My Life with a Dyspraxic

My Life with a Dyspraxic

dyspraxia awareness week, blended family, step mum, dontcallmestepmummy,
dyspraxic and dashingly handsome

It’s Dyspraxia Awareness Week and as my husband has severe dyspraxia, I decided I would take part in the awareness raising.

Reading through the list of symptoms on the dyspraxia foundation website really made me chuckle. It sounds awful that it’s comical to me if you are a severe sufferer, but my husband and I have learnt to live with it and I find it endearing (most of the time).  Things I forget can be related and I get at him frequently for include ‘Slow to finish a task. May daydream and wander about aimlessly,’ ‘Difficulty in following instructions, especially more than one at time,’ and ‘Difficulty in planning and organising thought.’

One of the main reoccurring rows with my husband happens when I am having a hormonal day and I decide that he can’t love me very much as he NEVER plans anything for us to do. I am a compulsive planner, he laughs at me for having a list for everything ie. I composed a Christmas list for each of the things I want to buy our children in August, and have been purchasing from it and wrapping presents since August. I will spend a lot of time planning things like his birthday, surprises and just all of our family life in general. All the day to day running of what we are doing, or where we are taking the kids, how we are making our ridiculously busy Saturday happen is all by my design and we usually stick to the plans. Even writing this now makes me realise that I have to reassure myself that it is definitely not because he doesn’t love me that he doesn’t do any of these things. It is because he has Dyspraxia.

Reading through the list of symptoms makes me cherish all the things he strives hard to overcome so that we can live as normally as possible. He is a fantastic cook, despite the fact that he finds it difficult. He is currently learning to drive, which he finds especially difficult. This is something I know my encouragement (which he never had in the past) can really help. I 100% believe that he can conquer driving, it will eventually click and become like breathing, it just requires more effort for him to get there than the average person.

I treasure the events that he has planned for me in the 3 and a half years we’ve been together. My amazing proposal at the ‘Titanic Spa’ (highly recommend by the way), my beautiful engagement ring he designed and had made, my 30th Birthday which he had really put the effort in for, so despite my family life crashing around me at the time I made sure we didn’t cancel. It was a lovely escape for 24 hours from a nightmare situation. He took me to the ‘BroadOaks Country House’ which was a beautiful boutique hotel. A lot of thought always goes in to getting me to these places, especially as at the time neither of us drove.

When you’re as easy going and full of good humour as my husband is, you can see the funny side. The first time he met my family, he was soaking wet through from falling in a lake near their house. When he met some of my friends, we discovered that it’s worse when he’s nervous. He walked into 7 different lamp posts on a 10 minute walk home. On our wedding day my maid of honour was in hysterics, as he managed to fall off a chair whilst just sitting comfortably and signing the register. The registrar nearly didn’t let us wed as they were debating if he was drunk.

The amount of times that he has fallen down the stairs, I stopped asking if he’s ok, I just listen to hear that he’s still moving. My friends think that I’m cold, but it is such a normal occurrence in our lives, it used to make my heart stop with fear as I was so afraid of him hurting himself, but I guess I’m now just desensitised to it all. The most random being the time he went to fix under our bath and set himself on fire. He couldn’t find a torch and decided it would be a good idea to take a candle into the enclosed space so he could see what he was doing.

He has most of the symptoms on the link above, no specific hand that he writes with, sets knives and forks the wrong way round at the table, very forgetful, clumsy, but he doesn’t let it stop him doing ANYTHING.

He joined in with football on the local youth project that we used to work with. He has an interesting way of dancing but still joins in with the girls when they play Just Dance on the wii. He has definitely shown me that it doesn’t hold him back at all.

When I ask him what the most annoying part of having dyspraxia is for him, he answers, ‘struggling with organisation’. Even with that though, I am so proud of him as a Social Worker there is SO much paperwork. He has just finished his final year at University, I was pregnant throughout his first 2 years at Uni, we had a newborn whilst he was on each of his placements, and he is still finished 2% off a First Class Degree. I am so proud of all that he achieves, and need to remember to cut him some slack when he fails to remember things I ask him to do (even if I have written them in a list, lol).

It is a very misunderstood condition. We are still learning to adjust to it everyday, but I must stress my husband is living proof that having dyspraxia does not need to define you, and it doesn’t need to prevent you from achieving anything you want in life. I’m not saying it doesn’t make it harder than some of the rest of us have it, but ANYTHING is possible if you’re determined enough.

Writing this post has reminded me, I’m proud of you babe, proud to call you mine, and I’m excited for all you will continue to achieve in the future. Nothing holds you back.
//
Dyspraxia Awareness Week 12th – 18th October 2014.

28 thoughts on “My Life with a Dyspraxic

  1. You are so lucky to have each other I pray everyday for my son to find someone who will understand him and his dyspraxia I am so happy for you both my sons heart the same as your husbands is bigger than the universe and has so much to give

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  2. I was only diagnosed with dyspraxia 4 weeks ago on my 35th birthday. This article sounds just like me. My husband gets frustrated and doesn’t understand why I forget to pay bills, burn the dinner or fall over everything and lose important stuff. I’ve lost several jobs because I’m inconsistent and late, and people at work get cross with me so I leave….at least I know now that I am not the only one, and that this is a condition with a name, not just me being useless. Hope my friends, colleagues and family come to understand what I go through on a daily basis. Thank you for this very useful insight into another dyspraxic household 🙂

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    1. No he was always advanced in that and therefore baffled teachers who always denied him having dyslexia because he read so well. Private assessment when he started university identified what we’d all wondered 🙂

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  3. I was diagnosed with Dyspraxia later in my life when I attended university, and I am currently learning to drive and also doing my final year at university and it was so nice to hear how close he was to finishing university with a first. I can relate to him so much as I have similar problems.

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  4. Thank you for this article. My daughter is dyspraxia and we believe she can do anything a everyone else can do, she just needs to learn how differently and it takes longer. It can be a struggle at times trying to convince other people of this!! Thankfully she has an amazing resource teacher now and that helps. Reading this article gives me hope, thank you. Your husband is an inspiration

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    1. Yes he is. I guess the thing is though when it’s undiagnosed and assumed he just had to get on with life. I love that he is diligent and doesn’t give up easily. Your daughter will be the same with you as Mum instilling belief in berself 🙂

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  5. Thanks for that blog and after reading it we can relate to a lot of it lol.Our son has dyspraxia and also did not speak until he was eight, after years of speech therapy thankfully his speech is now very good.He has just started secondary school and we were very worried about that but he has settled in well and has a very good classroom assistant. The only problem with school and society in general is a lack of understanding of his condition. (we were also the same until he was diagnosed)we know the problems he is faced with after watching him struggle to learn to ride a bicycle but hopefully raising awareness like you have done will help educate others.

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    1. Yes, I must say riding a bike was the main thing his Mum struggled with. She never felt like he was safe. I have put my foot down with motorbikes. I just don’t want to risk losing him. He is much safer in a car with protection around him.

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  6. Hi. I read your blog with great interest because our son, who’s nine was diagnosed as being Dyspraxic a few years ago. Our son didn’t start talking until just after he started school (at four) and we knew that there wasn’t something quite right with that and a whole host of things., speech delay, motor control issues/balance, and being able to process information quickly.

    In short, we’ve had quite a few ups and downs with him, I spent a while being in total denial about labelling him as being different ( I’m mindful that despite my being the son of two partially deaf parents with limited social skills, who was unmercifully bullied at primary/middle school because kids thought my mum was disabled/etc, its given me my own set of challenges) We have had very good support from his first school, which the head teacher was keen to get him the support /time and our Son has caught up with his development pretty much where he should be, I’m very proud of him despite his daily challenges, his brain, is razor sharp, he loves playing games on the Playstation (as well as his daddy being a bit of an IT guru/consultant) – he has learned that puzzles are king and uses YouTube to find the solutions to his games, we encourage him but he can be very challenging.

    I recall my own childhood, and piece by piece I started drawing uncanny parallels with both my own and our Son’s and child hood that the difficulties he faced, I had too, but in places, not so profoundly.. One day my wife and I went to see the paediatrician to discuss our son’s progress and I mentioned that the issues he’s had vs my own were the same in part, I made a rather unexpected discovery that I was probably dyspraxic as well. The paediatrician basically confirmed this as it explains a lot of my own difficulties I’ve had in my life. I failed all my exams at 16, yet could write computer programmes and such, yet at 42 I have a very good job as an IT contractor and have done ‘alright’. Dyspraxic people are not stupid, or ‘slow/retarded/remedial’ we’re just different and find certain things hard. The other person in our lives, my lovely wife, has been a tower of strength to us both and rolls along with him *and puts up with me lol*..

    I don’t doubt that our son, will find his ‘niche’ and manage to lead a fairly normal life as an adult..

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    1. Sounds like you’ve found a great wife and yes my husband is ridiculously intelligent, he just finds learning new skills harder than others may find it. He works hard to not let it affect things and I appreciate the efforts he makes. Glad you found a profession where you can shine, you must wonder what it? you’d known earlier, but don’t despise what you do, sounds like you’ve done really well for yourself to me 🙂

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  7. What a lovely post! I’m 46 now and was diagnosed last year with dyspraxia. It certainly explains a lot” why it took me three years to learn to drive, couldn’t ride a bike properly and am always losing and forgetting stuff. The worst thing to me about dyspraxia is that a lot of people think you are being lazy, careless or not trying whereas actually I’m trying far harder than other people most of the time! Writing always came naturally to me and people thought I was working really hard but it came naturally
    and I didn’t need to try that hard. This is very frustrating and has led to a lot of depression and anxiety. I always fear making a fool of myself.

    It took me three years to learn to drive so I hope your husband does well. Like you say often we can get there but it just takes longer. I think part of the problem was I tried to learn everything in words and practical things don’t come naturally. It takes a lot of practice. My sense of direction is terrible and I often get lost although this has improved. Just knowing about dyspraxia has helped so much and made me more confident to know there is a reason rather than just being lazy or stupid. I now work with young people with learning disabilities so this helps.

    Last year I had to drive back from France as my husband had a seizure (luckily he is ok). I was scared as I have trouble with left and right but I managed to do it and have done lots of driving since while he has been unable to drive. Slip roads are what I find hardest, judging distances but I’ve found that I’ve learned a lot.

    Anyway sorry for rambling on. I wish everyone luck. The hardest thing is people’s attitudes I find, and having confidence in yourself when you’ve been bullied and laughed at for years. On the plus side it gives me a lot of understanding of other people’s problems.

    Nicky

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    1. Hi Nicky, yes i can’t imagine how the constant laughing from people can effect people. My husband is such a joker that it almost compliments his character well, like you, he is a very gifted writer and baffles people when they learn he has dyslexia but practical things definitely take a lot longer. He has mastered driving now and he persisted with a manual so he isn’t restricted, his instructor is very happy with him. He just needs to get his test passed now, which for us is just an issue of time 🙂

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