocopying, printing, computing and recording consumables
  • allowance for travel costs if you are living away from campus and are unable to travel by public transport
  • contributions towards the cost of catered accommodation if you are not able to cook for yourself

You can find out more about funding this support here 

For more information contact:

Disability Team
0113 343 3927 or 

Evidence- diagnosis usually carried out by an occupational therapist or psychologist

Useful websites for further information:

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