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Counselling for dyspraxia, dyslexia and related conditions

"I find complex mathematical analysis a walk in the park, whereas an actual walk in the park, when you're lost, late, disorientated and can't cope with the sun is a nightmare." (Aileen Quenton)

Neurodiversity is an umbrella term. It refers to conditions that are present from birth and can cause difficulties with literacy, numeracy, memory, organisation, concentration, perception, coordination, and listening skills. It is thought that 20% of the population have significant difficulties and that many more of us have some degree of neurodivergence.

Characteristics of neurodiversity can also include exceptional abilities, originality, determination, creativity, strategic thinking and empathy.

Challenges that can be explored in counselling

People with neurodiverse conditions can have problems 'fitting' in within their family, the educational system, work and social situations. They often struggle with tasks which the majority of us take for granted and can be likely to underachieve educationally unless their condition is understood and provided for.

They may have to deal with bullying and labels such as lazy, stupid, naughty, immature and strange. This can result in low confidence and low self-esteem, loneliness and depression. There may be anxiety and frustration around managing daily activities and distress associated with feeling different and a failure.

"Everyone says I'm stupid but I know I'm not. I wish someone could understand what it's like to be me. I feel so fed up and lonely." (eight-year old boy who has dyspraxia).

Below is a summary of neurodiverse conditions to be aware of. They can occur singly or in various combinations:

ADHD - Attention Deficit (Hyperactivity) Disorder

Those with ADHD may find themselves easily distracted, impulsive, experiencing temper outbursts and becoming quickly frustrated.

Autistic spectrum disorder including Asperger's syndrome

Those on the autism spectrum may notice obsessiveness, social and communication difficulties and literal thinking.

Dyscalculia

Those with dyscalculia experience difficulties with numbers and maths.

Dyslexia

Dyslexia can impact a person's learning and may lead to difficulties with sequencing, reading, writing and spelling.

Dyspraxia

Those with dyspraxia can experience poor balance, coordination, spatial awareness, organisation and memory.

Tourettes syndrome

This results in verbal and/or physical tics and may lead to obsessions and compulsions.

The benefits of counselling

Your counsellor will respect and value you and will want to understand your experiences and the challenges you face. Talking to a qualified person can help you to come to terms with past experiences and to address current issues. Counselling is an opportunity to get to know yourself at a deeper level. It can enable you to feel more confident and empower you to make decisions and changes in your life.

People who have a child, sibling or spouse with the conditions I have described also face particular challenges and can benefit from exploring these with the support and understanding of an experienced counsellor.


If you're looking for a counsellor to help with any of the issues discussed in this article, use our search tool to find a professional you resonate with. You can contact them to learn more about how they can help and they will explain how the process will work from there. 

Counselling Directory is not responsible for the articles published by members. The views expressed are those of the member who wrote the article.

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Written by Paula Newman - MBACP (Senior Accred) Counsellor / Supervisor

I have been counselling and supervising for several years and am experienced in providing individual, couples and family therapy. Counselling can be a journey of discovery, it can also be challenging and emotional, it is my intention to provide a safe, supportive and confidential relationship. I am fortunate to meet people from many different walks of life, for me the bonds that we form with each … Read more

Written by Paula Newman - MBACP (Senior Accred) Counsellor / Supervisor

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