Mum of dyspraxic 18 year old

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Retrophoria
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Mum of dyspraxic 18 year old

Post by Retrophoria »

Hi all, my son has just turned 18 and was diagnosed with dyspraxia when he was 5. He was later also diagnosed with dyslexia and dyscalculia and over the years, with lots of help he coped well with school and is happy in a college course. He's done so well to cope with the challenges he's faced as a child that we have come to see it as a part of him and have just got on with things.

However, as he enters adulthood, there seem to be lots of things affecting him and we seem to be heading back to square one, where lots of new challenges seem to be making him feel pressured again, as he was as a young boy. He wanted to learn to drive and to join a gym so we organised both of these for his 18th birthday. Now push has come to shove he seems to be struggling with the thought of these things.

This all came to a head this weekend when we surprised him with a weekend away in London (which we've done before) but all of a sudden, crowds really bothered him as did trying new things where there were lots of people and where he couldn't see what was going to happen, ie. The Shrek exhibition. I think we've come to take it for granted that he's done so well up to now, we forgot how he stuggled in the early years after his diagnosis.

Every meltdown seems to be so much bigger all of a sudden now that he's older and expects himself to be more of an adult yet finds it hard to be the man he thinks he should be. I'm glad I found this site to help us all cope in this next stage of being a dyspraxia family. Your support will be very much appreciated.
Last edited by Tom fod on Tue Oct 13, 2015 6:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: broken into paras to improve ease of reading
Tomtom
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Re: Mum of dyspraxic 18 year old

Post by Tomtom »

Hi, welcome to the site :)
Firstly, you could reassure him that just because you're 18 doesn't mean that a switch has been pressed overnight; he's a man now and has to cope differently. He still has the rest of his life to grow and mature, and understand himself better. He might just be very apprehensive about doing things that are considered more 'grown up' such as driving and going to the gym either consciously or subconsciously. I think that once he starts doing these things and gets used to him, he'll feel better. His friends should hopefully be a strong support network for him at his age. I would mostly just reassure him that 18 and full maturity don't relate; I remember hearing a quote once that went along the lines of 'when I was a kid, I thought all adults had their stuff together, but once I became one, I realised that they are mostly just as confused as the kids'.
I hope this helps, if he wants, he can contact me over this forum as a similarly aged (21) fellow dyspraxic :)
Tom fod
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Re: Mum of dyspraxic 18 year old

Post by Tom fod »

Hi and welcome

To add to above from Tomtom, the transition brings a lot of changes in how one is expected to be. Coping strategies he developed for use in school and college may no longer seem appropriate and it is this feeling of lack of control coupled with sensory bombardment and the pressure from others and perhaps also himself that may acccount for recent events.

Once you become an adult the safety net in many cases is no longer there. There's the dangerous assumption that we've outgrown our condition when it's just taken a backseat and can reveal itself to savage us again in new situations where we feel less familiar and confident.

Helping him to become more confident and self reliant is key but to paraphrase Tomtom said there are just as many adults who find themselves scared and confused.
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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screengreen
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Re: Mum of dyspraxic 18 year old

Post by screengreen »

Coping as an adult certainly takes time, when I went uni atb18 I was a nightmare, loosing bank booKS and not knowing I had done so turning up at throng time for both social events and lectures dressing like a tramp etc. I now hold down a job and have a family of my own, o you do learn coping strategies although efficiency and fatigue are still issues.

You may also want to look into sensory integration the link to the website is on this page.... some time I will be writing a brief resume of what si is for this site!
Tom fod
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Re: Mum of dyspraxic 18 year old

Post by Tom fod »

Believe site to which screen refers is
www.sensoryintegration.org.uk
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)
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