Being misunderstood

Share any tips or ideas that you have which make living with dyspraxia easier.(Please start a new thread for each tip)

Being misunderstood

Postby Josh Hooker » Wed Feb 13, 2013 5:53 pm

I am currently in year 13, doing two A Levels: Philosophy and Psychology. I have three teachers, two for Philosophy and one for Psychology, and they all misunderstand me; in school reports and at parents' evening, they all bang on about how lazy I am and how I'm so disorganized. Leaving things at home, for example. They constantly complain that I'm not working at an A Level standard, but the annoying thing is that I work harder than anyone else; I know all the information and have the ability to do well, but struggle to get my thoughts down onto paper. This means that I will often spend countless hours at home writing essays, but have a lot less to show for it. When my achievement doesn't match my obvious ability, my teachers immediately attribute this to insufficient motivation.

It's not only at school that I'm misunderstood; virtually everyone I can think of either hasn't heard of dyspraxia or, if they have, think it's just a co-ordination problem and doesn't affect any other area of one's life. Worse still, some people even say that it doesn't exist and is just an excuse for bone idle people, people who are misbehaved, people with poor social skills or whatever.

I just wanted to share these things with you all so that if anyone is able, they can offer some advice.

Sorry for the rant.

I'm new to this forum, by the way, so this is my first post!
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Re: Being misunderstood

Postby Remus » Wed Feb 13, 2013 11:34 pm

Hello Josh, welcome to the forum. :D Firstly, there is no need to apologize for venting. Anytime you need to let off steam or unbottle some emotions, feel free to post.

I wish I could offer some advice but sadly, I can very much relate to that whole feeling of being misunderstood. I got the same off my tutors who couldn't understand my actions some times, why I would do things a certain way etc and viewed my methods as quite negative even though they were the best for myself.

In a perfect and just world, your effort and sheer determination would pay off a lot more but it's sad we live in society which is ruled by grades, league tables and high standards and I'm sorry they don't give you the credit you deserve for putting in the effort. I think the most important thing though is to keep in your mind the fact that you are trying your best and that is all anyone can do at the end of the day.

I can understand your frustration with people and dyspraxia awareness. I always find hard when people automatically know what dyslexia is but tell them you are dyspraxic and it's like you've just made it up from thin air.

I wish you good luck with your studies, though! Hang on in there and try not to let them get you down.
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Re: Being misunderstood

Postby kat95 » Thu Feb 14, 2013 8:06 pm

Hi Josh. I am in Year 13 too at the moment, just had my parents evening this evening in fact! I am fortunate in that my teachers are quite understanding about my dyspraxia, or more often my disorganised absent minded character. Some of my teachers I doubt even know what dyspraxia is despite explanation. However, I do understand what I feels like to misunderstood especially when I was younger. Its not nice when people criticise you for things which you might actually be trying to deal with or are struggling to improve. I am forever leaving things at home. One thing that helped me was to start keeping a plastic folder for each subject. It is easier to keep hold of paperwork if you don't have to waste time being attacked by your folder! And it is a lot less bulky then carrying big folders to school back and forward. Being disorganised is just part of dyspraxia and unfortunately people misunderstand that is actually an element of it. I don't really have any advice with regards to that, other than to just try and get yourself a little bit organised more easier said than done I know! and maybe talk to your teachers about what dyspraxia really entails. Again I know that is not easy. I also find it difficult to get my thoughts down on paper, one thing that helped me was to talk to my teachers when struggling to plan or write an essay and to always plan beforehand to make sure my essay is more concise. This seems to have worked as my recent class civ grade was much improved :) I shall end by wishing you good luck :) Year 13 might not be easy but remember everybody is in the same boat even if they do not seem to be struggling :)
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Re: Being misunderstood

Postby Luna_is_so_cool_like » Fri Feb 15, 2013 7:57 am

Hi there, and again, welcome to the forum!
I'm in year 10, and I find it hard to cope with my dyspraxia. I find none of the teachers are fully understanding about it, especially in PE... "STOP RUNNING LIKE THAT!"- quote from my PE teacher.
Most other students are really judging about my dyspraxia, too.
They see it as something that just means I can't write properly, and fail to see that it's what makes me so immature and clumsy and forgetful etc. This causes a lot of arguments in PE when I have to work with people I'm not friends with, because they don't understand.
The best things you can do are...
- See if there's a Dyspraxia Foundation in your local area. My town has one, and by attending just a few sessions, my mum gained a much better understanding of my needs.
- Contact your school, and make all your teachers aware of your Dyspraxia. My school has an internal Email system, and each student and teacher has their own email. Emails were sent to all my teachers making them aware of my problems, and I've been getting a lot of extra help since.
Also, make sure you've got Dyspraxia down on your school record (the one with all your contact details, medical needs etc on)
Hope this helped! :mrgreen:
- If ever you feel hella sad, just remember that you're hella rad -
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Re: Being misunderstood

Postby Steph » Fri Feb 15, 2013 4:14 pm

Hello and welcome to the forum, Josh. I think the others have already offered you really good advice. I just wanted to empathise with you as, although my teachers were always supportive of my dyspraxia, I have had a lot of issues with other people in my life not understanding about dyspraxia. It is so frustrating and sometimes makes me want to give up on trying to explain it to people but I feel that the more people are educated about dyspraxia, the easier our lives will be in the future.
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Re: Being misunderstood

Postby wadey » Fri Feb 15, 2013 9:02 pm

Hi Josh, welcome to the forum. I agree with what the others have said, i wish i could offer you some advice
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Re: Being misunderstood

Postby Bruce » Tue Sep 24, 2013 6:29 pm

wadey wrote:Hi Josh, welcome to the forum. I agree with what the others have said, i wish i could offer you some advice

Same. I get exactly the same thing. (Only year 7!)
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Re: Being misunderstood

Postby _robyn_ » Fri Sep 27, 2013 12:15 am

Hi, it is very frustrating when some people just don't seem to understand the little ways in which dyspraxia can have a dramatic impact. I have trouble with writing speed, this seems not that big of a deal and only a few of my teachers have realized actually in the big picture, when a homework would usually take someone 30 minutes, might take me an hour. Then add up 12 subjects and having out 1 or 2 homework's a week from each, added with the difficulty of actually knowing what to write suddenly creates a really big problem.
Right now I am having a similar problem with my french teacher who believes I need to work harder to achieve better grades, because it looks like I don't do that much work since in lessons I struggle to write things down and keep up, however at home I do at least 2 hours at the weekend purely working on french as it is my weakest subject.

Try not to let it get you down, and you could try explaining to them your difficulties. I found when I politely explained to my English teacher that I felt I was struggling to write a lot of notes down in lessons he was very understanding and organised a few lunch time slots to help me get more notes down. :D
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Re: Being misunderstood

Postby Bruce » Sat Sep 28, 2013 8:35 am

_robyn_ wrote:Hi, it is very frustrating when some people just don't seem to understand the little ways in which dyspraxia can have a dramatic impact. I have trouble with writing speed, this seems not that big of a deal and only a few of my teachers have realized actually in the big picture, when a homework would usually take someone 30 minutes, might take me an hour. Then add up 12 subjects and having out 1 or 2 homework's a week from each, added with the difficulty of actually knowing what to write suddenly creates a really big problem.
Right now I am having a similar problem with my french teacher who believes I need to work harder to achieve better grades, because it looks like I don't do that much work since in lessons I struggle to write things down and keep up, however at home I do at least 2 hours at the weekend purely working on french as it is my weakest subject.

Try not to let it get you down, and you could try explaining to them your difficulties. I found when I politely explained to my English teacher that I felt I was struggling to write a lot of notes down in lessons he was very understanding and organised a few lunch time slots to help me get more notes down. :D

I haven't had time to explain dyspraxia to anyone apart from my best friend, who LOVES (and by LOVES I mean it) running, and he only sees it as something that effects my running.
What subjects do you have? I have social studies (I'm in an international school in the UAE (NOT SAUDI ARABIA)that goes by the English education system), English, French, Spanish (When I get to Yr10 I'll get to choose between ONE double Spanish lesson, ONE double French lesson or ONE SINGLE French and ONE SINGLE Spanish), Maths, music, art, DT (Desighn technology), Science (I'm taught by my Dad :P), History, Geography, In Y10 I'll start business studies, ICT, and a few others. So that's 12 that I can remember (or 13 if you count business studies).
It's so annoying being misunderstood :(
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Re: Being misunderstood

Postby boopidoop » Wed Feb 12, 2014 6:45 pm

The only advice I can give, and it helped for a while at least, even though it can be stressful, is to explain to them about what it does in your life. You can't expect them to understand if they don't know, can you?

In my experience, I have gotten so angry and worked up about all this, that I have hit, kicked and lobbed objects at people (A lot of the time missing), mainly as warning shots. DON'T DO THIS, IT DOES NOT HELP.

What you can try, is finding things you are good at, and doing them more often. For me, it is an addiction to computer code and Minecraft architecture. Whatever you enjoy, do more of it. Then, when people tell you you are bad at stuff, and that's it, then you can show them what you can achieve.

Another thing, I know EXACTLY what you mean about working harder than others. I envy those who doss around in lessons, and end up with A's. I got so annoyed once, that I pulled one guy's chair leg while he was tipping on it, and got a detention. Not worth it tbh :/. It was fun at first though, watching him sprawl on the ground, then I felt guilty.

Now I don't know the rules on this, I am new too, but what is helping me now, especially against the attacking, is God, prayer and worship. You may think "How dumb, that's silly" but it really isn't. Whether you believe it or not (And I don't care about what you think, this is the truth), God created you. He made you as you are because you are awesome in his eyes. When people tell you you are crap at everything, he is always there for you. You can rant at him about your day, and he will listen. You can ask him for help, and he will. Plus, God is the best decision you can ever make. He can turn your life around, if you give him the chance. You know I said about Minecraft? He told me to start a Youtube channel (Gaming and vlogs) to explain to others about my issues, and to help others with theirs. (And to have fun on video games :D) It's taking a long time, but I already have 100 views on my first video, and that was only a speed build :)

Sorry about the Christian rant, thought it was necessary. Good luck with your exams!
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Re: Being misunderstood

Postby Paddington » Sat Feb 15, 2014 5:42 pm

I an realy empathise with what you mean although i go to a good school now i was bullied because people simply couldn't understand what I was so clever when i spoke but so stupid when I wrote. I do however have a few tips for you:

Organisation can be a struggle for all of us however one thing that greatly improves this for me is keeping all files, textbooks etc in one place at home. I then check this place each morning for stuff i will need. I also keep pens rulers etc in more than one place like a pen in my bag and school uniform pocket and putting some spare stuff in a locker might be a good idea too. This means if you forget something you have multiple back ups. The colour coordinated files also work well.

On the misunderstanding front explain your difficulties ( its best to explain what your specific problems are rather than dyspraxia in general otherwise many people could believe you suffer from all areas and believe me that is annoying when people over do it)to a few of your most understanding friends ( enough so there is a dyspraxic knowledgeable friend in each class). They can then help you with your problematic areas such as getting you out of writing on a poster or cutting things out etc. This can also help you improve in problematic areas after i admitted how much i struggled with my times tables i found myself so embarrassed that i re learnt them, this has helped a lot. Also get your parents to tell the school of your dyspraxia. most schools tend to forget etc.

Remember
“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” (albert einstein)

Another idea may be to get your parents to ask about support or mention your dyspraxia to your teachers at a parents evening. If it comes straight from your parents then it could make your teachers listen. Its easier to ignore a phone call than a conversation. It might shame your teachers into being more cooperative when a parent asks, what support is in place to help .... with their dyspraxia?
"I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work"- Thomas Edison ( dyspraxic entrepreneur)
Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.”
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