Where do I start? It all started when I was a baby. My parents noticed when I was two years old, that I was a little bit slower than everyone else. I learned how to walk after the average age and my speech was far from perfect. As I grew older, I noticed that I couldn’t do simple things such as tying my shoe laces, or put my hair into a ponytail (and I still can’t plait my hair!). I was sent to speech and language therapy, alongside occupational therapy, to improve my speech and occupational development. I was around nine or ten years old when I was fully diagnosed as dyspraxic. It didn’t really bother me, I was really happy in primary school and had everything I could ask for.
It wasn’t until secondary school that I began to struggle. I found it difficult to blend in to my surroundings. I was unique, and I knew that. My peers treated me differently, they didn’t understand how I was feeling. Yes, I was bullied badly, but I did overcome it. I was strong enough to know that it was okay that I stood out.
Dyspraxia: What it’s like
Having dyspraxia sometimes feels unexplainable. I constantly feel unorganised and slower than everyone. People don’t have the patience to listen to me, except those who know that I have dyspraxia and respect who I am. Otherwise, I’ve noticed that a lot of young people disregard me, or walk away from me when I’m trying to get my message across.
Having dyspraxia makes it difficult to stay organised. I can never seem to get my thoughts in order. I’m often mistaken for being untidy, when the reality is I actually suffer from OCD symptoms all the time. I may not have my bedroom in order, but I like organising things in a particular way. My OCD plays on me daily. I refuse to walk on the cracks of our wooden floors, and like to organise my DVD’s in a unique way. I’m quirky, but not many people understand that!
Another thing I struggle with, is handling my emotions. One word could leave me in tears for days. Normal people will cry for an hour, but sometimes you will find me in despair in bed for days. I find it really hard to maintain my emotions, but maybe that’s because I struggle with making friends. But I believe that all of this is part of dyspraxia, so I’m reassured that I’m not an issue, I just cannot seem to get where I want to be. That’s frustrating too. People with dyspraxia can sometimes find it hard to talk in a social environment, or may have a habit of saying something we shouldn’t. It’s hard to know what to say at the right time, but more often than not, I’ll say something irrelevant or completely inappropriate. I think that’s why some of my peers find it hard to understand me.
Dyspraxia is, amongst other things, a coordination disorder. This really just means that we develop slower than others, but given the age I am now, I’m fully developed and am tiny, but also feel behind. I don’t like random things such as food textures, certain smells and particular images. I’m agitated by minor things which can upset me.
The Good Side to Dyspraxia
I have many love’s for different tv shows. I’m a bit mad, I’ll buy all of their merchandise like a crazy fan!! These obsessions or loves pass over time, but I do grow attached to things easily, and find it hard to let go. Accepting change can be hard. But overall, my loves aren’t all bad! Anyways, I’m really funny.. maybe that’s just my personality, but I had to add that in! Sometimes saying inappropriate things at the wrong time is hilarious. Another good trait I have is that I’m always willing to learn. I’m not exactly book smart, but if I hear a new word on tv or online, I’m very quick to write it down and repeat it. I’m also extremely artistic. I love making videos and social media, along with painting and art. I’ll always find something to keep myself busy! One of my favourite traits of dyspraxic people, is our determination. I don’t believe in giving up. Giving up doesn’t suit me, I’m strong minded and believe that I will always find light, even on my darkest days. People always assume that because I have dyspraxia, I’m stupid. But another positive characteristic of dyspraxia is actually carrying the exact opposite! I can see through everything, and I’m actually really insightful and give brilliant advice to people.
So don’t judge me, I’m like you, but I’m different. Aren’t we all different? Thanks for reading, I hope this helps everyone understand me, and everyone just like me, a little bit more.