'It should never be a hindrance' - The local group helping people with dyspraxia in Hartlepool
A campaigner has encouraged people with dyspraxia to come forward instead of suffering in silence as an awareness week about the condition gets underway.
Dyspraxia can affect a person’s co-ordination skills for activities such as writing or learning how to drive a car.
The lifelong condition, which is present in both children and adults, affects up to 10 per cent of people in the UK
Now Pritthijit Datta, who runs Dyspraxia Support Group Teesside, has asked those who have dyspraxia not to be ashamed and to reach out for support.
Pritthijit, 42, has been running the group – which helps children and adults with dyspraxia across Hartlepool, Stockton and Middlesbrough – since 2016 and says he has first hand experience of the challenges dyspraxia can bring.
He said: “I have been through the struggles and challenges dyspraxia brings.
"Also, looking at Teesside – Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Stockton – there wasn’t much support for children and adults who have dyspraxia.
He added: "Mostly what we do is deliver activities for parents, children and adults who have dyspraxia; workshops that help them build their confidence and social skills.”
Pritthijit, from Stockton, was diagnosed with dyspraxia back in 1993 when he was 14.
“I was struggling academically. I had problems with hand writing and coordination,” he said.
"It was a very a difficult time for me during my school and college life.”
The support group he runs is also offering young people aged 13 to 25 with dyspraxia the chance to get work experience.
Pritthijit has said having dyspraxia shouldn’t be a hindrance.
He said: “Don’t deal with it in silence, it will make the problem go worse. If you think you have dyspraxia, go to your GP and they can refer you to the relevant specialist.
"Because the problem will get worse in the workplace and in school. I’ve been through that and then people will not understand you.
"Never be in silence. You should never be ashamed of it.
"It should never be a hindrance. Just feel proud that you have dyspraxia and show the courage to come forward.”
Find out more on the group’s Facebook page Dyspraxia Support Group Teesside or by ringing 07804 368585.