Dyspraxia and social skills/adult independence/life skills-how has it affected you? Watch

Smash Bandicoot
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Hello, I am 22 and severely Dyspraxic in the 1st percentile. It has knocked my confidence for many years in particular doing things like a job on my own, being home alone, cooking and driving which I haven't started doing yet. I've also had social anxiety outside of my family and close friends, in particular with women my age. The way I presented myself and my history was enough for the last GP I saw to seek a referral for assessment with Asperger's.

How has your Dyspraxia affected you, and how did you begin to overcome it?
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Sanamun
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The short version is that its utterly screwed over my short-term memory, time management and organizational skills, as well as my gross motor abilities- much like you, I have yet to start driving (I am 20 in a few months). I am very, I suppose you might say scatterbrained; I have a very hard time remembering what needs to be done which is both why I only got Ds at a-level despite being classed as "highly intellectually gifted", why I lost my last job, why I'm always late for everything and quite frankly why I never seem to have any clean shirts since I inevitably forgot to do laundry again.

However, I'm a decent cook and have good social skills- the latter being the main reason I think I've been okay thus far, since whilst I am a huge ditz I can get by pretty okay on charisma and people liking me enough to want to help me, not that I'm particularly happy about that sort of dependence but I suppose it is what it is. I also have a stutter and tend to slur my words slightly since its hard for me to properly control my speech, and I'm terrible at maths due to sequencing issues.

Personally, I don't necessarily try to "overcome" being dyspraxic so much as try to work with it. Once more, it is what it is. Sometimes I fight with my demons, but mostly we just snuggle. And other such cliches. I also run a blog on tumblr giving advice on living with dyspraxia, which I would link to if I was more certain of TSR's policies on blatant self-advertisement, which I am not.
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jelly1000
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(Original post by Sanamun)
The short version is that its utterly screwed over my short-term memory, time management and organizational skills, as well as my gross motor abilities- much like you, I have yet to start driving (I am 20 in a few months). I am very, I suppose you might say scatterbrained; I have a very hard time remembering what needs to be done which is both why I only got Ds at a-level despite being classed as "highly intellectually gifted", why I lost my last job, why I'm always late for everything and quite frankly why I never seem to have any clean shirts since I inevitably forgot to do laundry again.

However, I'm a decent cook and have good social skills- the latter being the main reason I think I've been okay thus far, since whilst I am a huge ditz I can get by pretty okay on charisma and people liking me enough to want to help me, not that I'm particularly happy about that sort of dependence but I suppose it is what it is. I also have a stutter and tend to slur my words slightly since its hard for me to properly control my speech, and I'm terrible at maths due to sequencing issues.

Personally, I don't necessarily try to "overcome" being dyspraxic so much as try to work with it. Once more, it is what it is. Sometimes I fight with my demons, but mostly we just snuggle. And other such cliches. I also run a blog on tumblr giving advice on living with dyspraxia, which I would link to if I was more certain of TSR's policies on blatant self-advertisement, which I am not.
to do lists put where you can't miss them are your friend
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jelly1000
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It's affected my spatial awareness and short term memory the most. I struggle crossing roads if there isn't a crossing nearby and lord help cyclists if they go near me because I can't work out where they are going to go in relation to me. I can't play ball sports to save my life but I avoid those. As far as short term memory goes I have to write things down if I want to remember them. I'm never usually any good in exams unless I'm lucky enough to have practiced the exam questions several times before.
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Tiger Rag
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(Original post by jelly1000)
to do lists put where you can't miss them are your friend
or better still, your phone. But mine has a habit of having the same reminder for days after the date the reminder was set.
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jelly1000
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(Original post by OU Student)
or better still, your phone. But mine has a habit of having the same reminder for days after the date the reminder was set.
or that. I haven't figured out how to set reminders sadly.
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moment of truth
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It affected me a lot when I was younger, but at the moment I am not thaaat affected by it. It does affect my writing skills in terms of not proof reading and not always making sure what I write makes sense. I am not 100% sure if the dyspraxia has affected my social skills completely but I do suffer from social anxiety and making friends. There is probably other stuff too that I can't think of at the moment :/
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vickidc18
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(Original post by Smash Bandicoot)
Hello, I am 22 and severely Dyspraxic in the 1st percentile. It has knocked my confidence for many years in particular doing things like a job on my own, being home alone, cooking and driving which I haven't started doing yet. I've also had social anxiety outside of my family and close friends, in particular with women my age. The way I presented myself and my history was enough for the last GP I saw to seek a referral for assessment with Asperger's.

How has your Dyspraxia affected you, and how did you begin to overcome it?
Allo!

I'm 21 and severely dyspraxic sadly undiagnosed in childhood, I had very messy hair I couldnt for the life of me brush it, I often went to school and got bullied my mum had bipolar and would just yell at me, I couldn't tie my shoe laces until aged 15, personal care showering, takes me ages, I'm learning to drive in an auto as I can't get to grips in a manual, I got fired from my job in a factory as "I was clumsy" and I couldn't do the work. My fine motor skills are rubbish, opening jars, using tin openers, DIY, my handwriting is very poor, so is drawing (I draw like a 5 year old child) It takes me a while to understand what people are saying as well sometimes. I actually developed mental health issues OCD & social anxiety because of my dyspraxia, I'm taking meds now but I still feel down about it sometimes, only recently I've actually come to terms with having the condition.
Short term memory is crap, I'm almost late for everything, yeah it's hard but you just get through it, I'm actually very good at cooking now, I think with dyspraxia you need to repeat the movement loads more than everyone else it will eventually go into your long term memory
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thisisme!
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I think i've just developed coping skills... some examples

can't tie shoelaces - always buy slip ons or use elasticated laces
can't open jars - use accessible jar / bottle openers
lose keys - have spares at work/etc
forget things - have a list pinned up next to door i check before i leave
struggle chopping - buy onions etc pre-chopped
not good at cooking - been on courses, bulk cook meals in slow cooker and freeze.
forget steps when cooking - i typed out recipes on my pc in short specific steps and printed them out. I bought a laminator for £10 and laminated them so i keep in kitchen and can wipe clean after use.
social issues - joined organised things like evening arts courses / etc
time management problems - use timers at home
lack of organisational skills - have a box for important letters and a whiteboard on wall for reminders
spill drinks - use straws for cold drinks, a takeaway style coffee cup for hot drinks at home, ask for a takeaway cup drinking coffee out in places that do them.
personal care issues - still struggle with these a bit, but having a routine and lists helps. e.g. i always put my washing in on a friday after work
scatterbrained at work - i send myself an email at the end of the day if there are things i need to remember to do the next day. i don't open it till the next day so that the next morning it shows up as an unread message.
bad at handwriting - use a computer / phone to take notes in, or photos of things to remember etc.
bad at sports - just avoid the sports i'm bad at
get lost easily - i plan journeys in advance using google maps, note down key places to help me find my way, and take a photo of the address so that i can put it into the satnav on my phone (copilot app) if i get lost.
sensory issues at work - wear headphones if office is noisy, have the brightness etc turned right down on my computer screen etc.

There are probably loads more coping strategies that i use, but those are the first ones i thought of.
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Tiger Rag
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(Original post by thisisme!)
spill drinks - use straws for cold drinks, a takeaway style coffee cup for hot drinks at home, ask for a takeaway cup drinking coffee out in places that do them.
I think Starbucks do the take away cups that you can reuse. Either that, or a travel mug / flask is just as good.

And I can relate to a scary amount of what you mentioned.
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thisisme!
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(Original post by OU Student)
I think Starbucks do the take away cups that you can reuse. Either that, or a travel mug / flask is just as good.

And I can relate to a scary amount of what you mentioned.
Yeah the one i have at home is a reuseable one with like a silicon grip around the cup and a lid on top, with the little hole to sip out of. The grip is good, stops it slipping out of my hand. And the lid helps stop me pouring it down my chest...

I'm diagnosed dyspraxic so i imagine have some similar difficulties to others. There will be so many more work arounds that i have that i just think nothing of as they are just normal to me.
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Samwin
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I was diagnosed at the age of 11 along with Aspergers, have to say it's a nightmare. Never got any help... struggle with short term memory, coordination amongst other things, since having to drop out of college prematurely and go on the hunt for a job, six months on no job, on job seekers (had one but left after 2 weeks due to severe trouble with the management who accused me of lying even though they a) gave me no training as promised when working with vulnerable service users, and b) made fun of my symptoms....

Has anyone else found it harder as they get older? The more things such as job hunting, more social things to navigate... I feel my symptoms are more obvious
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Smash Bandicoot
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Hi everyone, even though I haven't responded personally yet, thanks for all your great responses
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Smash Bandicoot
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(Original post by Samwin)
I was diagnosed at the age of 11 along with Aspergers, have to say it's a nightmare. Never got any help... struggle with short term memory, coordination amongst other things, since having to drop out of college prematurely and go on the hunt for a job, six months on no job, on job seekers (had one but left after 2 weeks due to severe trouble with the management who accused me of lying even though they a) gave me no training as promised when working with vulnerable service users, and b) made fun of my symptoms....

Has anyone else found it harder as they get older? The more things such as job hunting, more social things to navigate... I feel my symptoms are more obvious
I am really struggling with independence, jobs and social skills atm OP, that's why I made this thread

:hugs:
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jelly1000
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(Original post by Samwin)
I was diagnosed at the age of 11 along with Aspergers, have to say it's a nightmare. Never got any help... struggle with short term memory, coordination amongst other things, since having to drop out of college prematurely and go on the hunt for a job, six months on no job, on job seekers (had one but left after 2 weeks due to severe trouble with the management who accused me of lying even though they a) gave me no training as promised when working with vulnerable service users, and b) made fun of my symptoms....

Has anyone else found it harder as they get older? The more things such as job hunting, more social things to navigate... I feel my symptoms are more obvious
in some ways. I don't know if its because of the dyspraxia but I can't put a coherent covering letter together or answer to an application question myself, my Mum has to help me. Interviews can be hit and miss- I can't think on the spot properly so I struggle if asked a question I wasn't expecting - either I end up not knowing what to say at all or saying something stupid and I sometimes forget pre prepared answers.

However I have learnt to tie my shoelaces and do up buttons on shirts and jeans which my younger self couldn't do so its not got all worse for me as I've grown up.
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