Going to university with dyspraxia

After a dyspraxia diagnosis at university, Victoria Sweet was able to find support to help her get through the aspects of learning she found more difficult

August 31 2017
Going to university with dyspraxia

I didn’t know about dyspraxia until a friend told me about it last year at yoga. A lot of the symptoms lined up with me so I decided to get tested a few weeks later. The symptoms were forgetfulness, lateness, clumsiness and issues with balance and coordination. When I got tested I realised processing information and structuring (in your day-to-day life and essay writing) were also symptoms that related to me. It can be really difficult to keep everything in your head at once and process emotions so it can be difficult to make decisions.

I felt like I had struggled with these things throughout my life but my mum and people around me had helped me overcome these issues. This meant it wasn’t a huge problem until I came to university and was on my own. I started to notice them more, things became harder and I didn’t have that help.


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I enjoyed the practical element of the degree because it was about creating, which I love and definitely want to pursue in the future. I was willing to do the essay work in order to do the practical work, but I had to push myself.

When I was diagnosed I was surprised. Dyspraxia manifests differently in different people so it’s tricky to spot. But since getting diagnosed I’m a lot more confident and proud of myself for completing my degree and being the first in my family to finish university. 

Mahendra, my specialist study skills tutor from third sector organisation Clarion UK, has been a great support and and helped me with coping mechanisms for time management. He was there to proof-read and to help with the structure of my work, and it was encouraging to have that positive feedback. I will definitely be using the strategies he has shown me throughout the rest of my life. 

If I hadn't been diagnosed my self-esteem would still be low and without Clarion UK’s support, my final year would have been a lot more stressful and chaotic. I was harder on myself before I found out I had dyspraxia but this year I’ve learnt to be more compassionate to myself and relax. 

Dyspraxia and dyslexia can make you think outside the box and be more creative but at the same time it means you look at things in ways that others might not. Now I know I think differently to most people which isn't my fault. It just happens and I’ve got to appreciate the times when I’m not late and I do remember things.

I’m nervous about the world of work but definitely excited to graduate. University has been an adventure, to say the least. It’s had its ups and downs but overall it has been good, intense but fun. I’m definitely going to miss it because of the freedom and independence I’ve gained.

I’ve wanted to be an actress since I was seven but last year I found out that I love writing so I might find a creative writing course to help me pursue a career in acting and film-making.

I think more awareness should be spread about dyspraxia. Dyslexia and dyscalculia are well-known but I didn’t know about dyspraxia until last year. 


Watch Victoria talking more about her time at university

Student Stories - Dealing with Dyspraxia from Ash Chalk on Vimeo.

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