This isn’t so much as a dyspraxia thing, as it is a human thing, but I feel that knowing we have options and choices gives us all, including dyspraxics, a chance to build our confidence, because god knows people don’t understand us and we think are being difficult for the sake of being difficult.
It’s almost like being cornered, without a chance of getting out. People already assume that we are doing things incorrect on purpose, or that we don’t know what we are doing, and they rarely stop to ask or find out.
For me, that is the most frustrating thing that some people don’t have, it’s the patience to listen and understand us for who we are, not who they want us to be.
Listen, I don’t want to come across as labelling us as dyspraxics, and that we have it more difficult than others, because we don’t necessarily, but I will say this, dyspraxic people, and those on the autistic spectrum, are incredibly misunderstood, and I hope that this book will help to uncover some truth as to what it is to be dyspraxic, and most importantly, help you to feel understood, if indeed you do feel misunderstood.
This is where options and choices come into play.
To put it bluntly, you have options, and you have choices, or more specifically, you have choices, and you have options.
If you can wake up each day with a brain that functions the way a brain should function, you are able to think for yourself (as long as you believe you are allowed to and don’t have your self-worth dictated by somebody else) have the ability to make choices and to choose different options of how you spend that day, and each day after that day. In my opinion this is the greatest gift of all.
When you wake up each morning, you are given a chance in life to make whatever choice you want to, rightly or wrongly.
I feel that having this mindset of knowing that you have the option to make choices will give you a clear advantage over everybody else, because when you limit what you think you can do, you limit what you can actually do.
Everyday we have things to do, we need to eat, drink, wash up, get clothes on, shower, perhaps commute to work, do our work duties, ideally we exercise, we have some fun with friends or work colleagues, we spend quality time with our family, we relax. All of these things are what we may consider to make up a normal day for us. Each person in the world has a view on what their day encompasses, and this will be different from person to person, and this will dictate what you think your options and choices are.
Dyspraxia can make us feel like we aren’t capable. It can make us feel that we are to dumb to make our own informed decisions. We sometimes let medical and health professionals tell us what our dyspraxia does to us, not how it can limit us but how we can overcome it.
Medical and health professionals give us a diagnosis and then send us out into the world.
‘You have dyspraxia’. What does that even mean. I ‘have’ it. Well what if I don’t even want it?
It isn’t like a gift you didn’t like that you can’t return, or a takeaway you decide you don’t for whatever reason. Dyspraxia is a diagnosis of your psyche, how your brain works and operates. Is it a bad thing? Well you need to define the word ‘bad’ for that answer.
I would say that dyspraxia is only bad when a specific system needs to be followed, and the system is already followed by a group of people, whether a large or small group. Dyspraxia basically makes you see the system differently, the logic of it doesn’t make sense.
Sometimes we question it, either out loud or in our head. I question things out loud, and this irritates people, but I don’t apologise because I feel I have the right to question it. I question it because it is a choice I make, and I am allowed to.
We do all these things because we choose to do these things. We accept that we have the opportunity to have the option to choose to do those things, so we do them.
What then happens if we find it difficult with one of those options?
If, like me, you struggle to tidy things up, because you brain just can’t coordinate where to put the things, take a step back, analyse the situation and figure out, firstly, where the thing goes.
I find that when I am tidying up, if I slow down my pace, I think can clearer, and my work is more effective.
This is more difficult to do at work because I am now working for someone else, and that person may or may not be able to understand my working capabilities (even though they should), so their pressure threshold may be higher than mine.
If this is you, I fully empathise. This is where the confidence to face your demons is important.
Remember, that anybody who disagrees with your methods, or your working capabilities, puts you down in any way, don’t get emotional.
Remember this, you are most likely seeing them in their best form. Think of them as a representation in their life. If they are a boss, you are most likely already assuming they are really good at their job.
But remember, they are also possibly a wife or husband, a brother or sister, they may drive, they may have severe depression, they may have something as simple as really bad handwriting, but there will be something about them that will remind you that they too, are just human.
With this in mind, when you talk to them, think about this to build your confidence up. You won’t necessarily ever get on with them because your personalities don’t mesh, but that doesn’t give that person the right to put you down or make you feel inferior to them.
What’s the worse they can do if you confront them?
Perhaps they criticise your work, perhaps they don’t listen to you when you are struggling and you want to explain something to them.
There are so many things they can do or say that are out of control and sometimes the best thing we can do is to control ourselves.
I know it’s difficult to do, but this is a strategy that has worked for me:
Explain to the individual, politely, that you struggle with a specific aspect that they have mentioned, whether it’s tidying up, or your speech or something. Explain to them that everybody is different, and this is what makes you different.
Whoever you talk to, will, rightly or wrongly, have expectations, Along with this comes expectations. Explain to the person you have the issue with that the expectations are too high, obviously this will depend on the work you do, but the expectations will likely change based on the job at hand.
It’s also important to remember that you have your own skill set, strengths and weaknesses, and this ties in with the expectations because you may think that you should be as good as somebody else, but you won’t be necessarily, and that’s ok.