Outtakes from the Dyspraxia Foundation Youth event Part 1: Relationships

If there’s one hot topic amongst the Dyspraxia community that is discussed at length- it’s relationships.

Relationships can be divided into different meanings or groups whether it’s friendships, family or romance, all of which can become quite difficult to understand at times.

Today I’m going to talk about some ways in which I can relate to the various points we discussed at a meeting for members of the Dyspraxia Foundation Youth group.

Families and pressure?

Being a neuro-diverse person in a neuro-typical family can feel quite pressurising. It also feels more pressurising at bigger family gatherings.

It becomes more difficult to see where I really fit in and to see if I can be confident. I often find my wires get crossed quite easily when I am interacting with a group of people who seem confident. This is because I may not be in that same zone as them and become a bit isolated.

Confidence is a big part of how I portray myself as someone with Dyspraxia. Because I never really set out to be the center of attention. This can be interpreted 2 ways as it could be that I’m the center of attention because I don’t seem confident to interact with people or because I’m the opposite of that and trying to be more extroverted to show people I’m here and want to be involved.

Masking

Masking is another thing that fits into the discussion about pressure.

I think quite a few other people in the Dyspraxia community would be able to agree with me that they’ve at times done incredibly well to mask their difficulties or challenges from being picked up on.

In terms of how I can relate this to my own situation, is that amongst friends, I feel like I’ve had to mask my difficulties purely so I can fit in and not seem like I don’t belong in a group.

I can’t tell you how wrong this is that masking the difficulties us people with Dyspraxia face is sometimes the one thing between us being alone or having some close friends.

Dyspraxia and other neuro-diverse conditions

Also amongst our discussion on the day was the difference between how we interpret the world around us.

Some of us people with Dyspraxia also have another condition alongside which could be Autism/ASD/Asperger’s or ADHD.

I have ASD as well as Dyspraxia and therefore there are 2 ways in which my mind often thinks. These are ultimately the questions WHY and HOW things happen.

We discussed that with Autism/ASD/Asperger’s and ADHD, the WHY DID THAT HAPPEN? question is asked, whereas with Dyspraxia it’s the HOW DID THAT HAPPEN? question that gets asked more.

So where do those sorts of questions interact with me and my conditions? Well one of the biggest ways in which these 2 very differing questions present to me is this… Friendships!

Over the past few years I have found friendships have really kind of passed me by or drifted away.

This is where I would end up asking the questions WHY HAVE THEY DRIFTED AWAY? and HOW HAVE THEY DRIFTED AWAY? The way the 2 questions have an effect on me becomes more about the emotions I would feel as a result.

However, they do become quite difficult to answer for me because the whole truth of the matter is I don’t understand why some of my friendships are highly contrasted to how they used to be.

Finding an answer to these questions is something that intrigues me but as I say also makes me emotional because of the way it would make me feel at fault for how I have let friendships go perhaps on my own watch.

To me, the 2 answers that would result here is because people have moved on and have made a somewhat easy transition to adulthood.

This is where I differ from people, as I feel that I don’t find adulthood an entirely easy thing to grasp onto. In many ways being an adult to me is different to what others may make of it. Perhaps this is what holds me back in friendships but asking the questions is a difficult thing for me because it still doesn’t prevent me from feeling confused.

2 good points

Towards the mid-point of the discussion about the topic of relationships, we talked about a couple of points which are very important. These points were:

“Find people who make you feel good about yourself and look out for you”

“Dyspraxia doesn’t define everything about you. Ask people what music they like? What food they like? What interests they have?”

First of all it’s feeling confident to ask these questions in the first place that is the big thing here. But once I can feel confident to be my true self, I like many others amongst the Dyspraxia community would feel a huge sense of belonging. Surely this is not an impossible thing to achieve?

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