Ironic dyspraxia... as a neuropsychologist

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

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Ironic dyspraxia... as a neuropsychologist

Post by Jokuri »


I'm a student in neuropsychology and over the course of 4 years of studies I've had multiple classes on developmental coordination disorder (DCD), or dyspraxia. Everytime I study it, there's things that remind me of myself as a child and things that I still do.

I remember that:
- It took me longer than my peers to learn to tie my shoes
- My writing is horrible, and it's gotten better but throughout high school all my teachers constantly made remarks on my writing, one of them even saying "I've never seen writing like that before". Sometimes I can't even read what I wrote. In class I learned that dysgraphia is almost always present in DCD. It gets better if I focus but then my hand aches a bit, and in all cases I feel like I'm slower than others.
- Never really learned how to bike or swim. Biking may be explained by inexperience but I had swimming classes in elementary and high school and I'm ok in the sense that I don't drown, but I feel like my swimming is terrible (swim like a dog)
- I absolutely sucked and still suck at sports, worst of the class. Suffered from a lot of bullying when playing football because I sucked, and I dreaded P.E. class every week. I was almost worst of the class when running also.
- A few years ago had an accident because I fell when running pretty fast. "Burnt" portions of my skin because I fell on gravel. I don't know how but it was like my legs just stopped working.
- In class in college, we had to build a structure with food items in a team. I tried to do something which was completely stupid, it's like I had no sense of construction.
- For high school physics class, we had to build a catapult in pairs. I just provided the materials and tried but felt very uneasy so my teammate built the catapult for me.
- For high school P.E., I remember my teacher yelling at me because I couldn't get an 8-knot right for climbing, whereas everyone else had done so.
- I'm very disorganized. I fumble with papers, don't know where to put them, and panic.
- Since DCD can also manifest bucco-lingually, I'd add that I also have trouble articulating words some times, speaking clearly. I stutter a bit and doesn't happen as much in my mother tongue, but in my second and third tongue it's more frequent even though I'm completely fluent and don't even have an accent.
- I learned to use cutlery later than most kids, I think.
- Feel uneasy every time I have to do a precision-task with my hands. Like my hands themselves get a weird feeling.

A bit ironic since I'm literally studying to become a neuropsychologist, who helps diagnose this kind of thing.

However one thing I do have going for me is that I NEVER drop objects.

I'm worried about the fact that I'm 23 years old and certain DCD questionnaires like the DCDQ don't apply to me anymore to meet certain criterion for a diagnosis because I'm over the age of 15.

Also worried that my IQ can't be evaluated because I've already administered the WAIS-IV multiple times because of my career.

What should I do ? Talk to my doctor ? Go to a neurologist directly ? Thing is DCD is within the domain of pedopsychiatrics and/or neuropediatrics, but as a 23 year old I'm not a child anymore...

I've also studied dysphasia, ADHD, dyslexia and I know DCD has high comorbidity with these, but I don't feel like I present any of those or have any major symptoms.
Tom fod
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Re: Ironic dyspraxia... as a neuropsychologist

Post by Tom fod »

Hi Jokuri

Glad you've found us. Where are you from?

It's good news to me that it's covered at all, we adults, so often see ourselves as forgotten or worse ignored! It feels as though a lot of myths and misinformation still persist in the professional field when it comes to Dyspraxia (aka DCD) and these really need killing off!

Neurodiversity is complex and no two people present the same. When it comes to the typical symptoms or traits, some people have just a few, others, many. Not all traits/characteristics need to be exhibited for an individual to be considered to have dyspraxia. ASD, ADD/ADHD dyslexia etc, Just sufficient to tip the diagnostic threshold(s) for each of these distinct conditions (when they are distinct). Are there (m)any Neurologists with an interest in dyspraxia in adults? (Rhetorical question!)

My belief is that as adults we're likely harder to assess as we will have developed coping strategies that could skew some of the testing mechanisms. These as you've indicated, all seem better geared to identifying the condition in children. We see stories from people who visit their doctor only to be told you can't possibly have dyspraxia since you can drive / type / have a degree. A lot of people in online Dyspraxia communities are self-declaring since all too often they're unable to find an assessor and/or can't afford to pay for the assessment. Even in the UK, it's very much a lottery trying to find someone who can or will assess an adult. That is unless you have £600 -1,000 spare, and then, what if your test results come back as inconclusive?

We seem to often have issues with short term working memory, executive functioning and or sequencing and our previous failures in these areas so often haunt our long term memory and can paralyse us insofar as we become convinced we will fail and/or be judged by others. Often we become perfectionists but that is not a good or sustainable coping strategy.

If you wish to read up on Dyspraxia, both Professor Amanda Kirby and Gill Dixon are well respected in the field.

Hope this response is of some use or at least interest.

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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