Symptoms of Dyspraxia/DCD in Adults

adultsDyspraxia/DCD has only really been recognised in Ireland in the last 30 years or so. This means there could be many adults with dyspraxia who were not diagnosed as children.

Over many years adults with poor coordination and organisation skills tend to find ways around many of these problems and focus on their strengths. For example an adult does not have to play sport or cycle or study if they don't want to and there are many hobbies and types of work that adults with Dyspraxia can manage very well.

However, under the surface there is often an acute awareness of an awkwardness, an on-going struggle to keep up, a self-consciousness an over whelming tiredness and a feeling that others don't know or understand how hard life can be.

The symptoms of dyspraxia can vary between individuals and may change over time. Any one adult might only experience a few of the following symptoms.
Difficulty with organisation and day-to-day tasks in the home or at work, e.g.

  • Self-care, hair styling, make-up, cutting nails, shaving
  • Choosing stylish clothes, matching, colours, sizing
  • Writing, typing, filing
  • Riding a bike and playing sport
  • Driving a car, meal preparation or DIY
  • Shopping, remembering what to get, sell-by dates etc
  • Meal preparation as it involves multi-tasking.
  • Laundry, sorting colours and fabrics for washing
  • Hanging clothes efficiently, ironing
  • Making appointments and remembering them
  • Time management
  • Clumsiness of knocking things over, spilling or tripping really causes embarrassment.
  • Adults with dyspraxia may also have social and emotional difficulties, as well as problems with time management, colleagues, neighbours etc.
  • Poor sense of direction difficulty finding places.
  • Has a tendency to start classes/courses but not finish them
  • Limited sense of fashion, choice of clothes, matching etc.
  • Great difficulty with multi-tasking, e.g. checking a child's homework while cooking the dinner
  • Weak short-term memory causing the individual to lose or forget their keys, phone, bag, wallet etc.
  • Weak at dealing with the unexpected
  • Slower than average in processing information or instructions
  • Tires more easily than average.
  • Lacking sensitivity or over sensitive
  • Problems with budgeting


"We have referred children with coordination and sensory difficulties to Monica over the past number of years. She is an excellent professional and has been most generous with her time. She uses her considerable talents and skills to put the child at ease whilst undertaking an assessment. She has a wonderful gift of listening, understanding and sharing her expertise in ordinary language with parents, which helps ease their concerns and puts the issues in context."

F.C. Learning Support teacher, National school, Galway

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