Ask Sam letter


To Sam


I have dyspraxia and I feel nobody understands. Everyone seems to find it funny how I can't tie my shoelaces, my handwriting is horrible and all the teachers think i am taking the mick out of them when I am not. I feel like a looser. How do I get people to understand my disability?

Ask Sam


Hi there

Feeling like no one understands can make you feel alone and isolated. No one should laugh at you for who you are: it’s a type of bullying and it’s wrong. Being treated differently or badly because of your disability is a type of discrimination. Remember, you have the right to help and support and to be treated with respect.

Dyspraxia affects movement and physical coordination which can make it difficult to do everyday tasks like tying your shoelaces. It can be diagnosed by a doctor who specialises in working with children.

At school your teachers should have training or information about your disability and what they need to do to help. They should support you to get the most out of school and your lessons. There may be some additional support that they can give. There’s usually a teacher who works with young people who have special educational needs (SEN) and they will be able to tell you what’s available. Sometimes that might mean being given extra time or support to do tasks that are more difficult or supplying equipment to help you

When other people treat you badly it can sometimes knock your confidence and self-esteem. Building your confidence back up can take time. You could try keeping a journal or diary and making a note every time someone says something positive about you and every time you do something that makes you feel good about yourself.

Your disability is part of who you are and it can help your confidence if you accept all the different parts of you that make you unique.

It can help to get to know other young people with similar experiences. You could look at the message boards to see what’s helped other young people or you could start your own thread to share what’s happening and ask for advice or support from our online community.

I hope this advice has helped. If you want more help and support you can always speak to a counsellor at Childline.

Take care,


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