Getting a Dyspraxia Diagnosis in the UK
3 Mar 2023
Dyspraxia is a learning difficulty that affects an individual’s ability to plan and coordinate movement. Approximately 6% of the population has dyspraxia. Read on to understand why someone might seek a diagnosis and the process they would have to go through.
Why might someone want a dyspraxia diagnosis?
People might seek a diagnosis for different reasons. Often, a formal diagnosis can make it easier to access support and accommodations in their place of work, study or other settings. Additionally, a diagnosis might help someone understand why they may be struggling with certain tasks and provide insight into how to manage and overcome those challenges. This knowledge can help build self-awareness and self-esteem, by understanding the reason behind their struggles.
Observation and research
Understanding your traits, as well as those associated with dyspraxia, can help you decide whether or not to seek a diagnosis. It can also prepare you to communicate effectively with your GP. Think about taking these steps to do this:
1️⃣ Explore whether you have symptoms that fit the profile of dyspraxia by using Noetic’s screeners.
2️⃣ Reflect on your own experiences and find examples of when you may or may not have fit the signs and symptoms of dyspraxia and how it might have impacted your daily life.
3️⃣ If you feel comfortable, speak to people who know you (e.g. family members, friends, colleagues and teachers) to also get opinions that can help you build a picture of your symptoms
Once you've completed these steps, if you still believe your profile fits with dyspraxia traits and you want to get a diagnosis, you can explore the different routes to getting diagnosed.
Consult your GP 👩⚕️
Start by making an appointment with your GP.
Bring a collection of observations, or a diary, to show your GP why you think you might have dyspraxia.
Your GP can refer you to a specialist or a diagnostic team for further evaluation.
The assessment will likely focus on movement and assessment of coordination skills.
They will also ask you about how your daily life is affected.
You’ll be asked about your childhood and the history of these symptoms to try to establish whether these symptoms are developmental or a result of injury.
The assessment will likely be carried out by an occupational therapist or physiotherapist, who will also try to rule out any other potential reasons behind any movement difficulties.
Based on the results of the assessment, the specialist or diagnostic team will make a diagnosis and provide a report outlining the findings.
They may also provide recommendations for treatment, support, and accommodations.
Follow up with your GP and other healthcare professionals to ensure that you receive the appropriate support and care.
Diagnosis route options
Dyspraxia diagnoses are sometimes covered under the NHS, depending on funding in your area. Talking to your GP to find out if they offer assessments.
Getting privately diagnosed means you or an employer would need to pay for a qualified assessor to assess you for dyspraxia. Occasionally, local charities will contribute to the costs or a Job Centre Plus if you are unemployed. The assessor is normally an occupational therapist. You can find qualified occupational therapists on the Royal College of Occupational therapists website. Dyspraxia assessments can cost up to £1000.
If you are currently studying at a university, your university may be able to provide advice and guidance on getting a dyspraxia assessment. Additionally, if your household income falls below a certain threshold, your university may offer a financial contribution towards the assessment. Contact the disability department at your university to find out more about the support they can provide in obtaining a diagnosis.
If you want to learn more about what to expect during a dyspraxia assessment, or if you are trying to decide whether you should seek a diagnosis, talk to one of Noetic's coaches who can help you figure out what is best for you.