Introduction to dyspraxia
Have you ever wondered what happens inside me when I fall over? You have even possibly wondered why it happens. Or you may have even wondered why I do it so often. I will now tell you why. It all comes to one thing, that thing goes by the name of dyspraxia. Dyspraxia is a problem inside me which stops my brain sending full messages to the areas in my body which are being moved. It makes it harder for me to write in a straight line and neatly. It is why I walk squint and run leaning forwards. But it only makes things harder not impossible. I have just learned never to say never.
Developmental coordinational disorder
There is not usually any cause for dyspraxia especially in my case, anyway another name for dyspraxia is developmental co-ordinational disorder. (D.C.D) it stops the messages inside my body reaching where they are supposed to go. People say I am just clumsy but I know it is not true. D.C.D is also classed as a motor learning disability. It means that I have difficulties with processing my thoughts, making simple physical movements which people do in everyday life harder than it is for most people. Things like picking up a cup are even sometimes difficult. The messages in my brain don’t go where they are supposed to causing me to move the wrong way or completely misjudge what I am doing. I have it relatively badly although it doesn’t affect my speech as it does for some people. As most people already know I can talk for hours on end with no fault. Some people with dyspraxia find their pronunciation difficult but that isn’t the case for me. But it does affect my awareness of how close I get to people. So if I do get super close and you are feeling slightly awkward please actually let me know and I will move. It also means that I have absolutely no coordination and that is why I struggle quite badly with simple things in a straight line or writing or especially sitting still. Whether I am fiddling with my hair or biting my nails I am always moving.
How it has affected my life
Have you ever heard of an occupational therapist I certainly have. Occupational therapy is something that has been with me all through my life and only stopped last year. My occupational therapist was called Heather. Heather helped me many times with physical activities. Mainly helping me to try and conquer simple things such as balance, tying laces, brushing my own hair and much, much more. For some reason my body is unaware of where it is in space making it hard for me just to find the back of my own head. The same applies with the back of an apron. But remember I said hard NOT impossible. At the younger age of six downwards I had something I liked to call my ‘stretchy shorts’. They encouraged my body to work out where it was in space. My Physio therapist Sally suggested them. I remember lying down whilst getting measured for them. Everyone around me was getting super stressed out because I just couldn’t lie still. That is another problem caused by dyspraxia. I am not ever still, making it hard for everyone around me in many ways. One time when I had just got my shorts I recall a time when I was supposed to be saved by them. At the time I had only been told that they were to help me balance, and therefore I put all my faith into them. So a little while later getting into the car my foot slipped and I closed my eyes and waited for my shorts to do some sort of magic. Of course they didn’t and I ended up falling and hitting the ground below me so decided to hate the wretched things.
My childhood with dyspraxia
Obviously dyspraxia has had a huge impact on all my life. But it has not stopped me doing anything. It has only made me struggle. I still do netball and hockey and other sports just maybe not as well as others. That does not mean I cant do them because I actually can. Sometimes only pure determination lets me complete it but I do it. So I have no excuse whatsoever.
I have been taken out of class a lot of times by lots of different people but I regret my choices of which I made very badly. I didn’t want the help. I wanted to be able to feel completely independent and I didn’t really know what the class thought of me. So I denied that I needed the help. I felt embarrassed and stressed that no one was taken out of class for the same reason as me or to do similar things so I said that I didn’t need them when I really did. I was taken out for extra P.E which I needed most but I threw all the chances for help and opportunities. To be honest now that more people are taken out I would probably of felt more comforted knowing that I wasn’t the only one. So I am sorry to all the teachers who only wanted to help…
Encouragement is a huge part of what keeps me going. It supports me and helps me conquer many a task. It is like the adrenalin in an actor or a runner. It is like the fuel that powers a steam train. It helps me push through. My parents are always very supportive of me and I know I will never have to give up on them. It is the same with my friends and teachers so thanks to everyone who has helped me. Sometimes when I am really close to giving up it gives me extra strength. Some of the things I do prove that nothing impossible if I put my mind to it such as… Doing the race for life and taking part in Shakespeare at Traqair’s show Hamlet. Everything is achievable if you put your mind to it.
The point of this write up
Hopefully by watching this power point you won’t get completely the wrong idea. I don’t suddenly want mountains of sympathy or anything. The aim of this was to let people know what it feels like to be a dyspraxic and how I feel about things. I just wanted everyone to be slightly more aware of why I do some of the strange things I do. It wasn’t supposed to make you think it is my one and only excuse. I can at least think of something smarter than this. All I am allowed to use dyspraxia for is explanation. Other than that it is a pretty useless thing to have. Although it makes me ‘unique’.