Dsypraxic or Hopeless

Getting assessed for your dyspraxia, getting help, disability allowance etc.

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Dsypraxic or Hopeless

Post by Amphictyonis » Wed Oct 26, 2016 4:01 pm


I'm not sure where to begin. I'm at my wits end trying to reason why I am the way I am. I'm a 29 year old occupational therapy student, currently on placement in a neurology rehab unit, and I'm failing because I'm considered incompetent in relation to working with patients with physical dysfunction. For many years now, I have attempted to ascertain the route of my difficulties, and dyspraxia has been mentioned on many occasions by friends in educations and professional alike. However, I have had consultations with 2 separate neurologists, both of whom could not provide me with a diagnosis or any explanation for my difficulties, since I didn't demonstrate a significant impairment on their standardised tests. In the most recent consultation, the doctor suggested that depression was the route of my cognitive issues, although I wouldn't consider myself depressed, and stated that I was merely clumsy and should learn to deal.

For as long as I could remember my life has been impacted by various difficulties.

- I have beautiful handwriting, but I am impossibly slow and my hand tires easily, which has impacted my ability to perform in exams and now when documenting my work on placement. I am told that the content of my work is 'spot on', but that my pace is causing time management issues.
- My spatial awareness is poor, and I am constantly walking into door frames or knocking things off worktops as I pass. I also struggle with driving and walking in crowded areas, as I tend to veer off without realising, which results in me walking into people or driving dangerously close to the curb or parked cars. At present, I am struggling with hoisting patients in confined spaces.
- My balance isn't great, and I cannot stand for long periods of time, and when I do, I constantly shift my weight from side to side, and sometimes lose balance. I have never been able to master riding a bike or skating despite my best efforts.
- I'm prone to dropping things.
- I've avoided sport for entire life as I struggle mimic or sequence the required actions or I lose my footing and fall over. Aerobics classes are my idea of hell, and 'friends' frequently remind me of how embarrassing and awkward I was when previously attending classes.
- I struggle with distinguishing left from right, which is proving particularly difficult on this placement as I have to be able to instruct patients on which direction to move. It also caused significant issue when learning to drive, since I would signal or drive the wrong way.
- I am overly sensitive to light and noise, and often struggle to concentrate in busy environments.
- I struggle with fine motor movements such as tying laces, and didn't learn at all until I was 11!
- Pronouncing certain words is difficult and I am not always aware of the pitch of my voice, and as such, tend to get hushed a lot.
- My short term memory is appalling. I suck at following instructions, because I've forgotten step 2 & 3 after finishing step 1 (particularly if it includes numbers!).
- I take forever doing anything. I give myself over an hour in the morning to wash and dress, and even though I prepare everything the night before, I sometimes still run out of time. I don't even wear make up or shower in the morning. It defies reason!

The combination of these factors, causes me a lot of frustration and embarrassment, but I have become accustom to laughing at myself and being self-deprecating. Sadly, now I am training as a professional, it is proving very problematic!

Any advice or thoughts would be most appreciated. Seeking help through the NHS seems fruitless, and unfortunately, private assessment isn't an option at present. I'm starting to wonder if I am bit hopeless, and should just accept said fact!

Tom fod
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Joined: Thu May 12, 2011 9:05 pm
Location: SW UK

Re: Dsypraxic or Hopeless

Post by Tom fod » Wed Oct 26, 2016 10:43 pm

Hi and welcome.

You are certainly not hopeless though I do appreciate why you no doubt feel that this is the case. It is not and the difficulty is in finding your niche and an employer able to put tyour talents to best use and offer the necessary flexibility.

There seem to be so many people stuck in the catch 22 of not being able to access a formal assessment/diagnosis and as such employers seem unable or unwilling to make common sense reasonable adjustments. This is further complicated by our low self esteem and the sense that it is not appropriate for us to receive these and where implemented clumsily can further erode our sense of independence. Furthermore, it can sometimes feel as if some colleagues resent any apparent preferential treatment meant to help us better perform our roles.

I do suspect Neurologist speciality and interest ends with determining you don't have some more serious neurological condition and most of the scant Dyspraxia resource is generally focused towards younger people in f/t education.

Does your trainiing provider/placement host have a tutor or welfare team with whom you can discuss these barriers to your progress and how they might be addressed? Have you mentioned your suspicion you may be to some degre e Dyspraxic?
Last edited by Tom fod on Wed Oct 26, 2016 11:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: further improvement

With a foot full of bullets I tried to run faster but I just hobbled on to the next disaster.
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