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What is dyspraxia? Learning difficulty that Daniel Radcliffe struggles with

The list of celebs living with dyspraxia is proof that it shouldn’t hold anyone back.

Harry Potter actor Daniel Radcliffe, Florence and the Machine frontwoman Florence Welch and model Cara Delevingne have all been open about their diagnoses.

But to increase awareness of what the learning difficulty is, it will be Dyspraxia Week in the UK between Sunday October 9 and Saturday October 15.

The condition, which can impact upon co-ordination skills, is thought to affect as much as 10% of the population.

It’s not known what causes dyspraxia, although the NHS says those who are born prematurely may be at higher risk of developing it.

Dyspraxia is more common in men and often runs in families.

What is dyspraxia?
Dyspraxia is a common disorder that affects movement and co-ordination.

Sometimes known as developmental co-ordination disorder (DCD), dyspraxia does not affect intelligence, and can affect people of any intellectual ability.

Its main effect is felt during any tasks and work requiring co-ordination skills.

Tasks requiring balance, playing sports or learning to drive a car can be a challenge for sufferers.

Dyspraxia can also impact on fine motor skills, such as writing or using small objects.

What are the symptoms of dyspraxia?
According to the NHS, symptoms of dyspraxia can vary between individuals and may change over time.

The learning difficulty can make even routine tasks a struggle.

The NHS says dyspraxia may impact:

  • co-ordination, balance and movement
  • how you learn new skills, think, and remember information at work and home
  • daily living skills, such as dressing or preparing meals
  • ability to write, type, draw and grasp small objects
  • how you function in social situations
  • how you deal with your emotions
  • time management, planning and personal organisation skills.

What has Daniel Radcliffe said about his dyspraxia?
The 33-year-old British actor is famous the world round after playing the forehead-scarred wizard in the film adaptation of JK Rowling’s Harry Potter book series.

He was only 12 in 2001 when he was cast as the under-the-staircase-living orphan with magical powers in the first film, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

But he had overcome a difficult condition to snare the part amid fierce competition from other child actors.

At age 19, he opened up about having dyspraxia. He told the Daily Mail that he sometimes struggled with simple tasks like tying his shoelaces or writing notes.

He said: “I was having a hard time at school, in terms of being crap at everything, with no discernible talent.”

To help him overcome his challenges, Radcliffe’s mother enrolled him in acting classes and from that moment his dream was to become a professional actor.

At the age of nine, he made his first big break in the BBC’s David Copperfield, followed by a role in The Tailor of Panama before playing his renowned Potter part.

Radcliffe has told fans that having dyspraxia “never held me back” and that it can make sufferers “more imaginative”.

In 2014, he offered encouragement to a 10-year-old girl with dyspraxia while speaking to The Wall Street Journal ’s Speakeasy blog on Facebook live.

“Do not let it stop you,” he said. “It has never held me back, and some of the smartest people I know are people who have learning disabilities.

“The fact that some things are more of a struggle will only make you more determined, harder working and more imaginative in the solutions you find to problems.”