Recruitment Questions: Dyspraxia in the Workplace

December 7, 2016

Having dyspraxia, also known as developmental coordination disorder (DCD), can have quite an impact on your work, applications for jobs and work-life balance. Struggling with the coordination of movement makes it harder to sit in an office and to carry out tasks such as typing or handwriting notes or texts. The impact dyspraxia has on executive functioning can also lead to getting lost in unfamiliar surroundings, thoughts trailing off in the middle of a task, or forgetting about the schedule of the day. But what can make work easier for you?

What can help?

Don’t be discouraged! There are lots of helpful strategies to overcome problems in work, some of which we have summarised below:

  • If you have a stable working environment, maybe your own office, or desk, or classroom, try and establish a stable system of where you put what.
  • Boxes with labels for books or tasks that need to be completed can be helpful, or try using folders with clear labels, organising paper on your desk into stacks and by urgency or topic.
  • It may be helpful to keep a notepad or diary where you can jot down any to-do’s or questions that come up during the day, so that you have a record of what you need to do and don’t forget them by the end of the day.

A tidy desk can help your focus.

  • Make lists and schedules for your day and week and keep them in easily visible places so that they can remind you of what is happening.
  • Schedule reminders in your phone or computer for things that you might easily forget – like logging in and out of the work computers, having lunch on time, going to meetings, calling someone…
  • Put things back where they belong: If your files, papers and desk supplies are always in the same spot it won’t take you long to find them when you need them!

There are so many strategies that can help and that will make life easier for you. The best thing to do is try lots of different things and identify what helps you the most. That can be very individual and it is important that you are happier and that the adjustments you use actually help you!

Help and Support

Have a look at the following books if you feel like reading more about this topic:

Dyspraxia – Developmental Co-ordination Disorder by Amanda Kirby

Caged in Chaos: A Dyspraxic Guide to Breaking Free by Victoria Biggs

The Dyspraxic Learner: Strategies for Success by Alison Patrick

Or try the recommendations for reading from the Dyspraxia Foundation

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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