People with Dyspraxia would love many things. I think if we were granted 3 wishes by a genie we would have a difficult time picking just 3, considering we are still to this day a poorly understood breed. At least, this is what I am lead to believe after reading about some experiences and listening (which will feature somewhere along the line) to people for however long it takes… To tell the full story or however much of that story they’re willing to share. Listening and reading about times where perhaps the person feeling content in the world wasn’t really something they could control due to no fault of their own. So, I want to run through some basic rules so to speak, of how to master connecting with someone like me… Anyone remotely similar to me in personality… Or just someone else who has Dyspraxia, baring in mind potential overlaps with autism, Asperger’s, ASD, ADD and ADHD. So what would Dyspraxic people love?
Grown-up shoes without laces
Wait, hang on a minute. This compromises the priority. Without laces, people no longer have to wait those precious few extra seconds for us to get ready in the morning before we throw ourselves into whatever lies ahead. No more boring people to death. Velcro would be quite nice though. Maybe it could be a 2020 trend setter? Velcro shoes. Get rid of laces. And instead… Me and my tribe could just spend 2 hours doing up velcro shoes instead and wait for the magic to happen.
Plates with different compartments
Handbags have different compartments… So why not plates? Some people don’t want all their food so close together that some of potentially falls off the plate resulting in mess. Either, plates should be bigger, or plates should be made in bulk that have separate compartments so then all the food on a plate (when you so please) would be in a different section. This also links in with certain textures not fitting right with us as well. This would be a great refreshing change. This would be a change people like me would actually support. Unlike on some occasions being forced to merely accept change that we hate.
Not being given false hope at a young age
To be honest, this is a pretty general one, but one that personally, I don’t like. Most if not all kids will say “I dream of doing this”, “I dream of doing that”. But there’s not enough information out there about life after that or what if it doesn’t happen. Obviously that is a pessimists view, otherwise known as my thought process but to me it shouldn’t go either way. I’m not saying at all that you should be told to not pursue things, but you shouldn’t be told that you’ll 100% achieve your dream of being a firefighter, doctor or pilot. Because, you know, sometimes it doesn’t work out. Sometimes you just know over time when something isn’t for you. And that’s ok. Contrary to what people like me sometimes get told.It’s not easy being told that you have a strength for something. Because more than likely, you’ll need to do so much more to pursue something that links to it, rather than actually being given the opportunity. We are the risk takers. The others are not. There are many different things we could try and then find out that it doesn’t fit. It’s a bit like an item of clothing. It would be a bit like if I went and got a tie dye green and yellow t-shirt. It probably wouldn’t suit me. But sometimes jumping into something that I can do quicker that’s more challenging is the way that not only I go, but fellow Dyspraxic people take that route too. We are spontaneous. Spontaneity is one of the little remaining things to hold onto so that like we are actually built to do… Explore. I can’t help it, and my fellow community can’t help it… If we decide very quickly that something isn’t for us. That’s called attention to detail and knowing your strengths and weaknesses. The one time where I feel me and my tribe know ourselves best.
Being listened to
Short and sweet for you. Look, I get it. Sometimes, people like me do not get to the point that quickly. Welcome to the life of a neuro-diverse person trying to put the pieces of the puzzle together to construct something to say. Some people like me may be introverted, may not speak much. But when they do, you can bet your life that we will say something worth the air time and something worth listening to. Controversial at times… Maybe. But what would the world be without controversy?I have spoken to a few people who are part of my tribe, and they have had at times, the exact same experience as me. Having to speak for 2 hours to try and get through to someone who’s had the best part of quite a long time to fathom that people like us see the world differently. It’s not the typical persons job to frown. It’s their job to listen. Part of Dyspraxia means that people like me will listen intently but one, we find it difficult to process information and two, we interpret typical people differently. Because they are TYPICAL. They just do everything the normal way, fit into a normal world. For us it will never be the same. Yet we are made to act like this I feel. We are made to feel like our struggle is sometimes exactly the same. Or that we are ungrateful or something. I just don’t get it.But I for one always make an effort to listen. I may not interpret things in the “right way”. Because I might have a different opinion. Doesn’t everyone. I would give air time to someone who wanted to speak passionately about something I may not have the same level of passion in.Here’s the thing, by listening to someone speak about their passions, they are making that subject in question a lot more fun by putting their own spin on it. By speaking about it from so many angles. This is what I love. Passion. Passion fuels the mind. I’ve said this before. I’m a passion merchant and have spoken to people like me many a time. We will not back down. I mean of course finding the balance is key to this but again… Being overly passionate sometimes just reinforces a point which needs it. Or at least in my view.
We weren’t made false assumptions against or made to feel inferior for having significant challenges in particular areas
Oh this is massive. I was once told by someone that I’d failed at achieving due to my lack of eye contact. Blah, blah, blah. Lack of eye contact gets you nowhere. Said no-one ever. I mean, sometimes, whatever people like me could try, whatever “advice” we get given, some things can’t change. Some things will always be a challenge. A fear. Something that gives us restless nights thinking about.Again, I have heard people talk about eye contact in different ways which I will never experience because it’s who I am and I wouldn’t develop a sense of understanding how eye contact can be the million dollar thing between winning and losing in life. But why should it have to be this way. Why should people feel inferior for having something about them that is different.Sometimes, constructive criticism is great because it can actually help in some situations give clarity and give people like me an occasional wake-up call. But that’s not saying that works a whole lot anyway. Because it’s still criticism. And I’m sure I’m not the only Dyspraxic person who’s felt criticised when we aren’t even aware we’ve done anything wrong. And many times we’ve done nothing wrong. But people perceive us to be the reason of their downfall. Well… If it’s what people want…What I strive for every single day… Is for people like myself to be understood. I still feel like we are too far behind and too many people are losing out… Feeling like they’re finished when they’ve not even started on their journey.
We were included
Inclusion. It’s what helps build a connection. A relationship. A friendship. And when the relationship is built, it’s the best feeling. That people like me, when included, finally feel a sense of purpose. That is… When we aren’t left to rot in the proverbial cupboard under the stairs.I could make a significant bet that every Dyspraxic person would be inclusive to everyone. Because those who have a clearer and probably better vision than me… See the good in everyone. Fair play. They are the example. It doesn’t usually work the other way though. I think generally most typical people think, perhaps when on a football pitch or doing something sporty which they may think someone with a hidden disability would be rubbish at… “It’s all about me. I don’t need to include new people. I want personal glory. ” Who are they to think that. Or want that. It’s about putting others before oneself. And it’s actually quite simple.Once you make one act of kindness… The river of kindness will continue to flow. And people like me or people who maybe aren’t similar in personality with me but share the condition of Dyspraxia… Are the example to everyone else. They are the benchmark. They include everyone, make other people feel good about themselves. I’m not saying I don’t do these things, but it becomes more difficult when I feel at a massive loss in terms of confidence at connecting with the world around me. Because I feel most things I end up coming out with are deemed unimportant, irrelevant or ridiculous. Or a whole mix of things.What I would say is that if I personally witnessed inclusion and also watched other people being included and being listened to I would feel like positive change is happening. At the end of the day… It’s best for everyone and people like me would get on with the typical people of the world. Even if we would never be best friends. I’ve tried that direction before. But everything would be better I feel if there was a strategy that could be used in order to find a mutual understanding so that people agree or disagree respectfully. The right word that defines this is tact, which is admittedly something I’ve found tough even at the best of times. But something I’m constantly trying to work on and I’ve found some helpful methods of getting through this.I get it, ultimately, there’s no magic spell that’s available. But these are mostly all wishes of an interpersonal kind. Only 2 of my wishes are to do with physical objects being a lot more friendly let’s say. But with physical objects being tailor made, interpersonal connections remain a mystery. We are essentially, the mystery tribe. If we were anything else… Where would the fun be in that. We’d be giving the game away.