July Book Of The Month – Caged in Chaos: A Dyspraxic Guide to Breaking Free by Victoria Briggs

Alice Bennett

Caged in Chaos: A Dyspraxic Guide to Breaking Free is a non-fiction book written by 16-year-old Victoria Briggs detailing her experiences as an adolescent with dyspraxia. Putting her excellent writing skills to use (which she believes is partially a result of being neurodivergent), her witty and thoughtful book won her the NasenTes Special Needs Children’s Book Award in 2005.

As well as sharing her own experiences, Briggs includes helpful tips and advice for those who are also neurodivergent, particularly focusing on school and how to face the obstacles and challenges many dyspraxic teenagers face – whether it be struggling with exams or their social life.

It’s a great book to read to begin to learn more about dyspraxia and neurodiversity in a more general sense. As someone with dyspraxia, I’ve noticed that most people haven’t heard of it – and usually those that have only know that Daniel Radcliffe has it. Caged in Chaos is a great place to start learning about a lesser-known learning difference, and it is important to highlight it to raise general awareness of neurodivergence.

People with dyspraxia are just as capable as those who are neurotypical 

Awareness is especially important, as highlighted in the book, so that those who have dyspraxia can be identified when they are young and can be given the necessary help they need in order to fulfil their full potential. Ultimately, I feel the central theme of the book is that people with dyspraxia are just as capable as those who are neurotypical, and have specific strengths and great qualities of their own.

Briggs’ story is an inspirational one, and a great example of how dyspraxia doesn’t affect intelligence (she eventually went on to study English at Cambridge). However, it also highlights the importance of accommodating learning differences; Briggs admits that without the help she received, she doesn’t believe she would have even passed her GCSEs. It is a perfect example of what neurodivergent people are capable of when others take the time to be understanding and make necessary adjustments so that we can fulfil our potential.

Ultimately, Caged in Chaos is a brilliant book about dyspraxia written by someone who has first-hand experience, and I highly recommend it to anyone with dyspraxia or who is keen to learn more about neurodivergence.

Alice Bennett

Featured image courtesy of Asal Lotfi via Unsplash. Image license found here. No changes were made to this image.

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