‘I can’t tie my shoelaces’

‘I can’t tie my shoelaces’

It never appears from the way he plays Quidditch, but Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe has revealed he suffers from dyspraxia - often associated with clumsiness

By (Daily Mail)

Published: Tue 19 Aug 2008, 10:25 PM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 2:50 PM

DANIEL RADCLIFFE revealed he became an actor partly because his dyspraxia meant he was not successful at school.

The common neurological problem impairs the organisation of movement and often has no obvious cause.

It can affect any or all areas of development, including intellectual, physical and language, and can impair a person’s normal process of learning.

Laces done up correctly, Daniel relaxes, but admits he “was rubbish at everything at school.”

Up to 10 per cent of people in Britain show signs of the condition, with about two per cent severely affected.

Males are four times more likely to be affected than women.

It is understood Daniel’s dyspraxia is at the mild end of the spectrum, but in severe cases it can make it difficult to walk up and down stairs or run, hop, jump or kick a ball.

In adults, it can affect a person’s ability to perform in stressful or challenging situations and make tasks such as driving difficult.

Daniel told how he longed to be an actor from the age of five.

But he revealed: “My mother said, ‘Oh no you don’t’.”

When she finally allowed him to audition to play David Copperfield, in a BBC version of the Dickens classic when he was nine, he says it was because she could see he needed a confidence boost.

“I was having a hard time at school in terms of being c**p at everything, with no discernible talent,” he says.

David Copperfield was his first hit and since his initial appearance as Harry Potter, in 2000, he has earned a personal fortune estimated at £17 million.

Daniel has not disclosed when he was diagnosed with dyspraxia or whether doctors ever found the cause.

A scene from ‘Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince’: Daniel says his condition was partly responsible for him entering acting.

In the final movie in the Potter series, ‘Deathly Hallows,’ the first part of which is due for release in 2010, he reportedly performed a particularly daring stunt scene when his double failed to turn up. He was pulled from a burning building by a wire attached to a 100ft crane.

A leading authority on dyspraxia, neurologist Dr David Younger of the New York University Medical School, said: “I’m a big fan of the whole Harry Potter series and I am surprised Daniel Radcliffe suffers from dyspraxia.

“He clearly suffers from a mild form, but the fact he shows no sign of it at all is a great tribute to his acting skills and makes him a role model for other people with this condition.”

Dr Younger said: “In the majority of children and young people with dyspraxia, we cannot find the cause so the basic treatment is occupational therapy - teaching them to make a plan for their actions and rehearse their movements.”

Daniel’s spokeswoman said: “Yes, Dan Radcliffe does have dyspraxia. This is something he has never hidden. Thankfully his condition is very mild and at worst manifests itself in an inability to tie his shoe laces and bad handwriting.”

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