Immaturity and dyspraxia

Chat with others about dyspraxia and share your experiences.

Immaturity and dyspraxia

Postby parnassus » Wed Nov 15, 2006 5:32 pm

It is often claimed that young people with dyspraxia tend to be immature for their age. To what extent does this claim fit you?

Personally I suspect that immaturity is much less common than non-dyspraxic people think. 'Symptoms' of immaturity - such as temper outbursts, an unwillingness to share, and reluctance to join in more sophisticated playground games such as football are a result of underlying dyspraxic difficulties. Nearly everybody becomes very irritable when they're tired, and for a lot of people with dyspraxia fatigue is just something we have to take. Tantrums aren't necessarily a result of emotional immaturity, but a consequence of sheer physical exhaustion - and, of course, frustration. I'd like to see how a fully grown, supposedly well-adjusted adult would cope if he or she were suddenly confronted with the array of difficulties that the average dyspraxic child has to face.

As for reluctance to share, I can remember getting accused of selfishness as a little girl because I refused to lend out many of my possessions. This wasn't because I was greedy or grasping. It was because I knew even then that my memory isn't to be trusted. I knew that if I let that book or that toy out of my sight for a moment, in all probability I would forget where it had gone or who had taken it. Immature behaviour? No.

Finally, many dyspraxic teenagers prefer to play simple games with children who are younger than themselves. This was definitely true of me, and to an extent it still is. When I was in boarding school the first friends I made were two or even three years younger than me. This wasn't because my emotional development was stunted, but because these girls didn't fuss about makeup or dancing or parties or any of the other things that I found almost unbearably difficult to cope with. When I entered secondary school, I wanted to play tag with the eight-year-olds rather than netball with girls my own age simply because this game didn't demand so much skill. Looking back, I don't believe I was particularly immature. I just appeared that way.
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Postby Alice » Wed Nov 15, 2006 6:49 pm

I know what you mean. I have only had 4 freinds my own age, most of my freinds now are only 1 or 2 years younger but in year 6 alot of my freinds where in the infants (year 2 and under). I never play football or netball unless it's in PE and I've run out of excuses, I don't lend stationary to clasmates because it gets snapped in half and thrown at me, and I used to have a horrid teper that's getting better now. I'm not called imature anymore, they've moved onto words like "psyco" and "loner" and all that stuff but I did used to. I guess I might have been partly subconciosly pretending to be younger because the younger kids accepted me. As part of my own age group I would have been an outsider, which is something I wasn't ready to be proud of.
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Postby Goldenhamster » Wed Nov 15, 2006 9:22 pm

I know exactly what you mean. I have been branded 'immature' by other teenage girls because I don't wear make-up (I hate the feel of it on my skin) and because I tend to be forgetful and incompetent in simple day to day tasks. In some ways however, I think my difficulties have made me more mature than they are.
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Postby mattie » Wed Nov 15, 2006 9:30 pm

I'm very immature. :? I still do pretty much the same things as I did when I was 12. Compared to other people in my age group, I think that I am more mature in some ways, but less mature in others. For example, I have the maturity to know that certain actions should entail responsibility. At the same time, I am completely clueless to some aspects of adolescence/adulthood. When people talk about normal things like relationships, I am not even aware of the terminology and what stuff is considered 'normal'. I am an extremely late developer in that respect. Also, I do tend to be emotionally sensitive, so sometimes small things upset me more than most.

I agree with what Vicky said though. I think most of my immaturity can be attributed to environmental factors rather than dyspraxia.
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Postby Hermionefan5 » Thu Nov 16, 2006 1:02 am

Finally, many dyspraxic teenagers prefer to play simple games with children who are younger than themselves. This was definitely true of me, and to an extent it still is. When I was in boarding school the first friends I made were two or even three years younger than me. This wasn't because my emotional development was stunted, but because these girls didn't fuss about makeup or dancing or parties or any of the other things that I found almost unbearably difficult to cope with. When I entered secondary school, I wanted to play tag with the eight-year-olds rather than netball with girls my own age simply because this game didn't demand so much skill. Looking back, I don't believe I was particularly immature. I just appeared that way.

I'm very immature. I still do pretty much the same things as I did when I was 12. Compared to other people in my age group, I think that I am more mature in some ways, but less mature in others. For example, I have the maturity to know that certain actions should entail responsibility. At the same time, I am completely clueless to some aspects of adolescence/adulthood. When people talk about normal things like relationships, I am not even aware of the terminology and what stuff is considered 'normal'. I am an extremely late developer in that respect. Also, I do tend to be emotionally sensitive, so sometimes small things upset me more than most.

I agree with what Vicky said though. I think most of my immaturity can be attributed to environmental factors rather than dyspraxia.


As for me, I still love to play with my younger sister who is almost six years younger than me. We used to play pretend all the time and I'd play dolls with her even in High School. I hung out with her more than my other friends sometimes. I don't think I was immature because of this, rather I was (and still am) shy around people my own age. People think I'm strange because I don't wear makeup very often and that might make me a little bit immature, but it's mostly due to my personality that I don't wear it. I just don't think it matters all that much. I'd rather have someone look at my real face than have them look at the makeup covering it. I'm also VERY sensitive sometimes.

P.S. Kinda off subject, but what's "net ball?" Is it like basketball?
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Postby Andy » Thu Nov 16, 2006 9:40 am

I dont really know if I am immature compared to some of the things that people my own age do. I dont shout and swear at my mum or dad (well not very often!) I am always polite and sociable to adults,I dont throw things around classrooms and try to distract people from their work. Where I am immature is probably that I take life too seriously I find it hard to see the meaning of jokes,I am very easily wound up, and people know this and do it all the more. :cry:
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Postby Spoon girl » Thu Nov 16, 2006 2:02 pm

Hermionefan5 wrote:P.S. Kinda off subject, but what's "net ball?" Is it like basketball?


Yeah net ball is quite a lot like basketball only you can't move wiht the ball. I'm sure there are a lot of other differences but I distanced myself from the game a long time ago so perhaps someone else could explain.

I was considered immature by a lot of people from quite a long time. I think the main reason for this was that my friends htought I was 'hyperactive'. I would run around and do things people my own age didn't do like pretend to be a bull and charge at them...this may not seem like an appropriate thing to do for a 14 year old but I'd lost my place in the conversation, got a bit distracted and thought I'd do my usual thing of trying to make people laugh only they didn't laugh...they just gave me a lecture (talking in adult voices) about how they thought I had ADHD.

In 6th form I was labeled as immature because I didn't want to go out and get drunk. To me, their behaviour was immature and not mine. If anyone had a problem I could deal with it as I wasn't too busy 'playing adults'. I later found friends older than myself who remain the closest friends I have. I can have long conversations with them about things and they don't see me as immature at all. Perhaps this is because they see the things I do as being a part of me and not childish.

Before secondary school I spent a lot of time playing with younger children because they enjoyed doing the same things as me such as playing with dolls, playing house and baking. However it was similar interests that brought us together and not age as a lot of the things they did such as 'tell on mum' if someone wasnt playing a game properly etc did irritate me. I avoided ball games etc like the plague and played 'band manager' with the children 3 years below me!

I don't think I am or was immature. I think I was just happy to stay a child for longer instead of being caught upin what people think you should do.
I'm not entirely sure whether these things are related to dyspraxia or not!
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Postby Thirteen-thirty-seven » Thu Nov 16, 2006 7:58 pm

CS Lewis wrote:When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am 50, I read them openly. When I became a man, I put away childish things - including the fear of childishness and the desire to be grown-up.
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Postby Radioactive_hairgel » Thu Nov 16, 2006 8:22 pm

Evreybody's saying they prefered to be with younger people, im completly diffrent i always use to confide in adults (and for the most part)
ignore social activities with children my own age! even now at parties i'll be in with the adults then with the teenagers in the next room...
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Postby parnassus » Fri Nov 17, 2006 1:09 am

Evreybody's saying they prefered to be with younger people, im completly diffrent i always use to confide in adults (and for the most part)
ignore social activities with children my own age! even now at parties i'll be in with the adults then with the teenagers in the next room...


To a degree, I also had that. I can remember being invited, along with the rest of my class, to someone's eleventh birthday party. It was held at a beautiful outdoor swimming pool in Saudi Arabia. I swam fifty lengths religiously, avoiding the games of water polo and tag, and then went over to where the chaperones were sitting. There was one woman who was slightly removed from the group. Perhaps she was like me? I don't know. But we got talking about zoology, which was my obsession of that time. I talked to her for three hours. She showed no inclination to return to the adults and I had no intention of going to play with the other children. The next day at school, someone said nastily, "Enjoy yourself with the adults at Kayleigh's party?" I felt bewildered then. It hadn't occurred to me that what I had done was strange.

Intellectually, I felt most comfortable around adults. (Children my own age were more likely to make fun of my vocabulary and the topics I liked to discuss.) But being a child still, I did want to play games - nice simple ones like tag, which didn't take much skill. So I would spend my playtimes with the little ones, passing myself off to my peers as someone who just liked children and wanted to be kind to them. A few people praised my patience with the youngsters and commented on how kind I was, not knowing that I needed those eight-year-olds as much as they needed me...
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Postby Hermionefan5 » Fri Nov 17, 2006 6:54 pm

I think a lot of adults like to fantasize about their days as kids and sometimes we like to read kids' books because we like to feel as if we are younger. Someone once said that one reason both kids and adults like Harry Potter is because it makes kids feel older, while making adults feel younger.

My sister often makes me feel like I am a bit immature for being so obsessed with Harry, but I feel that the books speak to me even though I am not a child anymore. I think that's the same reason she reads them, she's just not as obsessed as I am.
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Postby parnassus » Fri Nov 17, 2006 8:20 pm

Re-posted here on behalf of Ruby, who accidentally made it a new thread:

such as temper outbursts-Guilty.


an unwillingness to share-when I was younger!!

and reluctance to join in more sophisticated playground games such as football are a result of underlying dyspraxic difficulties-whats the point? kicking leather into a net-wohoo! (SARCASM)

I would say I am alot more mature in certain areas than most people my age, but a tad immature in others.
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Postby greggy » Fri Nov 17, 2006 9:36 pm

i am often told that i am imature but when i was having counciling my counciler told me that i was very mature for my age.

i very rarely have friends my own age and until last year didnt really have any friends. currently i am friends with a group 5 girls in my year who i think i get on with because they are not interested in all the usual things people my age(15) are interested in and seem less 'mature' than most our age. i seem to get on well with kids who are younger than me. but i also get along with adults as well.

i think that sometimes i can seem imature when i with younger kids and people rarely see my more mature side
Dyspraxia might restrict some of my capabilitys

But it also heightens my awareness :)
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Postby Page » Fri Nov 17, 2006 11:45 pm

I never considered myself to be immature--- rather, quite the opposite.

I've always felt older than my physical age, which is why I always prefered the company of older adults when I was younger. In High School (I'm not sure what the UK equivalent of American high school is) I was interested in business and technology whereas everyone else was interested in parties, dating, and music.

It wasn't that I didn't care, I just couldn't relate to any of those people (and I still can't, in retrospect) , so I stopped trying and focused on learning stuff that is letting me make A LOT of money today. Meanwhile, the popular people who gave me trouble will likely be the ones fixing my car and bagging my groceries.
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Postby intowiz » Sat Nov 18, 2006 12:23 am

see that annoys me with my dyspraxia i can get annoyed because i sometimes seem immature on the outside when on the inside i feel like why did i just say that why did i just do that. its ended up with most peaple not seeing me very seriously like im a joker or i dont have a difficulty in the world. i only started acting more my age when i hit secondary school i think because my brain started to adjust or something happend, i dont know. but i look back at when i was younger and i think what the hell was wrong with me, why was i the kid who stuck out like a sore thumb because who acted differently, things like my cousins treated me like a little kid even my cousin whos only a onth older than me. when i say act childish i mean things like when i was 10 kids my age could do all this math stuff but i couldnt work out how many pennies in a pound or clocks. it confuses me when i look back and i think was i like that one kid peaple know who has learning difficulties and get angry with or couldnt give a blob about.
i think i went on a bit there. sorry.
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