Harry Potter Star Daniel Radcliffe Suffers Dyspraxia

Daniel Radcliffe, who plays the role of Harry Potter, has revealed that he suffers from dyspraxia – often associated with clumsiness.

Daniel Radcliffe

The condition dyspraxia is the reason why the 19-year-old actor has trouble tying his shoelaces.

The “Harry Potter” star admitted he was a sufferer in an interview to mark his Broadway debut in the play Equus – and he jokingly added: ‘I sometimes think, “Why, oh why, has Velcro not taken off?’’’

Daniel Radcliffe revealed he became an actor partly because his dyspraxia meant he was not successful at school. He admits that he ‘was rubbish at everything at school.’

The common neurological problem impairs the organization 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. Up to 10 per cent of people in Britain show signs of the condition, with about 2 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.

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

David Copperfield was his first hit and since his initial appearance as Harry Potter, in 2000, he has earned a personal fortune estimated at ?17million. Daniel has not disclosed when he was diagnosed with dyspraxia or whether doctors ever found the cause.

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 last night: “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 ties his shoe laces and bad handwriting.”

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