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Common Warning Signs of Dyspraxia in College Students and Adults

Dyspraxia Warning Signs in AdultsIf you (or someone you care about) have always felt clumsy, or like you're “all thumbs,” you may want to know about a disorder called dyspraxia a condition that hinders motor coordination and impacts many other areas of development and performance.

Most of us feel clumsy and awkward from time to time. A person with dyspraxia, though, feels that way most the time. If you’ve struggled with several of the challenges listed below for at least the past six months, it may be time to seek help from a professional. Dyspraxia appears early in life, so be sure to consider any similar challenges you’ve struggled with over the years.

Dyspraxia is not a learning disability (LD) but it often co-exists with LD and/or Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). To get the full picture, to see what symptoms overlap, and to clarify your concerns, you may want to review our more comprehensive Interactive Learning Disabilities Checklist.

For At Least the Past Six Months, I've Had Trouble

Gross (Large) Motor Skills

  • Physical agility, balance and coordination.
  • Sports and activities that require good hand-eye coordination.
  • Coordinating the body parts (such as fingers and hands, legs, feet and torso) needed for safe driving.

Fine (Small) Motor Skills

  • The physical act of writing.
  • Personal grooming (styling hair, shaving, applying makeup).
  • Coordinating movements to use technology devices such as cell phones, keypads, calculators, keyboard and/or a mouse.


  • Controlling the volume and pitch of my voice.
  • Speaking at a normal pace (not too slowly).
  • Clearly articulating words.


  • Confidence in my ability to communicate with others.
  • Comfortable with my physical movements; I feel like a “clumsy geek.”
  • Overall self-esteem; I often feel frustrated, anxious, angry and/or depressed about my awkwardness.


  • Extreme sensitivity to light, touch, taste, sounds, space and smells.

If you regularly struggle with several of these symptoms, don't hesitate to seek help. Print out this article, check off the symptoms that describe you and take the list to the physicians or other medical specialists who you consult. With a diagnosis and appropriate support, you’ll be better able to succeed in college, the workplace and in life. The skills, support and self-awareness you gain may bring you hope and relief – and is sure to boost your self-confidence.

Additional Resources

Tags: college-adult