The best way to learn about Dyspraxia is from Dyspraxic people. So here is what life is like with Dyspraxia!
Even though most people won’t realise it because I have my rituals and I found ways to hide it. I guess I am moving too fast; to get to where I am now, we should go back to when the symptoms were really bad.
I’m 10 years old again and sitting in a classroom trying to keep up with everyone else writing a story about something or other. My teacher has stopped letting me type my story on a computer because it is apparently “distracting” the other kids. I ask to go to the bathroom and I burst into tears because I feel like I’m stupid and the rest of the kids believe that too. That night, I break down and cry myself to sleep.
I was the first person in my area I believe, to be diagnosed with Dyspraxia and the way school dealt with it was not really all that great. I would get extra time in exams or I would get breaks, but it wouldn’t help my organisation skills and handwriting were terrible. My concentration was nearly non-existent, but my parents helped me a lot.
We took trips to the UK to get me tested and we worked on exercises to help me get my balance right and speak properly and we would write, write, write annnndddddd write to get my handwriting and speed up to scratch. I would get teased and bullied for being different and for the fact I would cry A LOT, like, all the time. I used to wet the bed and the only “friend” I had outed me in front of everyone. Basically primary and secondary school was hell. Then I was 13 and started my Comprehensive school and things started to change.
I picked up my first book (A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snickett) from the library and I was hooked. In four years I read every single book in that library cover to cover and it became my sanctuary.
Words started to become my friend and I enjoyed writing and reading and no longer was I petrified of them. I started having some amazing teachers who pushed me passed my limits. I owe where I am to them now, and they know who they are; Terrible teachers were there too, who told me I would never amount to anything. But I came out of school with 6 GCSEs (2 A’S) and 2 A levels so that shows them.
Now I am at university and it gave me a whole other set of challenges, this time with very little help. There were things I had never considered before, such as going to the supermarket and budgeting my money or opening a can by myself. But you learn tips and quirks in overcoming them, I now have a routine to go to Sainsbury’s. I sit at my computer, work out how many meals I am going to have, what I need to cook them and work out the cost.
I have routine for everything I do in my life, down to how long I study each day and when I eat. Studying Graphic Design is very difficult for someone with Dyspraxia. Things people take advantage of such as spelling or using scissors, but I have overcome them by buying a penknife for more control (or getting someone else to cut for me) and by double-checking everything I write.
I think having Dyspraxia is a pain the ass, I am not even gonna lie. Most days, I wish I never had it. However, then I take a step back and look at how far I have come and what I have achieved. My outlook and I owe it all to my Dyspraxia.
So would I change it?? No, I wouldn’t.
Dedicated to Mr B, Miss. W, Miss G and Mr C (angels in disguise)
So I wrote this while on my BA, and my life has changed quite a bit. I am now graduated with a Masters Degree in Graphic Design. I work for my favourite company (Chewigem) and I live life on my own terms. Dyspraxia still affects my life. It’s taken me a few months to learn to tie my laces, practising every day & I only just learned to do my laces. But I don’t let Dyspraxia Stop me!
Don’t let it stop you either!
I hope that this blog has given you an insight into what life is like with Dyspraxia!
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