Recruitment Questions: How Dyspraxia is an Asset for Employees and Employers

December 6, 2016

While a position with lots of pressure, a busy workplace with lots of demands at once, and jobs that require high levels of motor skills may feel too challenging or overwhelming, there are many fields in which people with dyspraxia can excel. And practise also helps! Most of all, however, this article will focus on what people with dyspraxia are especially good at and how that can make them an asset for their employer.

What makes people with dyspraxia different?

There has been little research on this topic so far, but some researchers have identified the following strengths in people with dyspraxia – and many people will have found these themselves, or you can read about them in one of the many blogs (for example Dyspraxic Fantastic) you can find online about the topic:

  • Creativeness – people with dyspraxia are often very crafty in solving problems and come up with completely new ways to tackle an issue. They can also be inventive and come up with many original ideas.
  • Lateral, holistic, conceptual and strategic thinking are some of the cognitive strengths that can be more pronounced in people with dyspraxia. That means they approach problems in different ways compared to people without dyspraxia, and think in unique ways. This can be very helpful when tackling new and unknown topics and challenges.

Clever Brains

  • People with dyspraxia are often very good at developing new ways for themselves to learn or to carry out their work. Not only can this inspire others, but they may also come up with much more advanced end products. And it is no surprise that people with dyspraxia learn through experience how to overcome lots of obstacles.
  • People who don’t know what dyspraxia is might only see the clumsiness and messy writing – but people with dyspraxia are not stupid! In fact, they’re just as clever as everyone else. And they tend to have superior verbal intelligence which means that they are great at explaining things verbally, thinking of stories or poems, and can understand language easily.
  • Determination – once a person with dyspraxia has set their mind to something they will carry it out until it’s done and done well!
  • Their pronounced attention to detail can mean that the people with dyspraxia are actually the best ones picking up on small problems in a product that can then be fixed before it’s too late.
  • Being clumsy and becoming the centre of attention with others wondering how on earth you landed on the floor despite sitting in a comfy chair can be awkward – but many people with dyspraxia develop a wonderful and clever sense of humour.
  • People with dyspraxia are often very empathic and helpful towards others.
  • Motivation: If someone with dyspraxia wants to do something, there will be endless supplies of motivation for them to get it done.

How can employers benefit?

This question should be easy to answer after reading the list above: having motivated and determined employees who can come up with new and better solutions to problems and who will notice even miniscule mistakes – what else could an employer want?!
It is important that you sell these strengths of yours to your employer. They need to know what might go wrong but they need to know even more about how you tackle these difficulties and how you make up for them ten times over through being an excellent problem solver and inventor of new ideas. Let them know that you are a hardworking and determined person, and that you can tackle any challenge life may throw your way.

Let your skills shine.

It may be useful to consider which fields your strengths can shine in most. Working somewhere that requires a lot of muscle work and coordination may not be the right thing for you but instead you’re very good at getting stuck in a topic and find out everything there is to know about it? Or you can design the most creative plans and products? Find something that you love to do and then find a job within this field. If you already know what you want to do and are worrying about applying and interviews, there is some good advice to be found on the Dyspraxia Foundation Website.

Employers should be able to make adjustments to help you – like providing databases online so you can’t lose paperwork, or providing helpful tools such as pencil grips and writing slopes for your desk. It’s best to discuss with them what you want and need to make sure you can work to the best of your abilities.

To conclude: Dyspraxia is not just something that makes movement more difficult. It is also and foremost a new perspective on things, and enables you to bring lots of amazing new ideas into a workplace – something employers will love to see!

The Dyscovery Centre offers workplace assessments and support to adjust your workplace to your needs. We can also offer support and counselling if you are looking for work, want to develop your skills or need general advice on how a learning difficulty can affect your working life.

This is an ongoing series of how developmental difficulties can affect working life and how to tackle them. Look out for the next article!

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Tagged: adolescence adult dyscovery dyspraxia education employment