Dyspraxia or under confidence?

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annie30
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Dyspraxia or under confidence?

Post by annie30 » Mon Apr 24, 2017 7:19 pm

Hi everyone,

On the weekend I became stuck in my driveway, unable to reverse my car. It was not the first time it happened. My whole family became frustrated at me, and I felt really irresponsible for not being able to do something so simple. I have always had problems with driving - I passed on the fourth attempt. When I was learning, I had trouble following instructions. I would be able to do a manoeuvre one minute and not the next. When I had my final driving test my instructor told me I wasn't ready and wouldn't pass. By some small miracle I did. Even today I have to think really hard when reversing - I can't work out which way to turn the wheel to get the car in the desired position. Anyway, after becoming stuck in the driveway for the umpteenth time I googled "why can't I drive properly", which led me to a message board about dyspraxia. I then googled symptoms of dyspraxia and all of a sudden everything that I had ever found difficult in my life started to make sense. For example, I can't ride a bike up or down a hill, or even on a flat surface for longer than twenty seconds without falling off. I get words like on, off, open, closed confused - I know what they mean but sometimes when someone tells me to open something I'll close it instead etc. I had real difficulties with maths when I was a child. I feel like I have to plan for everything in meticulous detail because I can't respond to the unexpected. I don't have a dominant hand. My drawings are childlike. Weirdly, when I attempt a task by myself, I perform much better than if I'm in a group. On the whole I find group situations quite stressful.

Some other "symptoms" I don't have - for example, I have no problems getting dressed etc and as far as I can remember I've never had a problem with writing. Most of the time I lead quite a functional life, but I am useless at responding well to situations that are unfamiliar. Now, I'm not sure if I'm dyspraxic or just under confident. I've always suffered from low self esteem and not had much confidence in my abilities. I always felt like something was missing because I wouldn't understand things in the same way as other people. I don't know what to do now - should I see a doctor? Will it really make a difference? I'm 30 now, so I think it might be a bit late for a diagnosis. Your advice would be really appreciated. I only found out what dyspraxia is two days ago!

Thanks.

Tom fod
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Re: Dyspraxia or under confidence?

Post by Tom fod » Mon Apr 24, 2017 9:45 pm

Hi Annie and welcome.

Many of us here will identify with the difficulties you've mentioned including performing tasks in front of an audience. Dyspraxia very much does tend to cause under confidence. When you struggle to perform theoretically easy tasks you're going to feel a bit stupid and that can become a particularly vicious circle. We aren't all affected in the same ways and have varying success with personal coping strategies and are unique individuals and won't fit a specific mould.

If you feel you need a professional diagnosis it is worth speaking to your GP I'd recommend you take supporting info as not all GPs are familiar. The other thing to be aware of is that resource provision for adult diagnosis and assistance is a bit patchy so you may need to be patient and persistent. Formal diagnosis is useful if you need to compel an employer to provide reasonable adjustments. Quite a few visitors here are not diagnosed and since obtaining a formal diagnosis is often not straightforward we're content that some people will be self declaring.

Feel free to have a good look about and ask any questions you might have.
Tom
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With a foot full of bullets I tried to run faster but I just hobbled on to the next disaster.
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Ram
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Re: Dyspraxia or under confidence?

Post by Ram » Tue Apr 25, 2017 6:29 pm

Welcome to the site, Annie.

In my highly unqualified opinion, it sounds as if it is likely you have dyspraxia. If you are able to, it's worth getting assessed. I wasn't done till I was well into my 30s. However, it does give you some peace of mind.

otis_b_flywheel
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Re: Dyspraxia or under confidence?

Post by otis_b_flywheel » Wed Apr 26, 2017 12:00 pm

I then googled symptoms of dyspraxia and all of a sudden everything that I had ever found difficult in my life started to make sense.
Welcome from me too, Annie, and I can totally relate to the above.

For the record, I was diagnosed last autumn at the age of 56, so you could say that it's never too late! Getting an assessment is without doubt quite difficult. You may wish to consider saving for a private assessment?

Good luck
Tim

"I may not be perfect, but parts of me are pretty awesome."

nickye
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Re: Dyspraxia or under confidence?

Post by nickye » Mon May 08, 2017 11:11 am

Hi Annie and welcome

I can definitely relate to what you and the others say. It's certainly not too late as I was diagnosed with dyspraxia aged 44 (four years ago) and it's great to know why I struggle with certain things. Don't be disheartened - or try not to be - by other people's attitudes sometimes. When I went to a neurologist he didn't think I had dyspraxia but I went privately to someone who does tests and found I do have it.

Im' not at all surprised a lot of us have problems with low self-esteem - it does undermine your confidence and other people can get impatient, even if they don't mean to. It's difficult to understand how you can do some things well and not others. For exampke, I struggled with driving, catching a ball, riding a bike just everyday 'common sense' things, and yet I could balance when ice-skating, have neat handwriting and can knit. I've always had great trouble with directions and lose things a lot, although this has improved over the years.

It took me three years to learn to drive, and at first I didn't realise I had to turned the wheel back again when I'd turned it to go round a corner! But I did learn and even drove back from France the other year when my husband had a seizure and was not able to drive back (something I would have said I couldn't do!) I then did the driving for the family for over a year - luckily he is well again now and driving.

I hope you find as much confidence as I have from these supportive people on this website. It has been a revelation. It also helps me to help other people as well.

Dyspraxia can be a bit of a strange old thing - even for us who have it, it can be difficult to explain. Even fi you don't get an official diagnosis, the Dyspraxia Foundation are really helpful. Also reading on here. I would also recommend some books:

Caged in Chaos - Victoria Biggs
Coping with Dyspraxia - Jill Eckersley (I think I've spelled her name right?)
Where's my Pen? - Sarah Johns

Also Matthew Munson's website is good (The Two Dyspraxics) and he does videos. Also there's is something called Matt's Hideout - a website I've read before.

I think a lot of problems come from people not always believing you struggle - they can think you're being careless and this in turn can make us angry and upset. We then often end up being diagnosed with mental health problems and yet finding out about dyspraxia can make life a lot better. I also think we have a lot of understanding for other people with difficulties as well, and it can make us more compassionate.

Good luck on the journey - it can be a bit up and down but I hope it all goes well for you.

Nicky

Ram
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Re: Dyspraxia or under confidence?

Post by Ram » Wed May 10, 2017 7:02 pm

nickye wrote:
Im' not at all surprised a lot of us have problems with low self-esteem - it does undermine your confidence and other people can get impatient, even if they don't mean to.

Dyspraxia can be a bit of a strange old thing - even for us who have it, it can be difficult to explain.

I think a lot of problems come from people not always believing you struggle - they can think you're being careless and this in turn can make us angry and upset. We then often end up being diagnosed with mental health problems and yet finding out about dyspraxia can make life a lot better.

Nicky
Your last post was excellent all round. You really have hit the nail on the head about the confidence and interpersonal issues that dyspraxia can cause.

nickye
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Re: Dyspraxia or under confidence?

Post by nickye » Thu May 11, 2017 9:41 am

thanks very much Ram. I do find this site very useful, because it's very hard to explain some of these things to people who are not dyspraxic.

I hope everyone is doing OK

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