|L, me and L's brother in 1975|
“......there are times when I feel as though I am lying diagonal in a parallel universe – it often feels as though the Gods (and Goddesses) miswrote the postcode and packed me off to the wrong planet at birth. I have quite an unusual perspective on life at times and while this is always a guarantee of colourful originality it can also feel like a cage”
The above quote comes from a book called “Caged In Chaos”. The book was written by a sixteen year old girl with Dyspraxia. Dyspraxia is a label which has been attached to J to go along with all the others he now has and means that while many of us carry out some everyday skills without a thought J is left behind.
Dyspraxia (also known as Developmental Co-ordination Disorder or DCD) comes from two Greek words: dys (abnormal) and praxis (doing). It goes way beyond this simple translation though – the things which people take for granted can literally be impossible for those with dyspraxia. Neither is there a neat uniform way of diagnosing the disorder – dyspraxics don’t do “neat and uniform” and in the same way they do not “do” organization either. This explains why J’s room is always such a mess but might also explain why his mother is totally unable to co-ordinate either and why she finds it hard to know “where to start” at times.
I am certain I have some attention deficit problems and recently considered going the whole hog and pushing for a diagnosis of ADD/ADHD for myself. My GP talked me out of this and I am grateful that she did as it was going to cost nigh on £800 for a private consultation and diagnosis if appropriate.
Dyspraxia though I can see myself fitting into far more and the childhood stuff fits me far more. So does the adult stuff and suddenly the comments of “bloody hell Mand – look at the state of your desk” and the resigned laughter from my work colleagues does not seem so strange! The same laughter which has followed me throughout my working life and which has made me seriously doubt myself and my abilities at times.
Yep – definitely lying diagonal in a parallel universe with organization a closed book. Poor J didn’t stand a chance with my genes, thankfully like me he is easy going and getting far more support in school than I ever did. I am hoping the support J receives will leave him with much better self esteem than I have had over the years as there are many times when I have not felt “good enough” or good about myself. As a child I lost myself in books and in the world of Enid Blyton, up the Faraway Tree and into lands beyond with characters as out of place on the Earth as I felt myself at times. “Always lost in a book” one teacher said years later “you would have got quite lost had it not been for the kind attentions of L” my best childhood friend.
Yet despite all these problems I have achieved and as my GP pointed out “achieved well”. The rest of the issues need addressing with routines and structures – something my ad-hoc nature rails against, but which is the only answer to the organisation. Lack of organization is the one thing I hate about myself – when my mind is in chaos the muddle spreads outside of me...... or is it the other way round
I am trying even if it doesn’t always appear so but J is cuddled everyday first. Monthly appointments at work are now booked in advance and written down for clients. An A4 pad is used to write myself tasks and cross out when done. At home I prepare clothes the night before so J’s uniform and my clothes are chosen, hung up and ready for us after washing. Finally my latest task is to shine the sink every night – it works – I feel far better when I get up in the morning if the sink is clean and empty.