This week is Dyspraxia Awareness Week. When I started blogging, over ten years ago now, I started because I wanted to talk about Dyspraxia. Twitter allowed me to meet some people who were also Dyspraxic, which was brilliant. As time went on I started to blog more about Dyspraxia and Dyscalculia and then onto my visual impairment.
For those of you who do not know Dyspraxia is a Developmental Co Ordination Disorder. It means I find movement and co ordination of movement very hard. I also find it difficult to co ordinate my thoughts so I can appear uncomfortable or not very confident. But I am.
It took me until I was about nine years old to learn to ride a bike, I still struggle to tie my shoe laces. Buttons are a real difficulty. When shopping for clothes I have to make sure the buttons are doable. Doing everyday tasks when you have Dyspraxia is very hard.
The best way I can describe it to you is this: imagine you’re just doing a normal thing, like making a list.
Now say someone comes in and starts talking to you.
Then they start tapping you on the shoulder as well.
Now someone else has come in and is also talking to you.
They decide to start tapping away on the table.
Then you get a phone call.
Now one of those other two people has asked you to read them something. No reason.
You have just remembered you are cold and want to put a jumper on so you start to do that.
You’re on the phone, writing your list, trying to put your jumper on and those people are still talking and trying to get your attention while tapping away.
It’s very hard to multitask. Being Dyspraxic is like multitasking all the time. You never get a break because everything takes so much effort and it is exhausting.
Some things that can help those of us who are Dyspraxic are:
Making a lists.
Breaking information down into small chunks.
Allow us extra time.
When thinking about how you can help a person with Dyspraxia remember to be kind to them. Don’t over whelm them. When we get overwhelmed we become very stressed out. Help us to become better at organising our time. This can really make difference to us. When we feel we are on top of things we are a lot more confident and can succeed.
We may take a little longer at doing something, but thats OK because we have a very different mindset to everyone else. We are quite creative and you will see that is evident in our work.
Don’t dismiss us because we appear to be all over the place. W jesuit struggle with organisation at times. But when we do get organised and sort out what needs doing and we plan. We are very efficient because we know what we’re doing when.
Dyspraxia Awareness Week is every year 5-11th October. Celebrate our Differences and lets work to build a Dyspraxia Friendly World.