Caged in Chaos: A dyspraxic Guide to Breaking Free

8th April 2005 at 01:00
CAGED IN CHAOS: A DYSPRAXIC GUIDE TO BREAKING FREE. By Victoria Biggs. Jessica Kingsley. pound;12.95

Victoria Biggs is an exceptional young woman. At the age of 16 she has produced a funny, poignant, informative and inspirational book. It is no surprise her skills have earned her a place in the National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth.

Describing her hidden handicap as "lying sideways in a parallel universe", she offers practical advice and strategies to young people who, like her, struggle daily with the ups and downs resulting from dyspraxia.

Important issues, such as friendships, body language, dressing, hygiene, dating, organising workload and exams, are tackled in a clear and straightforward way.

While acknowledging that all adolescents have problems, Victoria describes candidly, but with humour, how these are compounded when the normal cocktail is spiced up with the lack of co-ordination, social awkwardness, disorganisation, and poor short-term memory that accompany dyspraxia.

In the moving section on self-esteem, loneliness and bullying, she talks about her experiences of being bullied and offers sound advice to other bullied children, their peers, bullies, teachers and parents.

Victoria has a talent for words and a love of English literature. She has an unusual mind and can recognise her attributes as the gifts of dyspraxia.

Her message is positive, upbeat and encouraging.

I was inspired by this book. I hope it will be read widely. Victoria advocates tolerance, respect and seeing the positive in others - lessons we could all learn.

Diana Hudson

Learning support co-ordinator, Wycombe Abbey school

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