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Newbie here

Posted: Tue Jun 04, 2019 7:39 pm
by HelenJ
Hi, I'm new here and looking for some advice. I'm 49 and have always felt 'different', thinking that it could be a mild form of autism, but then my mum mentioned dyspraxia the other day and ever since then I've been keen to find out if this is the case.

I've always had difficulty with co-ordination (especially catching or hitting a ball in team games at school), I was painfully shy and nervous, I have always found it hard to start conversations and I find 'small-talk' a really alien concept.

I have always struggled with things like maths, I often get phone numbers round the wrong way, I don't remember sequences of numbers if they are longer than four digits. I have always had problems with telling left from right and I really struggled with learning to drive. If someone gives me directions to a place, I lose track of what they're saying and find it hard to remember. I can't give directions to a place to someone else, even if it's a place I know really well.

The next few things are going to be a bit random I'm afraid but I think they're relevant. I hate certain food textures like soft banana, although I love banana flavour. I have a history of obsessive behaviour, comfort eating, depression and anxiety. I can't wear clothes with buttons on - it makes me feel really uncomfortable. I prefer to wear baggy comfortable clothes and tend to wear the same things.

Recently at work Ive become quite anxious about passing my probation. I've made a few silly mistakes and they've become escalated in my head to something catastrophic, even though nothing has actually happened. I put it down to anxiety and previous unpleasant experiences in other jobs but I think it's more than that. If I'm criticised or if someone says something to upset me, I hear it over and over again on a loop in my head and it drives me crazy.

Any advice welcome!

Re: Newbie here

Posted: Wed Jun 05, 2019 10:01 pm
by Tom fod
Hi Helen

Welcome to the Forum

The traits you describe all sound familiar. it is possible you may have some measure of Dyscalculia too ('number Dyslexia). The random things you mention about food textures

Theere are some areas of convergence between Dyspraxia and Autism and while I'm dyspraxic and not Autistic I would say I have/exhibit some Autistic traits. Maybe it's more my preference for trying to cling to some measure of certainty and routine in what is a fast moving and changing environment?

Many of us are overthinkers and will chastise ourselves royally for even small mistakes. We don't need others to point them out! I think perfection is often an imperfect and unsustainable coping mechanism we try to adopt.

If your employer/managers is/are supportive it might be worth considering discussing your difficulties and concerns with them. Obtaining a diagnosis/formal confirmation from the NHS is regrettably rarely straightforward.

Happy to try to answer any further questions you might have. Dyspraxia affects people to varying degrees and no two people are alike We may have varying success with coping strategies including avoidance but often stress and worry serve to exacerbate our difficulties and make them more apparent and us more self conscious.

Re: Newbie here

Posted: Sat Jun 15, 2019 3:41 pm
by HelenJ
Thanks for your reply. It's taking me a while to get my head around the fact that I could have dyspraxia and the more research I do, the more likely it seems. I'm seeing an Occupational Health Therapist on Wednesday and am wondering if it would be a good idea to ask for more information?

Re: Newbie here

Posted: Sat Jun 15, 2019 7:03 pm
by Tom fod
Definitely worth mentioning to the OT.

While getting a confirmatory diagnosis on the NHS as an adult can be difficult (most experts tend to only work in paediatrics)

That said hopefully the OT can help and offer some useful advise. We're often really hard on ourselves so CBT or Mindfulness are also well worth looking into.

Re: Newbie here

Posted: Thu Jun 20, 2019 7:40 pm
by HelenJ
Well I saw the OT yesterday and mentioned that I thought I might have dyspraxia, but she didn't seem to make much of it. She was very nice and acknowledged that I clearly have high levels of anxiety, but she asked me if it would make any difference if I got a diagnosis of dyspraxia. I guess she's right - at my age it won't change anything, and if I'm honest I like my weird little traits that make me unique, but it would be nice to be able to say 'that's why I do that'.

So now I'm thinking I might be imagining the whole thing and I might not be dyspraxic after all. So confused! :S

Re: Newbie here

Posted: Fri Jun 21, 2019 12:07 am
by Tom fod
Obtaining professional confirmation is v much a lottery and probably 50% or more strongly suspect but have not succeeded in this regard.

It's a v tricky condition to get confirmed as there is v little if any resource for adults. Coping strategies you've developed can mask the condition which is nebulous to say the least. It's a condition that seems to wax and wane, you can have good times where your coping strategies work well and bad times that just grind you down.