Hitchin-based charity to supply more than 200 schools with free books to spread dyspraxia message

Eleanor Howes with the free book.

Eleanor Howes with the free book. - Credit: Archant

A Hitchin-based charity is supplying more than 200 schools across the county with free books raising awareness about the effects of dyspraxia – thanks to a grant from one of the town’s Rotary clubs.

The Dyspraxia Foundation, which is based in West Alley, will be sending out copies of You’re So Clumsy, Charley to 225 primary schools in time for the start of the new school year, thanks to the £1,000 donation from the Hitchin Tilehouse club and further match funding from the Rotary Foundation.

The cartoon-style book, following the challenges facing a young boy with dyspraxia, is aimed at pupils in Year 1 and 2.

Teachers will also be encouraged to use the book to prompt class discussions about the disorder, which affects motor co-ordination in children and adults, and can also affect speech. It was once known and referred to as ‘clumsy child’ syndrome.

Author of the book – and dyspraxia sufferer – Jane Binnion said: “Charley always seems to get in trouble, though he doesn’t mean to, because he felt different than most of the other kids, but then he meets his Aunty Bella and everything changed.

“This book is about dyspraxia, but we choose not to name it in the story, because this book is for every child that is different.”

Although the exact causes of dyspraxia are unknown it is thought to be caused by a disruption in the way messages are transmitted to the body – affecting a person’s ability to perform co-ordinated movements.

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The syndrome, also known as developmental co-ordination disorder, affects around five per cent of the population.

The foundation’s general manager Eleanor Howes aid: “As a relatively small charity based in Hitchin, we’re delighted to have the opportunity to reach out to so many teachers, and share this wonderful book with primary schools in the area.

“We’re so grateful to our Rotarians for giving us the opportunity to fulfil our hopes relating to such a great cause.

“It would also be wonderful to see the book in libraries, too.”