Scientific Information and unusual symptoms

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

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Jette
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Scientific Information and unusual symptoms

Post by Jette »

Hello!
This is my first post - I am not entirely sure which category it should fall under (ironic considering the forum's subject matter...)

Dyspraxia seems to be both diagnosed and defined exclusively by its symptoms. (I am not familiar with medical research so don't know how common this is.) It strikes me as a little odd and confusing - eg. one wouldn't define tonsillitis only by mentioning a sore throat as the symptom and then concluding that it's a sore throat. Rather, the infection process etc. is being described, also to exclude other causes of symptoms.
Question: is there any research on a more fundamental level? I could not find anything beyond the "how dyspraxia impacts on daily life" and children.

My concern is that since all the symptoms of dyspraxia are bound up with "avarage" life and mostly school it is hard to understand its impact beyond the basics. I am particularly curious about dyspraxia in musicians.
Generally, I also crave a deeper understanding of the condition but cannot find anything more detailed.

Would be very grateful for any info!

Xenavire
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Re: Scientific Information and unusual symptoms

Post by Xenavire »

I'm sure someone else will provide more information, but the short version is that because not every Dyspraxic person has the same issues as every other Dyspraxic person, diagnosing based off symptoms is about the best anyone can hope for.

If you are interested in why people have Dyspraxia, it's a little bit like having minor brain damage. Things that a normal brain processes quickly gets mixed up, potentially lost altogether, between the part of the brain sending the signal and whichever body part needs that information. Anyone who has it seems to have the same core issue of the signals being slightly scrambled (slowing reaction times, preventing retention of information, and many other problems), but again, the individuals can have wildly different symptoms.

I imagine if a musician is affected in their motor skills, they may be less accurate and more prone to mistakes. But there could be someone with Dyspraxia that is unaffected and can play just fine.

I hope this is helpful. Dyspraxia is a bit of a puzzle, I live with it daily and I don't fully understand it - I'm not sure anyone does.

Tom fod
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Re: Scientific Information and unusual symptoms

Post by Tom fod »

Hi Jette
A very warm welcome. Glad you've found us.
I will look to respond tomorrow.

Please see my help resources list in the Day to Day Living section.
Tom
Moderator/Administrator

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)

Tom fod
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Location: SW UK

Re: Scientific Information and unusual symptoms

Post by Tom fod »

Jette wrote:
Sun Jul 19, 2020 8:43 pm
Hello!
This is my first post - I am not entirely sure which category it should fall under (ironic considering the forum's subject matter...)

Dyspraxia seems to be both diagnosed and defined exclusively by its symptoms. (I am not familiar with medical research so don't know how common this is.) It strikes me as a little odd and confusing - eg. one wouldn't define tonsillitis only by mentioning a sore throat as the symptom and then concluding that it's a sore throat. Rather, the infection process etc. is being described, also to exclude other causes of symptoms.
Question: is there any research on a more fundamental level? I could not find anything beyond the "how dyspraxia impacts on daily life" and children.

My concern is that since all the symptoms of dyspraxia are bound up with "avarage" life and mostly school it is hard to understand its impact beyond the basics. I am particularly curious about dyspraxia in musicians.
Generally, I also crave a deeper understanding of the condition but cannot find anything more detailed.

Would be very grateful for any info!
Hi Jette

It's a post that is not easy to categorise. Very much like us really!

There has not been a great amount of medical research, though there is some. Professor Amanda Kirby has written a number of books and papers on the subject. Dyspraxia, also referred to as Developmental CoOrdination Disorder seems to affect folk in different ways and to varying degrees. There seems to be a school of fault (incorrect) that children will adapt and so 'grow out of the condition'. This regrettably is not the case. Whilst early intervention can help, once we hit adulthood the responsibilities and challenges change and Dyspraxia and often the emotional impact can make it difficult for adults.

I know a number of Dyspraxic musicians and while it is not something I've pursued, many dyspraxics live and work in the creative industries. The forgetful clumsy and disorganised ofter connected with out above average degree of intellect seems to confuse folk. I think lack of self-esteem and opportunity seems to trap some folk in or scratching for bottom end jobs, whereas others do well for themselves.

This was a really good TED Talk I recently discovered:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qNvs3GcXefk
Tom
Moderator/Administrator

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)

Jette
New member - welcome them!
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Jul 19, 2020 8:27 pm

Re: Scientific Information and unusual symptoms

Post by Jette »

Hi Tom,

Thanks very much for the detailed reply.
Will definitely have a look at Prof Kirlby's research and also check out the Ted Talk.
The resources you mentioned in the earlier post were also helpful - for some reason none of them came up in my initial google search.
I am currently on a quest to gain a better understanding of dyspraxia mainly in order to communicate the condition better to other people and explain what exactly it is. Just having it by far isn't enough to understand anything in my experience.
After an inconclusive odyssey as a child ("there's definitely something wrong with her you need to fix it asap") I finally was diagnosed studying at Cambridge - at a time when I didn't have significant problems so just shrugged it off.
Now that I tried to find out more I became aware of how appalling the level of information is.
Attempts at explaining anything to my German family have failed miserably - but they are all quite scientifically minded so ma hoping they might understand if I can find anything which is more detailed than "these might be some symptoms but it could also be different". Doesn't help that one and only dyspraxia information group in Germany appears to be promoting what groups in the UK are trying to debunk as myths.
What I was trying to say in this ramble is that I'm attempting to get a decent overview on the science and awareness out there.

Thanks again for the help!

Jette
New member - welcome them!
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Jul 19, 2020 8:27 pm

Re: Scientific Information and unusual symptoms

Post by Jette »

Xenavire wrote:
Sun Jul 19, 2020 9:26 pm
I'm sure someone else will provide more information, but the short version is that because not every Dyspraxic person has the same issues as every other Dyspraxic person, diagnosing based off symptoms is about the best anyone can hope for.

If you are interested in why people have Dyspraxia, it's a little bit like having minor brain damage. Things that a normal brain processes quickly gets mixed up, potentially lost altogether, between the part of the brain sending the signal and whichever body part needs that information. Anyone who has it seems to have the same core issue of the signals being slightly scrambled (slowing reaction times, preventing retention of information, and many other problems), but again, the individuals can have wildly different symptoms.

I imagine if a musician is affected in their motor skills, they may be less accurate and more prone to mistakes. But there could be someone with Dyspraxia that is unaffected and can play just fine.

I hope this is helpful. Dyspraxia is a bit of a puzzle, I live with it daily and I don't fully understand it - I'm not sure anyone does.
Hi! Yes, this is what makes it so difficult to understand even for those of us who are directly affected. Thought that tackling the subject from a scientific perspective might shed some light (for me personally).

With regards to music - accuracy and mistakes definitely play a role but fortunately I managed to get to a decent level and have a degree from a well known conservatoire.
Sadly everyone of whose dyapraxia I knew has stopped playing after graduation, mostly due to self esteem issues. Classical music isn't as creative as it looks from the outside - the majority of time is spent learning to "do things as they are done in a correct manner". Creativity only comes in on a high level and relies on the underlying craft.
Personally my motor skills mostly are no longer a problem as soon as I can automatise things. This does have some disadvantages since I can't do much on the spot but at least I can do things eventually.
I have a problem with what my teacher calls a "brain sneeze" when my attention goes for a millisecond - which already is enough to get one into serious trouble.
Essentially there are some odd details within music which are very difficult for people with dyspraxia - but since all of the evidence and examples are school or day to day focused it is quite hard to explain why certain things can be an issue and even more difficult to figure out how one could approach finding a solution.
I made the mistake of explaining my dyspraxia to my orchestra manager - I never got a placement again until I lied and told him I had "overcome" my difficulties... Which obviously I hadn't. I understand that tripping up has an impact on 80 other people and the music industry is a challenging field even for neurotypical people with around 200-1500 people applying for one (!) position... It would be a dream to be able to meaningfully communicate the issues dyspraxia could cause in such a setting.

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