My coping strategies - what are yours?

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Re: My coping strategies - what are yours?

Post by PhilB » Sat Jan 19, 2013 8:02 am

foundit wrote: I have a zipper pouch wallet that has a key ring on it, and is big enough to hold my cell phone. I hang it on the hook when I enter the house. If I lose it, I just have to call my cell phone to find my keys and wallet too!
Now that's what I call an idea, would save me a lot of time. Provided I remembered to keep the phone charged... I'd need to have a charger by the hook!!

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Re: My coping strategies - what are yours?

Post by LuluBoo » Thu Jan 24, 2013 6:39 am

Asking for help when I need it
I tried to do work alone at school due to all the resentment I was getting from everyone.
then the head of department at my college was like 'you can't have too much help' i took that as i'm not allowed any and then i became a stressed mess at the end of the year.

Doing things in small chunks
this is a reason I passed my third year of college
in my second year I tried to do everything at once and made a pig's ear of it :lol:

Tell an employer you have dyspraxia
I tried not telling anyone then it backfired, so i suggest telling people

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Re: My coping strategies - what are yours?

Post by Jordi20 » Sat Jun 29, 2013 9:08 am

agsiul wrote:That's funny. I found that I was much worse when I'd have the radio on...of course I'd just have music on. I wouldn't have a person talking on it so wouldn't have any idea of time. I just would have the music on so that I wouldn't get bored. I do the cleaning now without music cause it was taking hours.
I always listen to podcasts, to stop me getting bored. The episodes are the same length, so it's like having a timer in the background to keep you focused. You think, God, I've been doing this for two whole episodes. Sort it out!

If you listen to music, try different genres and listen to albums not shuffle. Once you learn the album, it'll be a good timer tool and disco always gets my jobs done in half the time!

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Re: My coping strategies - what are yours?

Post by Jordi20 » Sat Jun 29, 2013 9:20 am

If I have to remember five things from the shop or similar, sometimes I write a list, but as I will lose small pieces of paper, I either put it on my phone, or I use my hand to remember.

If I need 5 things, I say I need a hand full and walk to the shop with my fist clenched with the thumb on the outside.

If I need 4 things, I say I just need fingers and do the same, with my thumb inside.

If I need 3, I just say "Ted Rogers" (3,2,1) and hold my little finger in with my thumb.

For two things, I stick my fingers up violently a couple of time and imagine it's the person at the til, then put two fingers over my thumb.

And one thing.... Well you get to the shop and think "why did I come here" and I can remember that.

As a child, a local school in Keelby used to do a different version of the handjive in their school productions. She mother and I were fed up of her asking - have you got your keys? Wallet? Watch? Phone? And it soon just became "Keelby handjive?"

These things really help me and I'd be really interested in any similar things people do. I come from a family with a very good sense of humour and I'm very creative and imaginative, so these things are a lot easier for me than learning new routines.

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Re: My coping strategies - what are yours?

Post by griffaliff » Wed Jan 14, 2015 5:04 pm

Hi all,

it's nice to see that there is a community of us dyspraxics that are talking about this kind of stuff.

I was lucky enough for my behaviour to be noticed by the special needs assistant teacher at primary school. I was always wondering the classroom, being disruptive and could never concentrate for more than a few minutes at a time before my mind wandered or I started doing something silly. On the spectrum I come in fairly low being diagnosed with 'dyspraxic tendencies' when I was ten.

These days I have overcome the disruptiveness and making stupid noises in public (although I still sing comedy songs repeatedly to myself at home much to the dismay of my understanding girlfriend).

These days the way it affects me is forgetfulness and my mind becoming overloaded when given a large set of tasks to do. As someone mentioned earlier on this thread, people have tried buying notepads/diaries for me but I forget to write things down in the first place. I can stick to writing things down for a short time but then I just fall out of habit.

I count myself fortunate to have done something about my inability to work in an office environment. For a couple of years after I left university I wound up in those horrible work places to find I was often not trusted with tasks beyond the bare basics of the job while other people moved forward within the business. Getting fired or leaving just before I got fired was commonplace as well as I would often not tell the employer I had the disability for fear of not getting the job. This would usually result in me appearing as slow and dozy as I couldn't keep up with the learning rate of my peers, the usual making daft mistakes repeatedly, turning up late.

Oddly enough as I also have a mild level of asperges I can remember fine details (weather, what shoes or nail varnish people were wearing) from months even years ago about situations/dates but forget things told to me five minutes ago.

As I didn't fit into the office culture (which I have now learnt isn't the place for a dyspraxic unless you have very understanding employers) I retrained and moved into a job that is hands on. I'm now working as a tree surgeon which I find incredibly satisfying and luckily the company I work for, the bosses are very chilled out and patient people.

Generally day to day I will remember where I put things (keys, wallet etc) by having a place in my flat where they 'live' so to speak. I'm sure people without this condition do this as well, it's just a fruit bowl by the front door I put things in on the way in/out so I always see them and therefore don't forget or lose them.

Keeping the place tidy is hard. Our flat is usually a bit of a mess, with this me and my girlfriend (who is also messy) just let it all hang out during the week then blitz the place on a Friday night.

I count myself as incredibly lucky as my girlfriend is so understanding of my condition. She takes care of a lot of things for me like remembering to buy milk for example or reminding me of important dates as she has an amazing memory. I basically use her as a Dictaphone; if I need to remember something important I will just say to her 'oh by the way, I have such and such a thing booked in on this date. Remind me about it a few days beforehand.'

I understand that some people won't have these things at their disposal but I thought I would share anyway :).

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Re: My coping strategies - what are yours?

Post by Mr_Tom_one » Sat May 16, 2015 4:08 pm

Wow, such an interesting thread! So much I can relate to.

I have a pocket I use for my wallet and then usually keep my keys in the right-hand pocket of my hoody. I also always carry a rucksack which my Mum calls my snail shell. In this I have another wallet with cards I use less often, a Swiss army knife credit card thing, my phone, pen and my diary. Like some of the other posters, if I don't replace things in the usual place then I lose them and spend ages running round searching for them.

I try to keep on top of my diary, planning the day before, tidying, washing and food shopping, although if I get busy with work stuff that all goes out of the window. I think packing the night before is a massive help, although again I'm not always disciplined enough to do it.

Like others have said, I think learning not to be hard on yourself is important. The amount of times I've done stuff like cycled somewhere and forgotten my lock or key, or gone to the shops and forgotten my wallet. One of my friends was asking if I might have children and I said being me is like looking after a child as it is!

When I go to classes at the gym I'm pretty much always the slowest, but I don't care - I know I'm pushing myself and getting better. In the past I tried things like skateboarding and was so frustrated at how I struggled to learn when my friends were all progressing. Now I'm happy to learn at my own pace and enjoy myself more.

One other thing is going for a walk to get things clear in my mind. I find cycling relaxing, but walking better for thinking

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Re: My coping strategies - what are yours?

Post by Simon » Tue Sep 15, 2015 3:53 am

First of all I think it's funny how different people have come up with similar ways of coping. :)

Here are some of mine.

Because lacking short term memory I also put everything in the same trouser pocket at all times so I don't have to look for it.
Left pocket: keys pocketknife lighter, right pocket: phone and handkerchief/tissue

Also I've noticed that I try to use visual aids:

Everything I need before I leave home is in one spot in the hallway so I walk passed it on my way out. (Keys, car keys, wallet, sunglasses and anything else I might need that day, in one spot by the frontdoor)

If I put laundry in the washing machine or dryer I put the empty hamper by the door of the utility room so I notice as I walk by.

I put stuff like bills in front of me at the dinner table.

During the day I also write the first letter of what I need to remember on my hand although this isn't bulletproof because it's gone if you go to the toilet and wash your hands :)

I love using technologie to my advantage:

Couldn't go without GPS

Have used my smartphone for withdrawing money from an atm when I forgot my wallet in my girlfriends car, so I can at least pay for lunch :)

If you have a smartphone try using "Google Keep" for notes and todo lists, it allows you to add checkboxes, pictures, record sound and has reminders by time and even by location.
Sorry if it's sounds like I'm advertising but this app made things a lot easier for me.
Time is something that may change me, but I can't change time so f*** it.

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Re: My coping strategies - what are yours?

Post by screengreen » Thu Sep 17, 2015 8:22 pm

I leave things out, but I have a tidy husband who puts them away again so I end up forgetting, I use to-do lists but at work I used to loose them so its a page a day diary for my to do list, that way it does not get too over welming ;)

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Re: My coping strategies - what are yours?

Post by Simon » Sun Sep 20, 2015 3:05 pm

Don't really know where to put this post but chose to do it here.

About carrying a tray without spilling the drink.

The trick I use in a canteen or any other type of tray carrying self service restaurant:

Put the drink (preferably in a cup with lid) in the right top corner of the tray.
This way you can hold the drink in between your thumb and index/middle finger and support the tray with your ring finger and pinky of your right hand
Hold the other side of the tray with your left hand.

Don't know if everybody's hand is strong enough to do this but it works for me.

As for carrying a tray with multiple drinks I have no solution except for somebody else carrying it. :)
Me too have once spilled a whole tray of beers in bar, I had to carry it up a whole flight of stairs and half way up I spilled al of them. (15 beers or so, very expensive spill)
I then returned to the bar with a tray full of beer and empty glasses, paid :( for new beers and asked the bartender to take them up.
Time is something that may change me, but I can't change time so f*** it.

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Re: My coping strategies - what are yours?

Post by whitedwarf12 » Sun Feb 21, 2016 1:54 am

Wow, reading through this thread and there are so many things that I do. I always thought it was just me. I got my diagnosis a couple of weeks ago so I am still getting used to things.

The first thing I do that might be useful to some of you is I have set pockets for everything. Back in sixth form I was the only one that wore a blazer (even in the middle of summer) because it meant that I always had everything I needed. Eventually people got used to me always having everything in my pockets and I found that after a few weeks of discomfort it is actually reassuring to feel the weight of everything. I did go shopping for the blazer with the most pockets. One for medication, pens and pencils (saves carrying and loosing a pencil case), keys, phone and headphones, timetable, letters to take home. My buss pass always went in my coat pocket. If I ever removed anything, it stayed in my hand until I put it back or it was put on my desk (either at school or home). I then only had to check my desk was clear when I stood up.

I also have a different blazer that I wear to my Saturday job with the same principle. Passwords and id in one pocket, locker key in the other (with my badge if I happen to be wearing the blazer outside of work).

When travelling I always wear cargo trousers to have safe places to put everything.

Now at university it is not as easy to wear everything I need. So I have fixed pockets in my bag for everything. Pens, calculator, books etc. and this will all either be in the bag or on my desk. I still have pockets for keys and phone in my jeans.

On the note of keys, I have quite a lot of useful things on my keyring. trolley token, usb stick, whistle, insulation tape, pen. Which serves another purpose because I can always feel it in my pocket and it's harder to loose. This also will only be located on my desk or in my pocket.

I always charge my phone overnight and leave it on the charger until I leave in the morning. My phone case also has my student id and driving licence in. The phone stays in my pocket all day until I put it on charge in the evening.

I find that music really helps me shut out distractions but I get flustered if I listen to music in any situation where I might need to talk to someone. So I often only use it at home.

Finally, a last coping technique because this post is now longer than the essay I'm supposed to be writing. Work out where you naturally put things down. Like putting keys down on the ledge just inside the front door, pens and calculator down on a desk. Phone on the bedside table. Water bottle on the desk or near the bed (because a glass is going to get knocked over!). If you find yourself always putting something down somewhere make that it's new home. And make it a habit.

For example, all of my toiletries live above the sink apart from my deodorant which lives on my desk (about 3m away) because that is where I kept putting it down.
I set my watch 5 minutes fast. Because I am always late. I also have a date function on my watch. !!!

I always try to get the bus before the one I actually need to be on because there is a 70% chance I will miss it. And I always try to get to important appointments 30 minutes early. Because then I am usually early enough to give a good impression. Often I work backwards from my appointment time and write down the times at which I have to do everything before I leave and stick it to the wall so I can't loose it. I usually list absolutely everything. Brush teeth, eat breakfast, get dressed. I also give 10 minutes to 5 minute tasks because I know I will get distracted. and leave a 10 minute prepare to leave block to pick up my keys, purse phone and put shoes on.

GOOGLE MAPS!!! - I haven't seen anyone else mention this yet but the directions option is great. I always plan a new journey before I have to do it and print screen the instructions on my phone. I has things like platform numbers and train/bus times. I also "walk" the route on google street view before I have to do it so it seems a little familiar.

During driving lessons I always said things like "(check) junction, clear", "safe to move, yes, moving", and approaching a roundabout "third exit, right, mirror, signal, position, speed, gear, look, safe, moving, (counting exits),1,2,leaving, new speed limit" I found that this gave me time to actually do the tasks I was saying. Also I used an acronym for SLOW "speed low, observe warning".

I set the timer on my watch whenever I put something in the oven and don't leave the kitchen until I have taken it out. Or I set my phone alarm to really loud for the time I need to take it out if I am leaving the kitchen.

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Re: My coping strategies - what are yours?

Post by ichiban-no-hime » Thu Mar 17, 2016 8:54 am

I really struggle with depth perception and spatial awareness, and I haven't been able to find anything on this site so far suggesting coping methods. I'm always walking into people or furniture, because I always think they're further away than they are. I've walked into our new kitchen table nearly everyday since we've had it, because I'm convinced I'm not as close to it as I am :lol:
I also find remembering things really difficult, but I just can't find a way of remembering things that helps me! I forget I have writing on my hands, or it washes off before I no longer need it, I can't remember a diary, and even if I get everything I need for the day out and ready on my desk the night before, there's still a high chance of me forgetting to pick something up!

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Re: My coping strategies - what are yours?

Post by XIX » Sat May 20, 2017 1:48 pm

Public Transport:
Cope with finance for travel by getting a Doctor to write you a letter explaining your disability in detail, to take to the town hall with local Council for a bus pass, category 6 on the application form. Bus pass means, don't have to carry money, or have apps for transport on my phone that take up space. Cope with the transport on buses by travelling at less busy times, if possible and make sure you have headphones and spotify.

Ignore staff's opinions about you, brush it under the carpet, it's a moment on their lips, doesn't mean the people hearing it are going to take it on board. Ignore anyone's misunderstandings of you. Cope with work by creating a list maybe of what you have to manage during the day at home just to help with the tasks at hand.

Dress how you like:
If, some people point you out for your dress sense, they are less likely to notice you for other things, they will put you in a box based on your clothes and leave it at that.

Don't rely on external validation:
It makes life easier, to not let someone's opinions shape you and your life.

Surround yourself with lots and lots of animals.

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Re: My coping strategies - what are yours?

Post by CeceB » Sat May 27, 2017 5:41 am

(just discovered this place and have to say, I've spent all night laughing and crying.. I've found my people!)

One of the best things I've done was replace the lock on my door with a lock that has a key pad. No more having to break into my own house when I forget my keys. It's a lot easier for me to remember the 4 digit code. you can reprogram them for any 4 digits too, which is good because I can't even remember my own phone number! I was able to pick a code that was easy for me.

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Re: My coping strategies - what are yours?

Post by itsmegannx » Fri Jan 26, 2018 4:04 am

foundit wrote:Great ideas! :)

I have a zipper pouch wallet that has a key ring on it, and is big enough to hold my cell phone. I hang it on the hook when I enter the house. If I lose it, I just have to call my cell phone to find my keys and wallet too!

I am a nurse and I have a "nurse utility apron" otherwise known as a fanny pack with lots of pockets. :blush: I keep everything in that pouch that I might ever need. So, if I'm taking some labwork I already have the antiseptic wipe, the saline flush, the special black marker and the little cap for the IV tubing in my pack. And guess what? Although it looks kinda geeky, guess who the other nurses call out to if they forget something and they are in a room??

I apologize in advance to my patients and their parents (I am a night nurse) by saying "I'm sorry Grace is not my middle name and I will try to be quiet, but I also keep it dark to help you sleep. I may stub my toe on your bed or the cart. I will use a flashlight to check your IV and do my work, but it's hard to work in the dark." They appreciate that and it makes me look more human and less intimidating. Some nurses can be very intimidating.

Ever since I hit my 30's I have an attitude of "I am who I am. I don't try to pretend to be anyone different. Take me or leave me, your choice."

I have a shelf that 's just for my purse and work stuff. I attach my name badge to the work bag as soon as I get out of the parking garage. I have my fanny pack in the bag, and my coat stuck through the handles. Guess who never forgets her badge, unlike some of the other nurses? :banana:

When calling a doctor we have something called SBAR that we follow. Situation, Background, Assessment, Recommendation. So something like this: Dr. X I am calling about John Smith in Room 6. He came in with pneumonia two days ago. I noticed he has not urinated for several hours, he is refusing to drink, and I think he's running a little bit dry. Do you think he might need some IV fluids? Since becoming a nurse I have used this formula for most every phone call and it takes a lot of the anxiety away. I plan out what I saw before I call.

I keep detailed cleaning lists posted behind the doors of all the rooms in the house. Not only does this keep me on track, it also helps the kids and hubby do a good job when it's their turns to clean.

I have wheeled clothing rack with hangers on it. When I do a load of laundry, I immediately hang up the clothes that don't need to be ironed, straight from the dryer. I fold the ones that do need to be ironed over the top of the rack. I iron them all at once while watching a good TV show. I hang pants and shorts on hangers, never in drawers, so I can see what is clean. When it's time to run out of the house or go to work it's easy and time efficient. (And yes I am a busy working mom but I find the time to watch my TV and iron). My husband on the other hand struggles in the morning by finding his belt, matching socks, and then frantically irons a shirt and pants while running late.
Finally someone in a similar situation to me! I’m currently doing my nurse training and have recently been diagnosed! It made the whole training a lot more stressful and honestly I’m struggling to pass! Any advice please?

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Re: My coping strategies - what are yours?

Post by NoLimitations » Sat Jan 27, 2018 3:29 am

Hi itsmegannx,

Wellcome to the forum. I am also working in the nursing profession for a number of years and love it. I had similar experiences during my postgrad training and at times felt deflated. However, I didnt know that I had dyspraxia during my training which I think for me helped as I probably would,ve dropped out as I would' ve zoned in on all my limitations. (Especially if I went along with the report from my recent assessment which shows i am weak in everything and appears to indicate that I wouldnt be capable to go through college)

Most of the information on the web pertaining to dyspraxia only focuses on negatives which fails to highlight that people with dyspraxia can and do find strategies to cope and overcome some of the difficulties they experience during their training and careers. Thanfully there are alot of people on it from different proffessions who have achieved alot despite having a diagnosis of dyspraxia. There are also some forums where nurses and student nurses share their experiences during training and strategies that helped them. You will find this if you enter the keywords nurse in the search box.

Thankfully there are a lot of people on this forum from different professions who have achieved a lot despite having a diagnosis of dyspraxia.

What nursing discipine are you training in

Please feel free to PM me if you wish.

Best Luck,

Last edited by Tom fod on Sat Jan 27, 2018 8:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Incorporated correction/addition added as new posts

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