So, I have Dyspraxia. No, not dyslexia, dyspraxia. The weird awkward cousin of Dyslexia.
Don’t worry it’s not contagious.
Many people would call it a learning difficulty or belovedly adopt the phrase The Clumsy Child Syndrome. That phrase is endearing, but when you’re 25 and you’re still religiously spilling that nice warm cup of tea onto your grandma’s nice white rug, I can confirm that it’s not a childhood thing.
The Dyspraxia Foundation describes the learning difference as ‘a common disorder affecting fine and/or gross motor coordination in children and adults.’ The foundation means well, however I believe that it’s describing Dyspraxia in the medical model, and that can be problematic.
Fits no definition
Case in point, the actual meaning of the word: Dyspraxia means ‘Can’t do things’. I don’t know about you, but I do manage to put my underwear on everyday. Sometimes it’s backwards or inside out, but who the hell cares, if I don’t?
But yes, if you do throw a ball at me, my mind does sometimes take the scenic route and literally drop the ball. I call it my Locomotive Mind, it takes the curvy and less-boring route. It’s no commute for me.
Dyspraxia is hard to describe. I’ve been stopping and starting this article for four months, because of my anxiety on my ability to describe what it actually is. I am qualified to talk about it, but I’m worried that society can’t understand.
I remembered when I was working at Starbucks, and I was pulled aside and told numerous times that my “performance” and my “penmanship” wasn’t Starbucks standard. Sorry SB – I call it creative handwriting.
The amount of times establishments, teachers and various others have tried to warp my understanding on who I am – and micromanage my abilities to fit my sphere into their square slot – has got to the point that I have to expect it as my normal life. I have to be patient with myself, because it’s unfortunately hard to find someone who is.
I was running in an infinite hamster wheel of anxiety and self-doubt, until I watched the latest episode of Doctor Who. They introduced a main character with Dyspraxia, who is 19 and can’t ride a bike and hates ladders. I have never, EVER, seen any representation of Dyspraxia anywhere. So when it’s a major plotline in my favourite TV show, all of a sudden, I do not feel alone.
I love to see fellow Dyspaxics (Dyspraxtronauts?) out there with creativity tied shoelaces and awesome walking patterns, and I would give them a high-five and we would both miss.
For more information, watch this: