The members of Dyspraxic Teens have differing opinions about their dyspraxia and how it feels to be dyspraxic. However, there is a shared sense of pride and resilience that influences the way we talk about our condition and is very obvious on the boards. Here are a few snippets, taken from members' posts, that will give new people an idea of how dyspraxia is viewed on DT:
"I cannot imagine life any other way." - pinkparrot, December 2005
"In the words of Evanescence: 'Don't try to fix me. I'm not broken.'" - Thirteen-thirty-seven, January 2006.
"I think I would like a cure or something I dont really know cos Ive never known anything else and as someone else said even if I didnt have Dyspraxia I might still get bullied and spoken down to and who knows I probably still be rubbish at these particular sports that cause me problems now. I am good at what I am good at and I enjoy what I do I probably would never have tried water sports if it was not that I was Dyspraxic." - Andy, March 2006
"Do you really want to 'cure' your dyspraxia, even if there was a way that offered 100% success? Personally, I wouldn't, because my dyspraxia, in spite of the obstacles it puts in my life, is part of who I am and getting rid of it would be like getting rid of part of my identity and I would no longer feel complete." - Page, July 2006
"I would get rid of it, it's not like it's a part of me, it holds me back, and it's that my brain hasn't fully developed, it doesn't really have any reason to be seen as a good thing to have." - Dan, July 2006
"I don't think that dyspraxia is just some kind of monster tagging around after you. There are positive elements too." - pinkparrot, July 2006
"I've often thought to myself that if only everyone is as nice as people on here, I'd find meeting people a lot easier because people would be more understanding of my difficulties interacting with other people. It may sound corny, but I can honestly say that this forum and the people on it, have made me feel proud and glad i'm dyspraxic." - Mattie, December 2006.
"I would like to be rid of the physical problems of dyspraxia. I keep imagining waking up oneday and finding I could draw to a nearly normal standard, write fast enough to keep up with the class, and walk down an uncrowded corridor without bumping into someone. I wouldn't fix my brain, I don't think it needs fixing." - Alice, October 2007
"I am proud of who I am, what I've got, and how far I've come. It's taken me a long time to develop this self-belief, and I wouldn't exchange it for the opportunity to play Olympic hockey or a short-term memory that is absolutely watertight. I've met precious few normal eighteen-year-olds who are as happy with their lot as I am with mine. If people can't accept - or at the very least tolerate - my personality, then that's their loss. Not mine.
When I was diagnosed, I didn't allow anyone to tell me what it means to be dyspraxic. I worked that one out for myself. It was a slow, painful process, but I was determined to finally understand why I am the way I am. I have realised that dyspraxic people simply view the world through different windows. Our view counts. It's special. It's important. As I said at the very beginning of this message, it would be a boring world if all our thoughts were identical." - parnassus, December 2005
"The bad thing about dyspraxia, or other motor disorders, like dysgraphia or DCD, is that they make ordinary little tasks, like fastening a button, making a sandwitch or pouring a drink very difficult. However, even this (which I freely admit is very frustrating) isn't all bad. "Normal" people don't get a warm fuzzy glow inside themselves when they manage to tie their own shoes, or eat dinner without spilling it everywhere. Dyspraxia makes life different and difficult, but it makes it more interesting." -Thirteen-thirty-seven, January 2006
"Dyspraxia got me bullied.
Dyspraxia made sure I had no friends.
Dyspraxia prevented me from doing most of the things I wanted to.
Dyspraxia gave me a load of stereotypes ranging from ignorant to offensive.
Dyspraxia crushed me with embarrassment and worthlessness every day of my life.
Dyspraxia made me gifted.
Dyspraxia got me respect.
Dyspraxia meant I met all of you.
Dyspraxia opened a whole window of insight to me, about what it is to really be valued.
Dyspraxia made me able to help others.
So, would I cure it if I could? I don't know..." - Goldenhamster, March 2006
"I am glad that everyone is created differently. I think it is beautiful how there are so many different types of people in the world." - Hermionefan5, April 2006
"i do feel admittedly a strong sense of bitterness about it and sometimes feel that it is a barrier, this is mainly because of the mood swings i have, when im on a "high" im able to achieve so much, i feel so happy and accomplished, yet when im on a "low" i feel intensely depressed, my friends cant really understand and i do feel like im in a prison cell in that i cant think what i want to do, i cant socialise and my mind hits a blank. my moods have been so inconsistent although happily ive had more highs recently than i used to. i resent the problems with social barriers and depression and the repetitive nature i come to feel about life often, as well as my short attention span and inability to follow things (ie forums, i often stop cheking them for months). although after thinking about it ive got positives from dyspraxia, such as my compassionate nature, i try to listen to others and i believe dyspraxia had made me a caring and sensitive person, it has also made me very determined and open minded, and as im discovering i think i might be a creative person, partly due to my alternative viewpoint to many issues in life to the "normal" people." - confused_teen, April 2006
"Last night I got a message from one of the dyspraxia e-groups I belong to. I've been debating the 'merits' of a cure mentality with one or two of the parents who use that group. I think you'll all be able to guess the side I'm taking. Last night, somebody wrote that saying dyspraxia is a part of your personality is like saying 'a couch potato is who I am, so muscle deterioration and obesity are a part of who I am as well'. This really upset and offended me.
Not only is the comparison offensive, it is also false. I am glad to see that DT is casting a much brighter light on what it means to be dyspraxic. I can remember a time when several people on this forum wanted a cure for dyspraxia quite badly. If DT has changed that, it has done more good than all the 'cure' programmes in the world." - parnassus, January 2007
"In the past 5 years since I started this website, I've grown in so many ways. I've grown in confidence, I've had life changing experiences, I've met some fantastic people, and discovered for the first time that the world isn't so bad after all. The first few years of my life were hell. But looking back on it all now, in a way I'm glad I had the experience of life in school, and what it's like to be bullied, because in the long run, I think it's made me a better person. It's made me strive to prove the people who doubted me wrong, to show that I'm not a stupid little boy who'll never amount to anything, but an intelligent, bright young man, who could go on to follow his dreams and become whatever he wants." - Matt Alden-Farrow (owner of Matt's Hideout and DT).