Could I have driving dyspraxia?

Learning to drive, driving, and using public transport

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Could I have driving dyspraxia?

Post by ashgx »

I have not been officially diagnosed for any need, however I think I may have some sort of Learning Disability including Dyspraxia.

Well, to start off from my birth, I was born club foot but my foot healed. Apparently, from what my parents have told me compared to other kids, I took time to start getting on my feet and walking. At school I was always an average pupil and I have always struggled with Maths. I still do, especially when it comes to mental calculations. I've had to re-sit GCSE maths so many times, and I scraped a pass for my university degree. I often waffle a lot when I communicate and also get caught up with my own words. I am awful at interviews, which is why I haven’t been able to secure a proper job.

Here are some brief descriptions about my weaknesses:

I have always struggled with sport for example throwing a ball - I can never aim it straight. I always struggle to communicate in an organised way and struggle to convey what I want to. I try be organised with things but I always struggle and almost can never stick to plans. Or if I was to organise things, they end up messy in no time.

I hate it when it’s light, I prefer sitting darker places also my laptop device and phone I have the brightness to lowest as I hate it being so bright. I get frustrated when it’s sunny, especially when driving.

I’ve always had a low self-esteem and confidence issues but gradually overcoming that. I remember I used to get picked on at school because I used to talk slowly, I still talk somewhat slow, especially over the phone and a few family members do pick on it so I avoid phone calls. Well phone calls give me anxiety anyways.

I struggle with instructions. So if someone was to give me instructions all at once even if it includes just 3 steps I will really struggle. I need to have it written down with clarity so it makes sense and I can follow through.

Well moving on to the current situation, I have started driving again since March. It is now June and I just can’t seem to get to grasps with parking; especially reverse parking. I keep forgetting the manoeuvres and lack spatial awareness. I get all panicky. Also when I’m u-turning I can’t work out the space required to easily do a full u-turn without having to reverse again. I can't remember routes, as in if its a simple route which I drive past every day yes I can remember that, however if it's just a bit further on, even if I go past it every day and stop going that way, I will forget the direction. I keep forgetting the left and right turns, for example when reversing in to bay, I need to turn my steering wheel to the left, I will always end up turning it to the right.

I seriously struggle to remember places. I can only remember routes which I have been familiar with since a child, or where I go continuously otherwise it’s just jargon for me. I’m not bad at changing gears, but if I’m on a new route I somewhat stop functioning and I end up driving awfully. On a familiar route which I’ve driven through few times before I’m fine but when I have to take a new route then that’s it I end up stalling making the car vibrate and all sorts.

When the car is parked, I just can't visualise if my car is straight or not. My dad accompanies me, and he will not let go until I’m not fully confident in driving. He gets very frustrated and it makes me feel even more panicky. He’s not the most supportive characters in my life and his authority doesn’t help. Him being in the passenger seat, is almost always able to pick up the things I can't. Like when I park he tells me my car isn't straight, and I just cannot picture that. For me it's always straight.

When I was a child he tried reaching me how to ride a bike, as all my friends knew and still know how to ride one. I struggled and I still don’t know how to ride one. I don’t even know how to swim regardless of the amount of swimming lessons I took during school. I am even awful at many sports. The only sport I do play fairly well is racket sport like tennis/badminton but again only if the opposite person starts with the shuttle or tennis ball as it’s always been a challenge for me to start the game.

Additionally, I am good at catching. I am quite great at catching and throwing certain objects, but just not a ball as it always end up in the completely wrong direction.

Going back to the driving part, I am not an awful driver I was 18 when I passed that too in my first test, I'm now 24. I have the capability which is why I passed and my instructor said the same too. But I am overly cautious, I cannot look in both directions quickly when trying to make a turn I go very slowly and look in one direction for a long time which means when I could potentially get past another car will inch closer. I am confident to drive well on familiar routes. The other day, was so embarrassing though I was reversing and I just couldn't see the cones and I reversed right into them. I hate driving now although I know I can drive!

Just makes me feel worse... No one understands what I'm going through.
Tom fod
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Joined: Thu May 12, 2011 9:05 pm
Location: SW UK

Re: Could I have driving dyspraxia?

Post by Tom fod »

Hi Ash?

Welcome. Many of the difficulties you mention are all too familiar to others living with dyspraxia. It's not a condition where you have to tick a box for every symptom in order to be assessed as being affected, just a sufficient number of them. It can get confusing as some traits that dyspraxics experience are also associated with other neuro divergent conditions, including the one's we're not! Other peoples ignorance/lack of awareness and/or lack of patience really do not help and can really add to frustrationwe feel!

We do tend to have to concentrate much harder and may often can take longer to process verbal instructions or directions to do or master certain tasks especially if new or unfamilar. This can be frustrating to others and often more so to ourselves.

That said, we can master and be surprisingly good at certain things, people would typically expect us to be incapable of. Equally we can be unexpectedly rubbish at other quite similar things and this can defy all logic. Also we can have really off days, where we struggle with things we would normally manage with little or no trouble at all. It's confusing for others and ourselves too!

For example, in normal circumstances we might be fine driving in an area we know well, but throw in additional factors like being stressed or have time pressure to reach an unfamiliar destination, park and find an address, similarly traffic diversions and road closures can really spoil our day. The increased stress can make us perform much more poorly and feel doubly incapable. If we're subject to others criticism and lack of confidence in us we can often become far harsher critics or ourselves and our confidence in ourselves can fall away.

We can be capable but it can be difficult to demonstrate that to ourselves and others some days and the pressure we or others put on ourselves leaves us feeling lost and miserable. Regaining that confidence can be a big ask and the associated stress can really make for a miserable existence. We're often big picture thinkers so we can see the whole lot at once and will feel overwhelmed.

Please note that in the UK the term Learning Disability does not encompass Specific Learning Difficulties, including Dyslexia, Dyscalculia, Dyspraxia and ADHD.
In UK Terminology someone with a Leaning Disability will generally be unable to or will need significant support with the kind of decision making necessary for discharging the responsibilities most typical adults can take in their stride, the vast majority of the time.

Some Dyspraxic folk can have Learning Disabilities too. Usually these are the main diagnosis taking precedence over Dyspraxia.

Please note that If you are in the UK and do have a Learning Disability you are, as of 2018, obliged to inform the DVLA of this fact.

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)
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