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DYSPRAXIA

& YOU

'I’m late!!!'

'which way??!!!'


Hello!!! My name's Jess... Hello, my name’is Jess. I was diagnosed with Dyspraxia when I was 11. Since being diagnosed, I’ve tried to access support services for my Dyspraxia. When I realised that there wasn’t much help for young adults available, I wanted to do something about it. With help from Fixers, I’ve created a resource booklet for young adults with Dyspraxia, which I really hope will help others struggling with the condition.


SYMPTOMS OF DYSPRAXIA Some of the characteristics we can find difficult: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

Coordination e.g. riding a bicycle and playing sport, particularly team sport Everyday tasks e.g. using cutlery, cooking, cleaning and household chores Writing – not just handwriting and typing, but constructing sentences too Getting ready e.g. doing hair, make-up and tying shoes Speech – e.g. mouth movements, pronunciation of words Eye movements e.g. being able to track a book when reading Perception e.g. oversensitive to light, difficult to distinguish sounds from background noise, sensitive to smell and taste 8. Sensitive to touch e.g. wearing particular clothes, people touching your hair 9. Spatial awareness 10. Judging time and speed 11. Reading maps, sense of direction and reading bus timetables 12. Organisational skills e.g. planning journeys 13. Short term memory 14. Finding employment, applying for jobs and completing college and university assignments 15. Concentration, easily distracted 16. Social interaction e.g. judging tone, difficulty picking up non-verbal signals, being in large groups, general people skills 17. Tendency to have fears, obsessions, low self-esteem, depression, emotional outbursts 18. Coping with change e.g a change in routine 19. Sleeping 20. Learning to drive

Although this is a long list of what people with dyspraxia MAY find difficult, everyone is different and individuals have different strengths and weaknesses. The next section shows what amazing people living with dyspraxia are doing, and how they manage their dyspraxia.


name BETHANY PEASE age 19 profession BEAUTY THERAPIST

When were you diagnosed with Dyspraxia? When I was 14 years old – my parents decided to have me diagnosed privately as school had not picked up on it so I did not qualify for NHS treatment.

How do you manage your dyspraxia at work? I tell people openly that I have dyspraxia so people know that sometimes it will take me longer to do things, and that I will need help doing certain things. Most people are very supportive, however some have no idea what dyspraxia is and therefore can see it as just an excuse of getting out of activities.

Which symptoms of Dyspraxia do you struggle with the most? I struggle with balance and movement as well as fine and gross motor skills and manual dexterity. My dyspraxia also impacts my core stability and body strength. I also have delayed sensory processing, which basically means it takes me longer than average to process information and figure out what it is I have to do. I find tasks such as cooking, cutting out, holding a pencil, any sports (e.g. catching or throwing a ball) riding a bike and mathematical work is challenging. I am also very clumsy.

How have you overcome some of these difficulties? For my sensory processing difficulties I had a therapeutic listening programme. This is where I would put on some massive headphones and listen to all types of music, from nursery rhymes to classical, and it was specially made to exercise my auditory system.


"Despite having dyspraxia, I'm training to be a beautician. It's diffficult at times but I don't let my dyspraxia hold me back! "

Do you have any funny stories as a result of your Dyspraxia? Every time I have to wrap a birthday or Christmas present that is usually quite hysterical! Also when I was learning to ride a bike my spatial awareness is poor so my poor parents would be on edge every time I would turn a corner on my bike (as I’d usually always miss the corner!) There have been a few cooking disasters as well due to my lack of ability to follow instructions!

What advice would you give someone that thinks they might have dyspraxia? If you think you have dyspraxia, ask to be tested! If you have it then you finally have a reason behind why you can’t do certain things and it helps you to stop beating yourself up over silly things. The dyspraxia foundation is brilliant at giving advice and information for anyone who has dyspraxia or who thinks their child has it.

Final Word... Dyspraxia sounds scary but don’t let it stop you from doing things you want to do. Dyspraxia just means you need to work harder at some things than other people and because of this once you reach that goal or complete that task you feel amazing because you have had to work through so many barriers that others have not. It is also important to know how to laugh at yourself!


name BEN PULLEN WRIGHT age 19 profession IT APPRENTICE

When were you diagnosed with Dyspraxia? When I was in primary school.

How do you manage your dyspraxia at work? As I work in the IT industry, dyspraxia doesn’t affect me as I am quite independent at work and I keep myself to myself. I can sometimes be quite slow so I tend to go over things more than once to make sure a task is completed properly.

Which symptoms of Dyspraxia do you struggle with the most? Riding a bike, cooking, tying my laces, balance and coordination, aspects of dressing, slow reaction speeds and movements.

How have you overcome some of these difficulties? I’m used to having dyspraxia and I have got better at some things like tying knots, my balance and sporting activities etc. I have read a few articles and books and contacted Dyspraxia Foundation who provided advice. I still have issues that I need to overcome, though.


Do you have any funny stories as a result of your Dyspraxia? I am rather clumsy as it happens, but I wouldn’t say there are any funny results because of it, but food lessons at school were definitely amusing as I genuinely had no idea what I was doing!

‘" people with

dyspraxia can achieve things that other people without any conditions can't. "

What advice would you give someone that thinks they might have dyspraxia? I would say try and get help if possible if you notice you have the symptoms of dyspraxia. In my case, because I had already been diagnosed, my school teachers were very supportive and helpful during my exams etc. If you know the right people and information, dyspraxia won’t be a hindrance, but something that’s just part of your life.

Final Word... Don’t forget that people with dyspraxia can do things and achieve things that people without any conditions can’t, so be thankful for that. Many people out there are on hand to make the lives of people with dyspraxia easier. BE POSTIVE!!!


name MAXINE FRANES ROPER age 29 profession JOURNALIST

When were you diagnosed with Dyspraxia? At 21, during the second year of my undergraduate degree.

How do you manage your dyspraxia at work? I work best to very specific deadlines and when I have an emotional affinity with the subject matter in some way. If I’m working on a big project a daily word target helps me stay on track.

Which symptoms of Dyspraxia do you struggle with the most? Daily tasks (shopping, cooking, styling my hair and applying makeup) are often laborious. Thinking on my feet, managing my time and using unfamiliar equipment. Sense of direction, especially in crowds. Numeracy and arithmetic. Situational anxiety. Regret over activities I might have been more willing to try if my dyspraxia had been identified and understood earlier.

How have you overcome some of these difficulties? Phone apps such as Google Maps and Street View, journey planners and reminders help me to remember things and find my way around. The internet in general helps with a lot of personal organisation and forward planning. It means when I meet someone most of the admin is taken care of beforehand so I can focus on the conversation.


Do you have any funny stories as a result of your Dyspraxia? The first time my last partner stayed over I made breakfast in bed. As I was trying to slink out elegantly I trod in my cereal bowl. We both saw the funny side. Whenever he brought me food after that he’d smile and say: “Don’t tread on it.”

What advice would you give someone that thinks they might have dyspraxia? If you’re in education or work, your school/college/employer should arrange for an assessment. Find a detailed diagnostic checklist and prepare examples of how you fit the criteria. Think back over your whole life and all aspects of it, not just about your current situation. People often seek help because of one problem area but have other difficulties they don’t know are linked.

Final Word... Everyone is good at something and loved by someone. Play to your strengths and cherish your friendships.

‘"Everyone is good at something. Dyspraxia just makes you more determined to find that talent. "’


'I’m late!!!'

1.

Research what (if anything) already exists in your local area for people with dyspraxia.

2.

Decide what kind of group you would like to set up and who to target.

3.

Contact the Dyspraxia Foundation and ask to become a Volunteer Coordinator. You will then get your group advertised on their website.

4.

Apply for funding to cover the costs of your group. 13-25 year olds can apply for £300 from www.o2thinkbig.co.uk

5.

Find a venue to hold the groups – e.g. community centre, coffee shops. For under 25’s www.somewhereto.com can help you find free space to use.

6.

Research ideas for activities to run as part of the support group. See the next section for more information.

7.

Recruit volunteers to help run the group. Carry out DBS (Disclosure & Barring Service) checks if necessary

8. Start brainstorming workshop ideas. Here are some examples to help get you started: • CV and interview skills Contact local organisations and charities to find an expert in this area who can run a session e.g. www.shaw-trust.org.uk • Keep fit StreetGames – www.streetgames.org They can train you to become a sports coach and run your own sports sessions. • Getting ready and cooking http://www.youtube.com/user/diverselearners Watch diverse learners online videos. How can the group help develop peoples skills? • Daily life coping skills (managing money, organisational skills, time management) MyBnk www.mybnk.org They have lots of free resources on their website you can use and can also deliver workshops. 9.

Complete risk assessments for the group and related activities.

10.

Advertise the support group and set up your first meeting.


A Chance At Dance – Dance classes in Reading for children and adults with additional needs www.sendanceclub.co.uk/index.html The Special Yoga School – charity and community yoga centre offering therapy for children and young people with special needs in London http://specialyoga.org.uk/ Get Cooking – social enterprise in Leeds offering cooking lessons for people of all abilities www.get-cooking.org.uk/ Creative Mentors – have some resources with advice about art and drawing for people with dyspraxia http://creativementors.org/resources Preparation for Adulthood – providing support for young people with SEN and disabilities so they have equal life chances as they move into adulthood www.preparingforadulthood.org.uk/ Dyspraxia Connexion – a group in Nottingham providing a range of support services for people with dyspraxia, as well as general awareness raising www.dyspraxiaconnexion.org.uk/ Ferring Country Centre – based in Worthing provides work experience and therapy for people with learning difficulties www.ferringcountrycentre.org CANadda – support group in Lincoln for people with dyspraxia and other related conditions www.facebook.com/LincolnCanadda Beat It – music, drama and dance for adults and young people with learning disabilities, learning difficulties and mental health issues in Halifax http://beatit.org.uk/contact-us • 10% Club – support group with people with dyspraxia on the Orkney Isles www.orkneylive.com/groups/profile/624 Dyspraxia Foundation – have support groups in various local areas across the country. Check their website to see if there is one near you and if not why not set up your own? http://www.dyspraxiafoundation.org.uk/info/local.php Dyspraxia UK - offers expert advice, assessments and strategies to children, young people and adults with dyspraxia throughout the UK http://www.dyspraxiauk.com/

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Hi, I’m Abi. I recently made a film with the help of Fixers in order to raise awareness of Dyspraxia. You can find a copy of the DVD below.

DVD GOES HERE!


Dyspraxia & You