Dyspraxia & Me

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Daydreaming
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Dyspraxia & Me

Post by Daydreaming » Sun Dec 03, 2017 10:21 pm

Hi everyone,
I'm just starting out on this journey of discovery about Dyspraxia.
So here is a bit about my life.

I live in Scotland and I'm a single mum in my mid-forties.

The only thing I got from school was poor self-esteem and a crushed spirit. So, at the earliest opportunity I ran away as fast as my poorly balanced body would carry me. Which was not very fast at all. If I could ride a bike, I would have gone on that.
My mother once described my running style like, "being bothered by a swarm of bees."

Through life experiences I realised I care empathically. I'm also practical and creative.
But it saddens and perplexes me that I struggle with academia.
My mind is continually full of diverse thoughts and questions. About a thousand at all times. None of them ordered. All of them hungry for knowledge.

I have lived and worked all over the world, sometimes pocketing a high income and at other times
only earning my keep - bed and board in return for work.

My work is meaningful, fulfilling and helpful to myself and others.

Now, I've always known that I am 'different'. I was labelled that way throughout my childhood. Here are some of my quirks:
As a child I was always covered in bruises that I could not account for. I'm still that way now.
I'm clumsy. I once broke a one-off china teapot that was a commissioned piece. Mortified!
I'm a fidget.
I swim like a fish but truly suck at ball games. At school, I was nearly always picked last for teams in P.E.
I have weak spacial awareness, poor memory and processing skills - often don't understand connections that are instantly obvious to others.

I once organised a day out on a boat for six people. We all arrived and waited for the boat man to show up and deliver the keys/show us what to do. We hung around for ages before I rang him to ask where he was? It was only then it dawned on me that I had the right day but the wrong month!
I am rubbish at planning and time keeping. I have a reminder alarm for just about everything. I never know what date,day or time it is.

Dinner at my house is always a surprise, either it's charcoal or raw. Sometimes I ask my son, "Can you smell burning?"
I need a reminder to remind me to set a reminder.
I can never remember the word 'Takeaway' so I ask "Shall we treat ourselves to pie shop tonight?" In my head, pie shop is the word for takeaway and makes perfect sense. Anyone who knows me knows what I mean.

I see colour when I hear music and play several instruments very well, but can't read a note. This infuriated my music teacher at school. When I was twelve, I turned up for my very first music lesson, only to be told to sit and wait while the teacher finished going over a piece of grade 5 music with a senior student. When it was my turn, I got out my flute and played the piece of music the previous student had been practicing. For some reason I have never fathomed, the teacher got cross and said she thought that I would be much better suited to playing something like the French horn. I told her I liked playing woodwind but she was insistent. She sent a letter home to my parents telling them this and that I MUST also learn to read music. It was the beginning and the end of lessons.

I'm sensitive to light and hear every sound as my brain cannot filter them. Can't deal with violence and cruelty as it gives me nightmares, I avoid watching certain movies or reading the news.
I have been a sleepwalker all my life. Some dreams are epic. I once made a cup of tea and loaded the washing machine in my sleep.

I often wake exhausted.

My fingertips are very sensitive to touch and I'm very tactile. Whenever I shop in IKEA, I have to rub my face in the pile of sheepskin rugs... so sorry if you bought one after.

I experience sensory overload daily.

I can never remember names of people or things and if I meet friends out of context (maybe bumping into them- sometimes literally), it takes me a while to figure out who they are and how I know them. I sometimes miss social cues and I'm terrible at small talk.
A few years ago, a woman called out to me from the opposite side of the street and fleetingly asked after myself and my family. I shouted back that we were all fine and asked her how she was? To this day I still have no clue who she is?

Did I mention I have a poor memory? I'm the person you blast your horn at, who drives around roundabouts many times before working out which exit to take. Parking the car can be troublesome. If there are too many spaces I cannot make a decision. My son yells, "Just park somewhere, mum." I often make umpteen attempts to park straight and usually end up abandoning the car. So, I'm also the person you leave a note for, who has parked so inconsiderately.

I am sociable but on my own terms. I covet my privacy. I'm happiest alone or with my son. I am curious at all times but I have had to learn not to say out loud whatever comes into my head. I don't understand why I cant sing and play my way through every day. I'm playful, spontaneous, imaginative and love revelling in my thoughts.

Thankfully, I work with children.

To others my flakiness seems like I'm 'zoning out', or, 'in my own wee world'. I find real life more surreal.
My thoughts are diverse and disordered. Did I mention that I often repeat myself too? I forget if I said it or not - or if I said it out loud or just in my head?
It requires great focus to force out coherent sentences.
My childlike handwriting can trump any doctors scribble and my grip is weak. Cherry on my cake is that I'm also left-handed. Well, I say left-handed - I'm actually ambidextrous. The only thing I can't do with my right hand is write - yes, it's even worse than my leftie writing- if that's possible?
Illegible handwriting and smudged as well.
I never know where to put punctuation in a sentence and I'm the person you write, 'learn English' to, on online chat forums.
I'm pigeon toed and spent years with moulds in my shoes to hold up my foot arches and force my feet straight. After my son was born I suffered a lot of pain as my joints had overextended during pregnancy. That was when I discovered I also have hyperextension. I've always felt my body was misaligned. Joint pain and back pain are still regular visitors.

I wanted to be a carpenter, but dyspraxia said NO!

Now that I'm a mum, my wanderlust has taken a back seat and recently my thoughts have returned to education.
Previous school reports always said the same thing...'Could spend less time gazing out the window' or 'can do better.'

So I knew university would be a challenge.
But I faced my nemesis and applied. Now I'm studying an HNC which leads onto an honours degree. Woo-hoo!

What I did not expect was my lecturers suggestion that I should be assessed for dyslexia. So I met with the educational psychologist who rigorously tested me for three hours. My brain felt like it had been minced. White static head for the rest of that day.

But the good news is that I'm here as a fellow dyspraxic with you fine people.
And I can finally put a name to my 'differences'.
And I can research the heck out of this thing.
And I have another few thousand questions to ask... :banana:

My next post will cover all the awesome things about being dyspraxic. There are lots...
Last edited by Daydreaming on Mon Dec 04, 2017 11:42 pm, edited 4 times in total.

Tom fod
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Re: Dyspraxia & Me

Post by Tom fod » Sun Dec 03, 2017 10:46 pm

Welcome to the forum please read /ask away.
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.
(from Peter and the Test Tube Babies, Foot Full of Bullets)

Daydreaming
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Joined: Sun Dec 03, 2017 5:48 pm

Re: Dyspraxia & Me

Post by Daydreaming » Sun Dec 03, 2017 10:49 pm

Awww, thanks Tom fod.

Dan
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Re: Dyspraxia & Me

Post by Dan » Mon Dec 04, 2017 1:40 pm

Thoroughly interesting, well written and engaging post. I find that everything you mentioned here applies significantly to me, particularly swimming life a fish and being good at instruments (piano here), yet failing at activities like sport and handwriting. I am also somebody who daydreams a lot, although that is more likely ADHD, for which I am being assessed in February. Comorbidity is common in Dyspraxics, so you may also have ADHD.

I am now keen to understand what it is that allows you and I to swim and play instruments but not do finer or grosser activities successfully.

What you say about learning instruments applies to me. I never learnt to read, so just write music or learn by ear. My teacher was always fine with this though, so it sounds like your teacher was a bit of a dick about it. Do you still play? I posted a bit of my playing pieces and a song I wrote in another thread, and was good once! :p I play less often these days...

Senses being jumbled up is called synaesthesia and is common in people with learning disabilities, although I have never experienced it except once when I tried LSD (lol).

Daydreaming
New member - welcome them!
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Dec 03, 2017 5:48 pm

Re: Dyspraxia & Me

Post by Daydreaming » Mon Dec 04, 2017 11:34 pm

Thank you for your reply, Dan. Now I have more to learn, thanks to you.

I have also pondered the swimming and music conundrum.
When I say I 'see' music I mean it in an in my head kind of way, rather like thoughts,or waves of colour and light.
Swimming is the same. When I'm in the water and especially under it, I feel so at home. Perhaps I was a mermaid in a past-life?
I also love to dance. I'm no good at it but I don't let that stop me.

As for being musical...
For me, playing flute, clarinet, treble, bass ,descant recorder and penny whistle feeds my soul and
I felt instant affinity when I first played.
I don't know how I know the notes without reading music and I've no idea how I play by ear?
I have no notion how my fingers fid the right keys?

The thing that I love most about music is that it is a mystery why it moves me so.
I don't spend any time trying to work it out...it just feels right and intuitive to go with it.

I'm going to look up your music on the other thread.

Good luck with your assessment in February.

Dan
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Re: Dyspraxia & Me

Post by Dan » Tue Dec 05, 2017 12:19 am

Daydreaming wrote:Thank you for your reply, Dan. Now I have more to learn, thanks to you.

I have also pondered the swimming and music conundrum.
When I say I 'see' music I mean it in an in my head kind of way, rather like thoughts,or waves of colour and light.
Swimming is the same. When I'm in the water and especially under it, I feel so at home. Perhaps I was a mermaid in a past-life?
I also love to dance. I'm no good at it but I don't let that stop me.

As for being musical...
For me, playing flute, clarinet, treble, bass ,descant recorder and penny whistle feeds my soul and
I felt instant affinity when I first played.
I don't know how I know the notes without reading music and I've no idea how I play by ear?
I have no notion how my fingers fid the right keys?

The thing that I love most about music is that it is a mystery why it moves me so.
I don't spend any time trying to work it out...it just feels right and intuitive to go with it.

I'm going to look up your music on the other thread.

Good luck with your assessment in February.
I totally agree with you on playing by ear - it is also often a mystery to me how I am able to figure stuff out so fast. My writing has developed such that I LOVE minor 7th9th chords and major 7ths a lot these days.

I will have a look and see if you located my music! I would be keen to listen to some of your playing too. I love classical music, but also adore post-rock and bands like Boards of Canada, 65daysofstatic, Mogwai and such, whilst also thoroughly enjoying Gerschwin, Beethoven, Mozart, Chopin (my favourite man ever) and Debussy(my second favourite - sorry Debussy!)

I am trying to think of my favourite piece of music with a clarinet. Clarinets have such a rich, warm tone and it makes me salivate, haha!

Dan
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Re: Dyspraxia & Me

Post by Dan » Tue Dec 05, 2017 12:23 am

I just realised the thread where I posted the compositions would be hard to locate. Here is a link: http://www.dyspraxicadults.org.uk/forum ... 213#p31213

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