My Story

Chat with others about dyspraxia and share your experiences.

Postby Lucinda » Fri Apr 23, 2004 9:05 pm

Hi. I thought I'd post a bit of my story here, as it seems quite similar to Matt's.

I was born on June 17th, 1988 in London, UK. I don't know much about when I was very young, except that I had a lot of accidents. My handwriting was always bad, although I learnt to read very quickly. I was good at reading but I didn't like writing because I couldn't write as fast as I though, and I hated drawing and art type tasks, as I still do. I was bullied from the age of 5, and I was very bad at PE as well. I couldn't skip, either, which everyone else was doing. I moved schools when I was eight, to an all girls school.

In the first year there, I had an understanding teacher, even though no one knew why I was different. But I was bullied a little, and I didn't have much confidence, and I hated reading out loud. They also made me play netball, which I couldn't do, because I couldn't even catch a ball.

In year five, I had a new teacher, who was in her early thirties. She had a serious mood swing problem, and although there were only 12 in the class, she was nice to almost everyone but picked on different people at different times. To add to this, I was having serious organisational problems. I hated school and I was having sleeping problems. My mum took me to the doctor, who said that I couldn't have sleeping pills because I was too young and because I wasn't in the right mental state. The school and my parents ignored all of this.

Then, someone at my mum's work suggested I might have Dyspraxia. I was tested for all the usual problems, in this place that was designed for very small children, and they found out I was Dyspraxic and for some reason my right arm was stronger than my left arm, even though I am left handed. I've always been fairly ambidextrous, particularly now I've taught myself to write with my right hand.

Anyway, after that, I was put on the NHS waiting list to get help. But they decided ultimately that I was too old to be helped. I hated what they tried to do. Instead, I was extra determined to do things for myself. I had learnt to tie my shoelaces when I was 8, and I learnt to tie a tie when I was 11. I learnt to ride a bike around the age of 11 as well. I taught myself. And when I was in year 6, I went to extra netball after school and learnt how to catch a ball. I even got onto the bottom team, but they were letting everyone who wanted to have a go. Year 6 wasn't so bad.

But Year 7 was when it got a whole lot worse. I was bullied very badly and my organisational problems were worsened by secondary school. The most the school and my parents could do was tell me I had low self esteem because of the Dyspraxia. The school told me it was my fault that I was bullied, because I was too passive or something. I don't know how they managed to blame it on me. My teachers weren't helpful either.

In year 8, things continued to be bad. But I found a refuge in the school computer rooms, and a talent with web design. I spent almost every lunchtime working on my websites, and it was one place I was accepted. But still, it was enough to make me want to move. My mum asked if I'd like to try boarding school, to help with organisation and stuff.

I agreed, because I didn't like any of the local schools anyway. Three years ago, I first saw my current school for the first time. It is about 80% boys to 20% girls, but I like it. For the first time in my life, I am happy. Near the end of year 8, I finally got out of the depression, and I had a completely new start. My organisation has improved and I no longer have to do hockey or netball. I do shooting instead of sport now, and I'm happy. I'm doing GCSE's this year, but I'm still happy because I've got friends. And most people don't know I have a problem. They just think I don't like sport and I can't draw. The only thing that annoys me is my school and my parents making me take extra time in my exams. I don't feel like I need it, but everyone says I should just take it anyway, just in case. But I'd rather people didn't know I had a problem...

Well, that's my life. Sorry the post was so long.

Postby Dyspraxic Fantastic » Fri Apr 23, 2004 9:06 pm

Hi Lucinda, :lol:

I found your story really interesting. I'm 16 and I have dyspraxia too. Some of your experiences sound similar to mine.

I did my GCSEs last year and I had 25 percent extra time. I found it all incredibly difficult but I was determined to work hard and do my best so, for three months, I just shut myself off from the world and studied with all my might. It was hard to revise because writing stuff out made my hand ache and nothing was going in because I was concentrating on the writing, and I am useless at art so 'fun' spiderdiagrams were hard too but I managed. I also found other ways to revise like typing things, highlighting key words, making tapes and listening to them, getting people to verbally test me and writing key words and, using post it notes, sticking them on the walls.

When I was at school, particulary primary school, it was hard for some people to except that I had problems because they couldn't see dyspraxia and, unfortunatly some people are unable to see past the end of their nose. :( Things improved at senior school, as well as extra time I was given a computer to do my exams on and a laptop to use in most lessons. The other pupils never bullied me or anything but some of them made it quite clear that they didn't like the 'very loud and annoying' noice of the laptop (which was very ironic because they were the people who made the most noise in class anyway) and they thought it wasn't fair that 'she gets to use a laptop.' :(

I was like you. I didn't like to be seen as 'different'. I didn't want to draw attention to myself. I just wanted to be invisable. So often I'd 'forget' my laptop or it 'wouldn't print out.' Actually there WERE a lot of problems with it but they could have been sorted. Looking back it's a shame I did that. If I'd have used my laptop all the time people would probably have got used to it and it was only a small minority that it 'disturbed' anyway.

Anyway, I felt that I really needed the 25 percent extra time I got in my exams. Even though on some subjects, like English language and literature I finished within the 'normal' time I used the extra time to check my work, and I was suprised at how many mistakes I made. It didn't have to use all of the extra time, or even any of it, for drama I left when the 'normal' time was up.

I achieved three Bs, 1 C and 4 Ds in my GCSEs. :) I went to a VERY acedemic school and compared to everyone else my results were below average but I was estatic because I'd worked so hard and I was sure the only subjects I had got good grades in were the Englishes (both Bs.) I was even pleased with my Ds, I got a DD for science and I was convinced I'd got a U!

This is going on forever, so I'd better finish soon. I guess what I'm trying to say is dyspraxia has taught me a lot and one of those things is to TEXT be ashamed of it, or try and ignore it, because it won't go away. I've met all kinds of people, some understanding, some not, but I can rest assured that I and the people I care about most have enough intelligence to understand my disability and that's the most important thing.

Charlotte x
Dyspraxic Fantastic

Postby Ruby » Fri Apr 23, 2004 9:07 pm

Hey Charlotte!
its me!
I wondered if you could help me here!
I am thinking ahead to my next SATs and GCSE's
and I wondered if i would be able to use a computer to do my Exams on? I am currently given extra time to do exams, but although that helps a bit my hands hurt still ,making it hard to write more. i am a fast typer so i would get more done! my hands would ache after that but not nearly as much as it is to write! you say you used 1 so would i be able too?
:D B) :D B) :D

Postby Dyspraxic Fantastic » Fri Apr 23, 2004 9:11 pm

Hi Ruby :lol:

Does your school have a specific person in charge of special educational needs? If so, I'd suggest talking to them about using a computer. I don't know the ins and outs of it, but I have a feeling that they may have to convince other educational people before they will allow you to use a computer. The school may say no, you can't and this could be because they don't have the facilities available or because they think you can manage without. You may need proof of your difficulties. I would advise you to talk to them about it anyway.

Good luck and let me know what they say,
Charlotte :D
Dyspraxic Fantastic

Postby Dyspraxic Fantastic » Fri Apr 23, 2004 9:11 pm

Hey Ruby again,

Have you spoken to your school about using a computer for doing your exams on? What did they say?

x x x x x
Dyspraxic Fantastic

Postby Ruby » Fri Apr 23, 2004 9:12 pm

Oh Yeah! That Reminds me!!!
on parents evenning we asked LS about the Laptops!!!
RUBY :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D

Postby Dyspraxic Fantastic » Fri Apr 23, 2004 9:14 pm


When are you doing your SATS, is it next year? Using a computer made such a difference with me, I got a level 6 in English for my year 9 SATS and a B for both English language and literature GCSE which I wouldn't have got had I hand-written them because writing is really tiring and frustrating for me. It made such a difference.

x x x x x
Dyspraxic Fantastic

Postby Guest_Helen » Fri Apr 23, 2004 9:15 pm

Brilliant news Ruby :lol: :lol: :lol:
You are going to do just fine.
Hugs to Archie.
Helen ;)

Postby Ruby » Fri Apr 23, 2004 9:15 pm


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