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Posted On: 31st May 2017

What's Dyspraxia

Rachel wants more understanding and support for people with dyspraxia
Rachel was bullied and misunderstood at school
Dyspraxia Foundation trustee Gill Dixon supports Rachel's campaign

'Going through school with dyspraxia was really hard and tough. I was a very clumsy child - I’d just trip up over anything. A lot of people used to laugh at me.


'Other people would think that I’m slow or a bit stupid. I used to get very upset by it, because people never understood what it was that I was going through.'


Rachel Harris wants to improve understanding and support for young people with dyspraxia, after she was bullied during her time at school. 


The 20-year-old, from Middlesbrough, is working with Fixers to challenge the negative assumptions people can make about those with the condition. 


She told her story on ITV News Tyne Tees on June 8 and she has also created a booklet about dyspraxia to share in schools and colleges.  


Click on the link below to view it. 


She says: 'It mostly affects my coordination; sometimes it can affect my reading and writing.


'At school I struggled a lot with keeping up with copying the information off the board. I knew I could do the work, but no one was giving me the chance or time to complete it. 


'I was bullied throughout school. That really affected me. I wouldn’t want any other children to go through what I did through school with dyspraxia.


'What I’m trying to show is that we might need a bit of extra help but we’ll always get there in the end.' 




Dyspraxia Foundation trustee Gill Dixon supports Rachel's campaign.


'Dyspraxia is also known as developmental coordination disorder, and it’s thought to affect at least one child in every classroom. It’s really very poorly understood,' she says. 


'These children are often singled out as being slightly odd. The assumption is that they’re slow, they’re stupid and they’re incapable very often and they are actually exactly the opposite of that.' 


Rachel adds: 'If I got to make an impact, I’d feel amazing and proud in myself that I’ve helped someone who could be struggling.'


To find other resources on this topic, and watch Fixers films, click on the image below.


Author: Erica Witherington


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