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The Dyspraxia Landscape

As a community we’re really diverse and no two of us are exactly the same. We’re affected differently and to varying degrees by a condition that is the very devil to define and describe (especially so given our condition). We’ve all trodden different paths to get to where we are. Having lived with dyspraxia and been involved in various online groups and forums, I have observed that there is often disagreement about how dyspraxia is seen. Those who struggle significantly may understandably align themselves more with the medical model since they very much see their dyspraxia as disabling. The effect of Dyspraxia on day to day existence means we pass the test of being substantial and long-term and thus rightly mean we can be considered as having a disability as per the he definition of Disability used in the Equality Act 2010. If we’ve been coping for years and are, dare I say it, well I have) are and are viewed as ‘normal’ we might be a touch more ill at ease with ‘Disability, Specific Learning Difficulty, etc.

 

Others such as myself  have been living with Dyspraxia for some years and have been comparatively fortunate. I have managed to find and carve out a niche for myself, even if it sometimes feels somewhat precarious. It’s perhaps more likely we might side more with the Social Model of disability and the notion of ‘Neurodiversity’. We’re not ‘broken’ as such, and our difficulties are as much to do with general attitudes towards disability that are held by ‘society’. We don’t want pity and we too would sooner have a hand up and better understanding and flexibility These two positions and many in between often seem to put as at odds and as we’re a stubborn/determined bunch, our conflicting perspectives can lead to lively disagreement or Fire and Fury!.

The Dyspraxia Foundation do what they can and naturally campaigning for donations and supporting children and young people is the right thing to do. After all we wouldn’t honestly want to wish on them the difficulties we’ve had, as that is hardly progress.

Compelling people, especially policy makers to see that there adults who’ve been failed and who’ve slipped through the so-called safety net is so much more difficult. Dyspraxia is a rather nebulous condition to try to explain to an, at best, disinterested audience because it’s hard for them to understand as they don’t have the lived experience. If we could articulate it, most decent people would be understanding, they regrettably struggle to see it as a priority or quick win. I hope the All Party Parliamentary Group will help shape a more inclusive strategy but the wheels of policy change turn agonisingly slowly and people are missing out on the help and assistance they so desperately need.

I appreciate people may not wholly agree entirely with my perspective but hope we can have a constructive debate to identify constructive ideas to that we might take forward, ideally in partnership with, but at least complementing the aims of the DF towards furthering the cause of dyspraxic adults and uniting us to help each other.

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Tom Myob

Tom was diagnosed with Dyspraxia c1988 by an Educational Psychologist around about the same time the Dyspraxia Foundation was founded. Nobody bothered to explain it to him, or possibly just as likely he wasn’t/wouldn’t have listened. About 20 Years later it was all explained to him and he started to understand that it was more than just his visual impairment and he became less hard on himself for his perceived failures but is still a frustrated perfectionist.

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