We support individuals and families affected by dyspraxia. Please help by supporting us:

Practical tips for everyday life

Take a look at our practical tips for everyday life.

Organisation and Planning

  • Use the calendar, alarm, and reminder features on your phone to stay organised.
  • Google Calendar and Google Keep are useful tools for organising your schedule and tasks.
  • Tiimo is a visual planning app that's designed specifically for people with neurodiversity. It's made by ND people for ND people. Tiimo I Daily planning made visual
  • Thruday is another app that can be helpful, especially for people with autism, ADHD, ADD, and other neurodivergent conditions. Visual Planning App for Autism, ADHD, ADD, Neurodiversity

If you prefer a physical aide:

  • Bullet journaling is a great way to keep track of your tasks and goals. You can find free printables online, customise them, and use them to plan your day or week.
  • Use a post-it note system to remind yourself of things you need to remember in the morning, such as your P.E. kit or musical instrument.
  • Use color-coded books for school or college to make it easier to find what you need.
  • Label your drawers to keep things organized and make it easier to put things away.
  • Lay out your clothes the night before to save time in the morning.


  • Grooming tasks like shaving, brushing teeth and hair, and applying makeup may be difficult. Look for solutions that can help, such as electric razors or hair dryers with brush attachments. Our recommended products page might be a good place to start
  • Carry a compact mirror with you so you can check your appearance after a meal.
  • You can find videos online that show easier but effective ways to manage longer hair, giving you more options than just a ponytail.


  • It’s easy to forget to brush your teeth so build this into your daily routine.
  • Use disclosing tablets to make sure you clean thoroughly.
  • Set a 2 minute timer on your phone (or use a kitchen timer) to make sure you brush for long enough.
  • Consider using an electric toothbrush as this reduces the need to move the brush quite so much.
  • Invest in a water flosser – this can make flossing your teeth much easier than fiddly traditional floss!


  • Try shaving after a bath or a shower.
  • If you cut yourself, apply a cool damp flannel to your skin to stem the blood.
  • Waxing may be a better option – if you think your pain threshold will cope! Or you could try hair removal cream.


  • Make a note on a calendar when your period is due so that you are not taken by surprise.
  • Red paper clip reminder- you may find it useful to attach a clip to your handbag a couple of days before your period is due to remind you to put some sanitary towels or tampons into your bag.
  • Pack a small wash bag with products ready so that you are not caught short at the beginning of a busy day. It also enables you to have your products discreetly packed away.
  • Dark underwear may be useful as it will not show stains and a pair of black shorts to wear at night time might be a consideration.
  • Whatever product you choose to use remember that practice makes perfect, so try things when you are period free.
  • Stick-on pads may be easier to manage than tampons (put pads with wings can be more tricky!).
  • Some girls prefer to ‘be prepared’ and carry with them some clean pants with pads already attached. They then change their whole pants, putting soiled ones into a discrete bag to take home. This is a good strategy if you get anxious about changing sanitary wear in public toilets.
  • Set a timer on your phone if you are likely to forget to change your pad. * Have some wet wipes handy
  • Pain relief and a hot water bottle or heat pad might be useful if you suffer pain. * Be aware that your mood may be changeable.
  • Keep clean - a nice hot shower can be comforting as well as hygienic

Choosing clothes

  • Keep sets of clothes together on a coat hanger.
  • Avoid fiddly buttons and fastenings. Use Velcro to assist with fastenings.
  • Look for clothes that are easy to put on.
  • Choose clothes from a similar palate of colours so that they always coordinate.
  • Look for jewellery and accessories which have large clasps or bracelets that are elastic.
  • Choose well-fitting shoes which are snug around the heel for extra stability.
  • Rubber/crepe or leather soles are less slippery.
  • Avoid high heels or practice a lot in them.
  • If you have a particular dress style that you enjoy, wear it with pride but be aware that certain clothes suit different situations (you wouldn’t wear joggers to a job interview!).
  • Lay your clothes out the night before you are due to wear them. It is easier to co-ordinate items and reduces stress when you are in a hurry in the morning.
  • Position a full length mirror near your front door so you can check your appearance before you leave the house.

Make up

  • Sit down when applying make-up and steady your elbow or forearm on a firm surface.
  • Look on YouTube for some good step by step tutorials or ask for a make-up lesson as a birthday present.
  • Have a magnifying mirror and good light.
  • Line up products in order of use.
  • Use added grips on brushes if it helps.
  • Lip crayons and lip gloss may be easier to apply than lipstick
  • You may find it easier to get eyebrows threaded or waxed in a salon.
  • Mascara can be tricky so having your lashes dyed may be an option.
  • Do what is easier for you e.g. some girls find fingers better than brushes for applying makeup.
  • When applying mascara to the under surface of upper lashes have the mirror above eye level and look up into it.
  • Have the mirror lower when working on the lower lashes.
  • Cotton buds dipped in a teeny bit of baby oil will remove smudges of even waterproof mascara.
  • Roll-on perfumes can be easier to apply.
  • Have a trusted friend to ask how it looks when you finish.
  • Take good care of your skin. This means eating well, drinking lots of water and trying to minimise the amount of chemicals you put on your skin.


  • Use an app like Magic ToDo – Goblin Tools Magic ToDo - GoblinTools to break down complex tasks like cooking or making beds into simple steps
  • Make lists to help you stay organised.
  • Check out our 'Recommended by dyspraxics for dyspraxics' page for some useful kitchen tools that can make cooking easier.
  • Don't overload yourself with too many tasks at once. Try giving yourself one task at a time, or make a clear list of the tasks you need to do.

Social Skills

You might find it challenging to socialise and chat with new people at social gatherings. Below are a few hints and tips that may hopefully be useful to you.
Here are some ways to make your body language more approachable, as it might be sending the message for others to stay away.

Smile and look interested

The easiest way to appear more approachable is to make sure you are wearing a smile instead of a frown. Try to think of things that make you happy or laugh and your smile will be more natural.

Be accessible

If you are constantly on your phone or buried in a book people will feel like they are interrupting you. Make sure that you are accessible and open to communication from others.

Avoid blocks

Make sure that you aren't using objects to shield yourself from others. The obvious one to avoid is crossing your arms.

Keep your head up

It is hard for others to know to approach you if your head is constantly down; they need to see your face to feel like you want to get to know them.

Angle towards

Watch your feet, your legs and your body; ensure your feet are facing towards the person and not away. Don’t cross your arms/legs as this can sometimes be seen as defensive. If your body language looks interested people then will engage with you better.

Nod during conversation

When listening to someone, nod to show that you are paying attention and interested. Doing this lets the other person know that you want to be involved in the conversation.

Use eye contact

A lot of people with dyspraxia find this one very tricky. If looking someone in the eye is too difficult, try the following:

  • Choose a spot directly between or slightly above the listener’s eyes.
  • If this doesn’t feel comfortable, try letting your eyes go slightly out of focus. Letting your eyes go out of focus has the added benefit of softening and relaxing your gaze.
  • Staring too intensely will turn people off and make them uncomfortable in your presence—so be sure to look away occasionally.

When speaking to a group of people, instead of thinking of the group as a whole, imagine having individual conversations with one person in the group at a time.

If you're meeting someone for the first time, start the conversation by introducing yourself. This especially applies to more formal situations:

  • "Hey, my name's …..nice to meet you..."
  • "Hi, what's your name?... I'm ……..."
  • "Hi. I'm ….. from (say what Uni, group, area, organisation)."

Hopefully this will get things started, but if not we’ve listed some ideas below to keep the conversation moving. Remember to speak slowly so the other person can hear you ok. Remember to give the other person time to answer. Most importantly listen to the other person’s conversation so you can gauge what question to ask next or answer them appropriately.

Conversation ideas

Ask how/why the person has ended up in the situation you find yourself in e.g:

  • “How long have you been working here?”
  • If you are at university or college, ask where they have moved from
  • “Why did you choose to come on this course/event?”
  • “Wow! Work is busy today isn’t it?”
  • “It’s so cold outside today isn’t it?”
  • “Do you know when this place shuts?”
  • “How long have you been a part of/playing for this group/team?”

Comment on something personal. This helps connect with that person and makes the conversation individual:

  • Often the person you are trying to start a conversation with will have some distinguishable feature like a nice tops or piece of jewellery that you can comment on.
  • Say something like: “I like your top, where is it from?” or “I really like your ring.”
  • This should start a conversation about where they purchased the item or if the tee shirt was of a band or athletic then event you can carry it on from there with bands you like or sport you do.
  • You can start to find out a bit about the person like how long they have been attending the Group, or what school they go/went to, where have they travelled from etc.
  • Don’t point out anything too personal though.

Talk to people as if you already know them:

  • When you start talking to someone, do it in more or less the same manner as if you were going up to someone you already know and are friendly with. Don't go too far and be inappropriately familiar with people, but at the same time you don't need to be overly formal and courteous and restrained around people, unless in an interview. Read more about employment tips.

Having a backup plan

Sometimes you'll say something to start a conversation and the other person replies but doesn't give you much to work with. By far the most classic example is when you ask someone how they're doing and they say "fine" or "good". Or you may ask them about a film they recently saw, and they'll say "It was okay."

You never know when this will happen so it's always good to be prepared to try again and say something else that may get the discussion moving. You could ask a more specific follow-up question, ask about another topic, or make a new statement. In time and with practice you can start to think on your feet more but starting off it’s always good to have a couple of conversation openers in your head ready. Also worth remembering the person may be just as nervous as you, hence the short replies!

Try practicing scenarios out with role play!

Anxiety can affect your ability to interact and communicate effectively, so it's important to try and relax. You can use different strategies that help you calm down and feel at ease.Take a look at Mind’s resources to help with anxiety and mental health.If you are struggling with anxiety, make an appointment to see your GP.

Helpful places to go for more support

Mental Health

If you are in crisis or feeling suicidal or seriously hurt, call 999.

If you feel overwhelmed or have feelings that you cannot cope call the Samaritans on 116 123

Or text SHOUT to 85258 Get help - free, 24/7, confidential mental health text support service.

Other support organisations

Childline0800 1111Information and advice for young people on topics like bullying, your body and relationships.

Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM)0800 58 58 58Information and support for anyone who is struggling with things and needs to talk. Offers a helpline and webchat.

The Mix0808 808 499485258 (crisis messenger service, text THEMIX)Support and advice for people under 25, offering these services:* Helpline* Crisis messenger textline* Discussion board* Webchat* Short-term counselling by phone and online

YoungMindsMental health support for young people, parents and carers. Includes information about mental health problems and medication.

Youth AccessAdvice and counselling network for young people. Includes a search tool for finding free local services.

Other Charities supporting other neurodivergent conditions

Autism National Autistic SocietyDyslexia Dyslexia - British Dyslexia AssociationDyscalculia The Dyscalculia Association - Understanding Maths DifficultiesADHD Foundation

Student Support

Student Minds - HomeCareers Wales0800 028 4844Information, advice and guidance about learning, training and work for people who live in Wales.

Citizens Advice0800 144 8848 (England Adviceline)0800 702 2020 (Wales Adviceline)18001 0800 144 8884 (textphone)Free, confidential information and advice on your rights, including money, housing, experiences of discrimination and other problems.

National Careers Service

Information, advice and guidance about learning, training and work.

National Union of StudentsPromotes and defends the rights of students.

Not Going To UniInformation about alternatives to university. Includes a search tool for current opportunities.

Office for StudentsInformation and guidance for students from the independent regulator of higher education in England.

Open UniversityOffers flexible, part-time or full-time study and distance learning, including some free online courses.

Save the StudentInformation and advice about managing your money as a student.

The Student RoomInformation for students and the UK's largest online student community.

UCASProcesses applications for higher education courses in the UK.

Driving support

Special and specific needs | Disability Driving Instructors


IPSEA -IPSEA: what we do


Find out about the Dyspraxia Foundation and our mission.

Learn more

Help & Support

Find all the different ways the Dyspraxia Foundation can help and support you, from our helpline service, local groups and FAQs.

Learn more

News & Events

Find all the latest news from the dyspraxic community here, as well as upcoming events.

Learn more