I discovered the online Forum www.dyspraxicadults.org.uk in the Spring of 2011 whilst looking for answers for myself. The Forum was started in early 2006 and now has 30,000 + posts and over two and a half thousand members over that time. It’s always been fairly quiet and the record for number of members online was 76 in May 2013. My own post count as of writing this is not far shy of 2,000 and I’ve learnt a lot during my time looking after the forum and trying to provide some measure of comfort, moral support and practical ideas and advice.
I’m by no means a trained counsellor but I think my gift for empathy has hopefully helped a few people over the years. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve had to deploy the moderator’s big stick as prefer to have open dialogue and agree to disagree. I think quite a few check in as read only but most of the feedback I’ve had is generally positive and people feel safe in the belief that they won’t be judged for what they post. People often do arrive at a low ebb but I think the act or pouring out your troubles with a relative degree of anonymity can help us to start to look at them more objectively and begin to think of ways around them and to share ideas and coping strategies that you can adapt to work for yourself. We’ve had new members arrive from all corners of the globe. A proportion have a formal diagnosis, but many have only a strong suspicion and are looking for help about where they might go to get confirmation and support. Some might consider this not to be an objective opinion but I very much feel the forum has been key to my coming to terms with my condition.
I think it’s fair to admit the forum runs on old technology by comparison to the big social media sites but we fortunately don’t have the trolls and they have me to contend with. It would be really nice to get some new members as a result of this article and I live on in the vain hope that contributions and dialogue will increase and make for a more active forum for people to check into to share ideas and if necessary have a bit of a rant and let off steam.