Trauma of hidden handicap
PUBLISHED: 14:36 21 September 2006 | UPDATED: 10:54 06 May 2010
A MOTHER whose daughter was bullied at school because she suffers from dyspraxia has lashed out at teachers lack of understanding and is keen to promote a national awareness week for the hidden disability. Denise Morris s 15-year-old daughter Eleanor was
A MOTHER whose daughter was bullied at school because she suffers from dyspraxia has lashed out at teachers' lack of understanding and is keen to promote a national awareness week for the hidden disability.
Denise Morris's 15-year-old daughter Eleanor was diagnosed with dyspraxia - an impairment in the way the brain processes information which results in problems of perception, language and thought - when she was nine years old.
Mrs Morris, of Kardwell Close, Hitchin, said: "If only more people were made aware of this condition, people would look at dyspraxic people in a different light.
"Very few people have even heard of dyspraxia. It is often linked with behavioural problems and sufferers are labelled as troublesome."
Symptoms of dyspraxia include high levels of excitability, a lack of any sense of danger, a lack of imaginative and creative play, poor fine motor skills, limited concentration and a tendency to have temper tantrums due to frustration.
Mrs Morris said: "Eleanor has suffered so much sadness over the last few years through having this hidden handicap and it can be so distressing.
"If she was in a wheelchair or had her arm in plaster people would be more understanding."
She added: "My daughter was so stressed in a normal mainstream school she was expelled. She just couldn't cope and kept running away.
"She was bullied and often in tears and she didn't seem to fit in anywhere."
It was another parent who suggested Eleanor may have dyspraxia and Mrs Morris is bitter her daughter's teachers did not recognise the condition earlier.
She said: "When my daughter was struggling at primary school we thought she was dyslexic.
"She had a special needs teacher and she didn't even pick it up.
"Teachers seem to be the ones who need to be educated.
"If they could pick it up at an early stage children may not have to go through the heartache that my daughter has gone through.
"Eleanor is now going to a special needs school and is a lot happier.
"It has been very upsetting but we are on the right track now."
The national dyspraxia awareness week runs from Monday (September 25) to October 1.
Mrs Morris said: "If only people knew more about it, it would not be such an upsetting condition. It's about educating the general public."
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