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supporting children, families and adults with dyspraxia

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Dyspraxia Foundation: Big Lottery Fund

Big Lottery Fund logo

The Dyspraxia Foundation are delighted to announce today an award from the Big Lottery Fund for £166,265 which will be spread over 3 years. The grant will provide support to children and adults with Dyspraxia as well as their families, aiming to reduce educational exclusion and increase the employability of sufferers. The Dyspraxia Foundation will be able to reopen its helpline, and run a series of workshops which will take place in Manchester and Birmingham. These workshops will be aimed at parents, adults with Dyspraxia, teachers and medical professionals and will be run in association with local disability groups. The workshops will be filmed and highlights will be made available online to widen the reach of the project.

The project will engage with young people through social media, as well as the chance to speak to other sufferers who are experiencing similar problems. A text service for deaf people with Dyspraxia will also be developed, and adults with Dyspraxia who are struggling in the workplace will be given support and advice with regard to communicating effectively and social and co-ordination difficulties.

Michèle Lee ,Chair of the Dyspraxia Foundation said: “We are overjoyed with this funding which will mean we will be able to help the 12,000 people who come to us for urgent advice each year and provide a dramatically improved service over the next three years. As a result of the Big Lottery Fund grant we can relaunch our helpline and develop new advice leaflets and information materials. Although dyspraxia affects two children in every classroom very few people know much about the condition so this funding is crucial to continue our work to raise awareness and support those affected with Dyspraxia.”

Dyspraxia Foundation: Dyspraxia Dynamo Project

We are delighted to announce the launch of our new guide for employers “Working with dyspraxia – a hidden asset”. This innovative resource was produced as part of the Dyspraxia Dynamo project, run by the Dyspraxia Foundation in partnership with Key 4 Learning and funded by a grant from the Adult and Community Learning Fund.

People with dyspraxia bring to their workplace a whole range of abilities and talents, yet they often feel frustrated and unable to demonstrate their potential. The aim of this document is to bring a better understanding of dyspraxia to people involved in employment, so that the talents of people with dyspraxia are nurtured and developed to the benefit of the individual and the organisation.

The Dyspraxia Foundation would like to thank everyone involved in the Dyspraxia Dynamo project, including those who contributed to the development of our employers guide and especially to our workshop participants and the individuals who feature in the “Dyspraxia in the workplace” film.

Produced by Digital Salad -

Find out about Dyspraxia Dynamo Project here, then look at the available resources in the project in a box page.

If you are interested in making contact with other adults who have dyspraxia please see the Dyspraxia Foundation National Adult Support group Facebook page

Please share the following YouTube link

Dyspraxia Foundation welcomes innovative BBC Children’s programme

New Cbeebies programme Tree Fu Tom on the BBC

The Dyspraxia Foundation is delighted to be involved with Tree Fu Tom, a new CBeebies series that will benefit children with dyspraxia. Tree Fu Tom is an exciting new multi-platform fantasy action adventure series aimed at children aged 4-6 years in which the main character Tom is transformed into a magical superhero with the aid of Tree Fu magic. The audience is encouraged to help Tom and his friends in their exciting, action-packed adventures by joining in with the Tree Fu magical spells. Each spell incorporates movements typically used by occupational therapists and physiotherapists to help children with movement/co-ordination disorders and are designed to help all children – regardless of whether they have any movement challenges – to learn, practice and perfect the key skills and abilities crucial for movement development. Dyspraxia Foundation advisors played a key role in developing the Movement Curriculum on which Tree Fu spells are based. Chair of the Dyspraxia Foundation Sally Payne said: “Awareness of dyspraxia remains low in comparison to other common developmental disorders. Tree Fu Tom offers a unique opportunity to raise the profile of this much missed and misunderstood condition and offers children with dyspraxia the opportunity to gain extra practice at the movement skills they find challenging in a fun and exciting way. We are thrilled to have been involved from the start on what we think is an important and remarkable series .”

The link to the press pack is here:

Watch the clip from BBC Breakfast show:

Tree Fu Tom ‘Grown-Ups’ articles have just now been published online in the ‘Support for you’ section of the CBeebies website

Tree Fu Tom – main ‘Grown-Ups’ page

Tree Fu Tom: Developing movement skills

Tree Fu Tom: Spell movement information

How Tree Fu Tom can help children with dyspraxia

The main Tree Fu Tom site (for kids)

Dyspraxia Dynamo Project

Dyspraxia Dynamo is a project to increase employability and self advocacy skills for adults with dyspraxia. It will also make available innovative learning resources for employers, health, social care and education professionals who often misunderstand the condition. A major part of the project is the provision of a free workshop training day for adults who have dyspraxia.

Free Adult Workshops

The objectives for the workshops are to enable attendees to feel valued for their strengths and to enable them to have the opportunity to contribute their skills to an employer according to their individual ability. The attendees must be over 19 years old, may be unemployed, in education or at work. They must be looking to improve their performance and prospects in work or obtaining work.

At the end of the course the attendees should have gained:

  • Personal understanding of their profiles
  • Recognition of how they can bridge difficulties by deploying strengths.
  • Understanding of the support mechanisms available and how to access them eg. Access to Work, DSA , 'Two Ticks'
  • A plan for disclosure, when, how, whom.
  • Understanding the use and availability of assistive tools, IT and ergonomic adjustments
  • Knowledge of the Equalities Act , its application to themselves and the obligations on employers
  • Ability to self advocate based on sound knowledge
  • The work shops will be held in five locations around the country as follows:

    24th February 2012
    Worcester College of Technology
    St. Wulstan's building reception
    WR1 2JF

    Reading – venue and date to be confirmed. Please contact us to register your interest. We will contact you as soon as details become available.

    Worcester – venue and date to be confirmed. Please contact us to register your interest. We will contact you as soon as details become available.

    Please note there has been a slight change to the start and finish times: Please arrive at 9.30am for registration. Lunch and refreshments will be provided. The day will finish approx 4.30pm

    Download the Dyspraxia Dynamo project booking form.

    University survey reveals challenges facing students with Dyspraxia in Awareness Week 2011

    Results from the first Dyspraxia Foundation survey for Awareness Week 2011 on University life has revealed the majority of students face increased challenges.

    The survey asked prospective and current students and their families on how they cope with the challenge of applying for university and life as an undergraduate.

    Results from the survey showed the major of students faced major difficulties in organizing their work.

    Findings from the survey showed over 60 % of students who replied had organizational difficulties and 55% of respondents cited social problems.

    In the survey many described how difficult the transition was from sixth form education into university. Some described the change as overwhelming in the mve to more independent study and living.

    Support from universities showed large variations with some having excellent systems in place whilst others took a few months to put the right support in place.

    Chair of the Dyspraxia Foundation charity which helps 10,000 families a year Sally Payne said:" This survey has highlighted the wide range of problems dyspraxic students have. Results show the quality of support varies greatly across university from the start of the application process throughout their life as an undergraduate.

    "It has shown the difficulties with organizing daily life, study, presenting work extend to social areas such as meeting new friends and feeling isolated. One strong finding that has come through is that diagnosis of dyspraxia before university can help put the right support in place. We are urging all potential students to get assessed if they believe they have symptoms.

    Further work will now be done to analyse these initial research findings and they will be passed onto UCAS and the Department for Education.

    The Dyspraxia Foundation has produced guidelines on further education available on the website which can help make life easier.

    Statistically, it is likely that there are two children in every class of 30 children with dyspraxia and there are many adults who are unaware that they have the condition.

    Helpline suspended as charity campaigns for future funding

    The Dyspraxia Foundation is the only national charity in the UK working to support thousands of people affected by the condition each year. But now, due to drastic funding cuts, it has had to launch a campaign to raise urgently needed funds so the charity can continue its work.

    The Foundation has faced such a severe reduction in income that it has been forced to reduce its activities, including suspending its helpline, a crucial first point of contact for many families desperate for information and support.

    Chair of the Foundation, Sally Payne, said:" Reluctantly we have been forced to reduce our activities in line with our current income. We have taken the difficult decisions to close down our Norfolk Project making our two dedicated staff members redundant, and suspend our telephone helpline from 1st November to allow our team based in Hitchin to focus on supporting our membership and seeking new funding opportunities.

    "We currently receive in excess of 10,000 telephone enquiries per year and over 15,000 emails asking for information and support. As soon as our future becomes clearer we will make plans to relaunch the helpline. In the meantime we are asking our local groups to provide what support they can and will keep everyone updated with the latest news on our position on our website.

    "We are appealing for fundraising from all avenues. Donations can be made through the website and we are encouraging membership to increase our core funding. We are a small charity with just one part time and three full time employees providing administration support and rely on membership subscription, fundraising and grants to provide much needed information and support for people affected by dyspraxia and those who live or work with them."

    Many more children and adults are helped through a network of nationwide groups, which offer valuable support and activities for young people who are often denied a chance to enjoy their lives to the full.

    Liam Plumridge, Trustee and Young Ambassador said: "I couldn't have coped without them. I would not have even got to university if they hadn't helped me with the support to give me the confidence to further my education."

    Donate now to help the work of the Dyspraxia Foundation!

    Please support the Dyspraxia Foundation and help us continue to raise awareness of dyspraxia and support those affected.

    Raising awareness is vital for those we support to ensure they reach their full potential in life. As with other similar behavioural and learning difficulties once a child or adult has been officially diagnosed, then the appropriate teaching patterns can be implemented – usually within a mainstream school. These can often bring quite radical changes to a child, making a clear difference to their day-to-day life, basic skills and overall prognosis for living a 'satisfying and independent' life.

    Claire (16), who was diagnosed with dyspraxia aged 11 years, says: “It was only when I changed schools that I started to feel properly supported and that the teachers really understood what dyspraxia was and how it affected me. In my previous school I was regularly bullied and left very much to my own devices, which my parents and I put down to a total lack of understanding about dyspraxia on the school's part. I used to dread PE lessons in particular because of my co-ordination problems and very often pretended to be ill just so I could go home and not have to take part.”

    The country is in a double dip recession and many charities are reducing their services or closing altogether. The Dyspraxia Foundation provides a vital service receiving over 5,000 calls and emails each year but is struggling to maintain the level of support it can offer in the present financial climate.

    Please make a donation today if you can help the Dyspraxia Foundation help children, young people, families and adults with dyspraxia.

    Donate now at our online shop – you will need to set up an account first or use the 'Donate' PayPal button on the left column of every page.

    Donate now through Charity Choice

    You can also make a donation by post, or by phoning our team on: 01462 455016

    Cheques should be payable to 'Dyspraxia Foundation' and sent to:
    Dyspraxia Foundation
    8 West Alley
    SG5 1EG

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    If you are a taxpayer we can increase the value of your contribution by 25% through Gift Aid

    Gift Aid Declaration.pdf

    Help the Dyspraxia Foundation by making a donation today
    Thank you


    New research reveals young people with dyspraxia denied access to sport New research from the Dyspraxia Foundation reveals that children and young people with dyspraxia are being denied access to sport and leisure activities because of poor awareness of the condition.

    A recent study from the charity which helps more than 10,000 families a year supports previous research showing that young people are at risk of experiencing social and emotional difficulties and rising obesity levels as a result.

    Children with developmental coordination disorder (including dyspraxia) are three times more likely to be overweight than their typically developing peers (1). They are less likely to participate in physical activities such as cycling, football and other sports clubs (2) as activity leaders don't provide the support and understand that they need. Yet participation in team sports and other leisure activities can help to reduce loneliness and social isolation (3).

    Chair Sally Payne said “Our recent research has shown that families are facing many problems accessing sport, leisure and social activities. As a consequence young people become even more isolated increasing the risk of long-term problems with physical health and emotional wellbeing. Popular activities such as team sports like football prove impossible for many people with dyspraxia so the choice becomes very limited.

    We want to see more recognition of the condition and more sports and leisure organisations opening their doors to children with disabilities so they can join in and have the benefits of an active lifestyle with more fun and friends. We hope to work with major sporting organisations to create more opportunities for everyone”.

    This summer the charity held a conference, supported by the Solihull Partnership as part of their 'Together for Disabled Children' programme looking at leisure activities and barriers that might prevent teenagers with dyspraxia making the most of clubs, sport and social groups.

    Developmental dyspraxia is an impairment or immaturity of the organisation of movement. It is an immaturity in the way that the brain processes information, which results in messages not being properly or fully transmitted. Dyspraxia affects the planning of what to do and how to do it. It is associated with problems of perception, language and thought.

    Dyspraxia is thought to affect up to six per cent of the population and up to two per cent severely. Males are three times more likely to be affected than females. Dyspraxia sometimes runs in families and there may be an overlap with other related conditions.

    Other names for dyspraxia include Developmental Co-ordination Disorder (DCD), Perceptuo-Motor Dysfunction, and Motor Learning Difficulties. It used to be known as Minimal Brain Damage and Clumsy Child Syndrome.

    Statistically, it is likely that there are two children in every class of 30 children with dyspraxia and there are many adults who are unaware that they have the condition.

    Some related links:

    Findings from a national consultation with young people living with dyspraxia

    Dyspraxia Foundation survey highlights national support needed for teenagers in Awareness Week

    Liam's story - Beyond Boundaries: Across the Andes

    Classroom guidleines for seconday school teachers



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