30 October 2023

This Article was written by Grace Fadden.

Dyspraxia Awareness Week took place in the first week of October. This is a really important time for neurodiverse individuals to have a platform and talk openly about this part of their lives. Whilst this article does not represent all people with dyspraxia, I hope you find it informative and that you are inspired to learn more.

My experience

Coincidentally, Dyspraxia Awareness Week marked two years since my own diagnosis, the year before I joined the firm. Reading Alice’s article about neurodiversity at Burges Salmon gave me the confidence to reach out to BEnabled prior to my training contract and discuss my concerns.

What is dyspraxia?

In a nutshell, dyspraxia (or Developmental Coordination Disorder/DCD) is a naturally occurring variation in the human brain which affects how someone processes and perceives information. Whilst this can lead to poor coordination and spatial awareness, many people with dyspraxia report that this is not the aspect that they struggle with the most, especially in a work context.


People with dyspraxia process information at a slower rate than neurotypical individuals. This can pose difficulties when following verbal instructions, reading certain documents, or following a teams meeting. Harsh lights, background noises and incoming emails all need to be processed and an influx of sensory inputs can contribute to sensory overload.

Executive functioning and working memory

People with dyspraxia may struggle to visualise the steps that need to be taken to complete a task. This is relevant when following a set of instructions, or in creating and prioritising a to-do list. Further, someone with dyspraxia may have an excellent long-term memory, whilst they may struggle to repeat back what you have just said.

Mental health

Research has found links between neurodiversity and poor mental health. For individuals with dyspraxia this could be due to frustration when struggling with certain tasks, fear of letting people down, burnout or even isolation and loneliness.

All this being said, dyspraxia can have impacts much wider or indeed narrower than this. An individual’s experience of dyspraxia and how they see the world can be impacted by intersectionality with another neurodiversity.


It is important to acknowledge that life can feel harder with dyspraxia, but that it is not a barrier to success. Difference does not equal less than. People with dyspraxia may have great organisation skills due to a life of missed trains and appointments, high emotional intelligence and a team-player perspective, creative approaches to problem solving and strong communication skills.

Dyspraxia at Burges Salmon

Strengths and difficulties aside, I know that I had concerns before joining the firm. I have therefore included this section as a way to highlight to people who might be struggling to know they are not alone and that we have a supportive community in BEnabled, but also in firm as a whole.

Events such as disability pride in July created a platform for discussion, networking and information sharing. Monthly coffee mornings with BEnabled continue to cultivate a good support network.

I was offered check-ins every seat-rotation with IT trainers for refreshers on how to use our systems and software.

The assistive technology Read &Write has recently been rolled out to the whole firm. I used this since starting at the firm to aid reviews of documents and drafting errors. With the number of individuals applying for diagnosis later on in life, having universally accessible tools like this help create an inclusive workplace.

One of the things that has helped me the most since starting at Burges Salmon, is open communication with my team. I personally found being open about my strengths and weaknesses in relation to dyspraxia helped me feel more accepted and more able to perform my best at work.

To find out more, you may like to review these resources:

Dyspraxia Week - Dyspraxia Foundation

Dyspraxia Magazine Store

Dyspraxia in adults - NHS (www.nhs.uk)

The rise of adult diagnoses of neurodiversity (ft.com)

Dyspraxia Week : Dyspraxia and loneliness: an invisible issue - Dyspraxia Foundation

Majority of neurodivergent employees experiencing mental health issues, study finds (peoplemanagement.co.uk)

Key contact

Headshot of Penny Bowring

Penny Bowring Resourcing Specialist

Legal Resourcing

Burges Salmon careers

We work hard to make sure Burges Salmon is a great place to work.
Find out more