Thursday, 31 August 2017

Handwriting

handwriting or poor handwriting is probably one of the things that is most associated or visible in someone who has dyspraxia and is one of the things that most affected me in school.

i remember that around the time i was diagnosed with dyspraxia i used to see a specialist (occupational therapist i think) and there was a sort of writing test/activity that without any time constraints to write as neatly as possible and for me and many dyspraxics it can take a long time to write one sentence neatly can be physically painful however after we did this we were told that my handwriting would not improve from that point. and below is what my handwriting is currently like


(i may have mentioned in a previous blog that when i was in yr11 15/16 yrs old my english teacher tried to teach me how to write the letter e which makes up half of my name)
as far as i am aware all children are taught to write in the same way with the same pen/pencil grip etc.however some people do still tend to grip things in different way some will wrap their handnaround a pen some will hold with just their fingertips
however there are a lot of different styles, shapes and size pens out there that try to encourage help develop the usage of the 'correct' pen grip such as the yoropen which im pretty sure i have used in the past but they were not for me as they were a bit too narrow.there is also a variety of pens and some pencils made by the company stabilo which have an ergonomic grip built into them these are the pens i have probably used most although they are a bit chunky and cand raw attention from others even adults. perhaps also useful for dyspraxics are the frixion pens made by pilot which are erasable pens but prior to using pens you can get pencil that have foam grips on them, but you do not neccesarily need to have a 'specialist' pen there are basic pens out there that come in different shapes and sizes fatter, thinner or triangular pens could work just aswell if you like the feel and shape and you are comfortable using it that is what is mmost important that you are comfortable using whatever pens you use.

Image result for yoropen



Sunday, 20 August 2017

Gender/Sexes?

it is widely thought that dyspraxia is more likely to affect males more than females from a (older) dyspraxia foundation leaflet that of those diagnosed 80% are male however there are also lots of females out there with dyspraxia.
firstly even when comparing dyspraxia among genders that males tend to be diagnosed earlier than females although this is not always the case and this could have a large impact on the diagnosis rates among the genders as often the older you get it is likely that you will have developed effective coping mechanisms and there tends to be less of a need for diagnosis for many especially if outside of education as those coping starategies may work so well that you dont feel that need and have no reason for it and from what i can recall seeing is that many people who dont get diagnosed via parents/teachers at school age often find if they go onto it university life and its at that age those people get their diagnosis.
when you see research done via polls or you look on social madia platforms you are more likely to see more of a 50-50 split in the genders however this could be impacted by research that suggests females tend to be much more active/involved in social media.
it is quite easy to see why the thought that dyspraxia affects boys more than girls especially with the difference in age of diagnosis and this is because on average boys are much more likely to pursue and be pushed towards sports and physical activities than girls are, so there is potentially much more oppurtunity to identify aspects of dyspraxia.
is the huge difference in diagnnosis of dyspraxia between genders and widely thought belief representative? highly unlikely
that is a big question and is highly unlikely/ impossible to be answered definititively as you would need to test everyone. there could well be some difference but there is not really any reason for it to be so big.
back in 2015 there was a article from the dyspraxia foundation about this difference
 http://dyspraxiafoundation.org.uk/dyspraxia-is-battle-sexes/

Sunday, 6 August 2017

Everyday Life

everyday or day-to-day life as a dyspraxic person can sometimes be annoying, funny, frustrating, forgetful and possibly even dufficult and occasionally just normal/average.

you can often see around in leaflets or online that one of the more common things to come up is women and make-up and how something that most people consider a fairly easy and simple task a person with dyspraxia can find incredibly difficult, the same can be said about quite a lot of other daily tasks that are considered simple by most people yet many of these can actually require quite a lot of fine motor control. sometimes people can just forget to do a certain thing which can be quite common it certainly is for me for example sometimes i can forget to brush my teeth and i might not even think about it and i can get through the day and at a really random time like driving somewhere i then think oh i havent brushed my teeth yet today the same could be said for not having breakfast occasionally, alot of people have probably had similar situations sometimes when youre going out a realise that you have forgotten something.
also for alot of people with dyspraxia eating or using cutlery especially is something that can be difficult although there are different types of cutlery that you can buy made of differnet material or different shapes such as being ergonomic so they fit to the hand or encourage the 'correct' grip for me personally i dont find using cutlery hard but i know that when i use cutlery i use it quite diffferently to most others i know such as the dominant task i will always use my right hand so for cutting with the knife i will use my right hand and then will swap the fork to my right hand for eating and when i am cutting i tend to stab the item i am cutting with the fork then cut with the knife in my right hand however i do prefer to and find it easier to use cutlery that has flat handles and not rounded handles.
and then there is shaving although as a man who likes and often has a beard/ facial hair, i dont shave that often but when i first needed to start shaving my dad actually helped alot (did most of the shaving for me) however when i do shave now i mostly use and electric shaver/trimmer although i am never able to trim the beard to certain length when i try to so i just shave most/all off and using an electric shaver is easier than using a razor however i have found that you kind of get used to using a razor after time if you are careful although it can still take time as you are having to look in a mirror whilst doing some weird face contortionism and use a razor and make sure you dont miss any spots which i do as i only use my right (dominant) hand when shaving and making sure you dont apply too mush pressure.

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Exams

we are coming into exam time at the moment (in the UK atleast) for people in school or college etc. i thought it a good time to write a blog about dyspraxia/ dyspraxics and exams but also for other as i know exam time can be difficult for a lot of people not just those with learning difficulties

but im going to start by saying that in my experience exams have never seemed to be an accurate or efficient way of testing knowledge or skill to me atleast they have always seemed more like a memory test especially with subjects that dont have definitive answers like english etc.however i can see that subjects like maths (and to an extent) science the correct answer is always going to be the correct answer so is perhaps a slighlty more accurate way although it is still a test of memory (how tu do certain aspects of it)

but in terms of preparing for exams revision is important even if it is just quick testing of yourself but dont just sit revising (reading) for hours take regular breaks when you need to otherwise i found you can just start getting bored and stop taking stuff in  and by testing yourself you can find what you are not so good or confident at and focus a bit more time to those things although you should contine to work on the other things aswell. revising is just like anything else in that most importantly you need to find what works for you whether that is taking tests, reading up on things or leaving notes around the house.

getting the correct supports in place is something that is also incredibly important especially for those with learning difficulties if neccesary this could be variety from having extra time to using a laptop or a scribe/reader. for my exams i had a scribe from GCSE's through to university and it helps if you can be in a different room which i wasn't for GCSE and sixth form. i have mentioned some of this in a previous blog here http://bit.ly/2qiOAfx

Monday, 1 May 2017

Memory

memory and dyspraxia is something that many people dont seem to understand. how someone could forget something they've only just been told and poor short term memory is a common trait among many but not all dyspraxics.
as just mentioned short term memory is said to be poor amongst dyspraxic people but they tend to have quite good mid to long term memory and that kind of describes me a little bit i often tend to forget things sometimes even though i repeatedly tell myself to do them for example fairly recently i needed to re-send an email and everytime i went on to my laptop i could never remmebr to do it even if i was on my email and it eventually took about 3 or 4 days to do it yet i can remember some things in quite a lot of detail from 10+ years ago whether they were quite memorable events or sometimes even just some other random things.
when it comes to very short term memory i do think that if its a single instruction without much interuption then its all ok but if theres more than one thing to do and more than one instruction then im likely to forget some part of it which is something that is quite common among dyspraxics which is why when you see things about learning disabiloity and teaching teachers are advised to simplify their instruction and go through any steps that may be needed one at a time which is something we could potentially do in everyday life as well.
some tips to help with remmbering to do things could be to have notes as reminders around the house or a list of things to do and tick them off as they are done or even setting a range of alarms/reminders on phones etc.