Hello - am I too old?

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Hello - am I too old?

Postby babooshka2002 » Sun Feb 28, 2010 7:24 am

New person here - my name is Hazel. I am 25, does that mean that I should not post on this forum? If the mods could let me know, that would be groovy - I don't wish to intrude where I shouldn't.

I've never been diagnosed with anything in particular, though I had extra time in my exams from Year 9 onwards - I saw an Ed Psych, who said that I had a "specific learning difficulty". Such an ironic name, since she didn't specify what it was. I have believed myself to be dyspraxic for many years. When I was a child, my mother was persistent in telling the doctors that something was wrong. Although she was listened to in the sense that I saw an occupational therapist and a physiotherapist for the obvious problems with my co-ordination, no answers were ever given and the SENCO at my secondary school was mind-bogglingly insensitive and profoundly useless. Post-18, when I have spoken to GPs (repeatedly) they have mostly said "Oh, we don't diagnose adults". It's so naive it's almost endearing, that some of them think our problems magically vanish when we become adults.

After many years of incessant badgering, I came across a doctor who I now love and adore because he has referred me to a neurologist. I live in hopes (so often dashed) that this may be the start of a journey to diagnosis. I wonder if part of the problem may be that GPs simply don't know what to do with us - it was me who presented the GP with the neurologist idea, after consulting with my friend's retired parents - they were a clinical psychologist and an occupational therapist.

I am unemployed. I am fortunate enough to have some physical problems too, which means I can claim sickness benefit on those grounds, though I have always considered that it's the invisible problems that prevent me from working. I did well at my GCSEs because of being able to compensate with high intelligence, but I didn't do nearly as well as I could have done. Not that that bothered the school overly much I think, since by a lot of standards I did fine. But with my intelligence I was capable of far more than fine. Due to not having enough help, I failed at doing A Levels, which I have now attempted three times with no success. I have never finished as I was overwhelmed. I feel I don't have a lot going for me now. I suffer depression and anxiety. It is hard to imagine what work I could possibly do, since my difficulties seem to affect every single part of me. I am clumsy, my attention is poor, my mental health is not good, I can't handle too much background noise, I am unfit and flabby due to exercise always tiring me far more than others and not being able to feed myself proper food due to clumsiness.

Anyway, this post is awfully depressing, I wasn't meaning to post all that! I guess I got a little carried away. :)
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Re: Hello - am I too old?

Postby Creative » Sun Feb 28, 2010 12:19 pm

Hi Hazel. Welcome to the forum. I'm 25 and will be 26 next month so you're not too old to post here.
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Re: Hello - am I too old?

Postby Remus » Sun Feb 28, 2010 11:22 pm

Hi Hazel, I'm Remus and welcome to the DT. Oh and don't worry, we're not strict on age here.
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Re: Hello - am I too old?

Postby parnassus » Sun Feb 28, 2010 11:26 pm

Welcome Hazel!

I was sixteen when this forum began, and I'm twenty-two now. There are quite a few members here who joined as teens amd decided to stay on. :) Others were in their twenties when they arrived, but we let them stay. It's not their fault that they turned up a bit late. In fact, I think it's overly optimistic to expect any dyspraxic person to be on time for anything. ;)

It's good that you've been referred to the neurologist. I saw one when I was fifteen. She was remarkably insightful and had lots of practical ideas to help me with school and tasks of daily living. It was through her that I got my referral to the neurorehabilitation unit. This was primarily intended for survivors of stroke, but the neurologist suspected that I could benefit from learning to cook with the occupational therapy team there. I still find cooking very difficult, but it's no longer an impossibility. Hopefully your neurologist will be able to make similar arrangements for you. Be sure to mention your mental health difficulties at the appointment - you might qualify for a wider range of services if you do, and it's important for the neurologist to gain a thorough understanding of how your dyspraxia affects your emotional wellbeing.

It is the depression that suggests that you will never be able to get a job. My own life has taught me as much. Depression is feeling masquerading as fact, and it is not invincible. I would talk more about my mental health and how it has affected my work, but I have no time now - I will write in more detail tomorrow.

Vicky

P.S. You have a lovely name, by the way.
"This above all, to thine own self be true." - Polonius, Hamlet.
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Re: Hello - am I too old?

Postby Steph » Mon Mar 01, 2010 10:19 pm

I am 23 and joined when I was 20.
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Re: Hello - am I too old?

Postby babooshka2002 » Wed Mar 03, 2010 5:27 pm

Thank you for the welcome. :-)

Vicky, your post made me grin a lot. I've been reading some of your posts and I think we may be twins... seriously, I know most dyspraxics probably have some similarities, but we seem to be very very alike, in ways.

Thank you for the neuro advice, this is all good. I wrote a letter for the neuro for my GP to send along with the referral, plus a huge stack of copies of various assessments, plus a questionaire I got from another dyspraxic forum that I filled in and got my mum to fill in too. I wanted to make sure that the neuro understood that these problems have been there all of my life, so that he/she didn't go off down a path of head trauma-induced dyspraxia or something. I also made it very clear that not having a diagnosis was a big part of my depression. It's been pretty awful not having any answers at all - even after I was assessed by the Ed Psych at my school at 14, nobody bothered to tell me that I had a specific learning difficulty. All I knew was that I was a very slow writer and that's why I was getting extra time. It made things difficult for me with the other children.

Other kid: Hey, why do YOU get extra time when you're in top sets for everything? That's not fair!
Me: I write really slowly.
Other kid: So what, I write slowly too!
Me: Well, I dunno.

EDIT: Thank you for your comment about my name! :-) I like it too. I went through a period of not liking it when I was a lot younger, but that's because children are mean and will make fun of any name.
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