Living With Dyspraxia
It can be said that the majority of our lives is largely down to choice. What we choose to wear, where we choose to go, who we choose to hang out with. Even our place of work is a choice. Whilst you may think that working where you are is not a choice, in reality it is. Nobody is going to put a gun to your head and force you to work where you are. Yes there may be financial consequences if you just walk out of the workplace, in practise you can still leave your place of work.
Whilst the majority of our lives is largely down to choice, this cannot be said for everything. Unfortunately there are a number of things which are beyond our choice; one such thing is Dyspraxia. None of us consciously chose to be born with Dyspraxia!
Despite not being able to choose having Dyspraxia (or any other disability for that matter) what we can choose is our response to Dyspraxia. And by response, I mean how we as individuals are going to respond to our Dyspraxia on a daily basis; or however severely it affects us in our day-to-day lives.
Living With Dyspraxia
When it comes to living with Dyspraxia, there isn’t really one solution that solves all problems due to the fact our Dyspraxia affects each of us differently. If you have read my previous article ‘Dyspraxia In Adult’ you may recall how there are a vast number of traits which make up Dyspraxia. There are even four different types of Dyspraxia which all these traits can be categorized into; this being Ideational, Ideomotor, Verbal and Constructional.
Some of us Dyspraxics would only have one type of these Dyspraxia (such as Verbal Dyspraxia) whereas others would have all four types. Some unfortunate individuals will have all four variations to an extreme level whereas others would only have all four mildly.
Either way, there is no one solution. However, one thing that I would strongly recommend is that you learn to work towards your strengths. By this, I mean taking time to do an introspection of yourself and figure out what you are good at as well as what you enjoy doing.
An example of this can be seen with work. Perhaps one of your strengths is humour and making others laugh. Yet you are currently working in a dead-end office job. Does this mean you should quit your job and start a career in comedy? Not necessarily for you can simply start by using your sense of humour to provide some comedy and relief to your fellow co-workers.
Outside of your work however, you could always try some stand-up comedy or producing some comical content online (be that videos, books, etc.) Over time you might even start getting some paid gigs and subsequently, maybe enough for you to willingly quit your job.
This principle doesn't just apply to humour but any strength. If you are good at pattern recognition then you may want to try financial trading on the side. Else if you are good at poetry, start writing poems.
We all have various strengths and as such if you want to make life a lot easier for ourselves, then I would recommend figuring out your strengths. And then working out how you can apply them to your life.
Beyond using your strengths, another way is to do the opposite, in that you will reduce the times you'd be in areas where your Dyspraxia is a hindrance.
An example of this can be if you happen to have Verbal Dyspraxia to the point where others find it hard to understand you. If you have Verbal Dyspraxia to such an extent, then I would recommend you see a speech therapist for help.
Yet in the meantime, you could always write down what you want to say or perhaps ask someone else to speak on your behalf. The same could also be said if you have difficulties doing certain physical tasks due to your coordination skills. As such you could always ask others to do the task for you. Perhaps you could pay that person back I a favour in another area that you are good at.
Breaking Down Your Day
One area which many of us Dyspraxics struggle with is processing, memory and organisation. These are three traits which can cause others to believe that we are just being lazy or deliberately obtrusive. Yet nothing could be further from the truth.
Due to our issues with processing information (especially in a fast moving environment) as well as memory and organisational skills, we are more prone than most to becoming overwhelmed. Add to the equation the other issues that many of us face with our Dyspraxia, and planning our day as well as executing our plans can become quite a challenge!
If you have read my previous article, 'One Small Step Can Change Your Life' we discovered that one way around entering the state of overwhelm is to break things down into smaller steps. And then only focus on one step at a time till the job is done.
Yet breaking down the task into smaller steps will not only help you not to enter that state of overwhelm but also help you get out of a state of overwhelm. If you find yourself stuck in such a state, you can start chunking things down by doing something small. Any small step that chips off just a bit of the stuff you need to get done will do.
For example if you are lying in bed at the start of a very hectic week, you may not feel the motivation to get out of bed. Yet if you can just put your feet out of bed and on the floor (hence sit up) this would give you the momentum to hopefully move further forwards.
And if you are able to get yourself to stand up, then that step would help increase the momentum even more. All this would do wonders with regards to shifting your mental state and get you out of that all too common state of mental overwhelm!
Anyhow if you like to know more about Dyspraxia, including the strengths of having Dyspraxia, I recommend you read my book ‘Dyspraxia: How To Thrive As An Adult’ by Alex Gadd. You can find that by clicking here.
Else if you would like to be in a group of fellow Dyspraxics and find more information on this disability, then why not join the Dyspraxia Support Group on Facebook.