Need help? Feel that you're the only one? Here is all the information you need to survive being a teenager with Dyspraxia!
Sun Mar 20, 2005 1:41 pm
My name is Lucinda and I'm 16 years old. I was first diagnosed with dyspraxia when I was 9, because a friend of my mother's had noticed that I was unable to tie my shoe laces or ride a bike, and my swimming lacked co-ordination, and I couldn't catch a ball, and I often forgot books or pens I needed for school, and suggested I might have Dyspraxia. I was diagnosed in an NHS centre for little children, which I found a bit degrading. My teacher at the time (year 5) was unstable and unsympathetic and picked on me, which meant that my classmates also picked on me through years 5-8. I was quite badly bullied until I was 13, when my parents finally realised the all-girls school where my sister went wasn't suitable for me. I remember in year 7 there was one Dyslexic girl in my class, but the school got inspected in my last year there and got picked up on a lack of support for Special Needs.
They didn't even know what Dyspraxia was. I was very depressed and didn't have any real friends, and always felt ill.
So in a seemingly random decision to those who don't know the whole story, I moved schools to a mixed boarding school. I board weekly, so I go home at weekends, and this new school is mainstream but specialises in Dyslexic help. I don't get any particular help from the school, but my teachers are generally more understanding, and now I have extra time in exams and class tests as well, which has helped me, because whilst I can do a lot of things I previously found really hard, I still have bad days when I can't seem to hold a pen properly and my writing is really slow.
So many things have changed though. I have lots of good friends now. I know a few dyspraxic people. I was talking to a guy the other day who has two dyspraxic brothers, so he understands why I find some things harder. Some people still don't understand, but they don't pick on me.
Also once I was 15 they let me stop doing sports like netball and hockey, where I had been slower than others at gaining the skills. I now do Shooting, where I've noticed that the majority of people are Dyspraxic or Dyslexic, or both. I think it's because it's the kind of people who sports teachers dislike, so they get rejected from teams and end up in minor sports. I have much higher self esteem, and I am generally doing better in school. I used to often get headaches whilst I was at my last school, and I had quite a lot of time off because I couldn't face going, but now I am hardly ever ill and I don't like missing school. My organisation has improved dramatically, and I never hand in work late or forget things now. It's taken a lot of work, and a lot of support from my friends, but I've got to where I am now and I'm happy.
The only times I really notice I'm Dyspraxic are when I have a really bad day, but they are less often now. Those are the days when I can't eat because I can't co-ordinate the cutlery, and I can't hold a pen or a ruler. I'm so glad that moving schools helped me, because I hate to think where I would be if I was still at my old school.