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Monday 25 March 2019
Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
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Case Studies

Getting a diagnosis?

Here is a piece written especially for this site by a girl who found out that she had dyspraxia:

“Dyspraxia”  by ‘E’ aged 10 

There are different ways to look at Dyspraxia and some times it is difficult to look at it the right way. Things are hard but you learn to manage. I was nine when I found out. We had thought that I might have Dyspraxia, but I didn’t believe it really, but Dyspraxia isn’t all that bad.

With Dyspraxia it make some things harder, like I find it hard to remember things but it means you could be better at other things for instance, because I forget things I use lists and it actually means I am very organised, because I can’t find things easily it means I have systems for where things are. My mum has to bring things into school that my sister has forgotten much more than for me and I’m the one with dyspraxia! But I’m also the one who knows I have to pack my bag with a list the night before! I am not very good at PE and cutting out but I am really good at literacy and reading. With Dyspraxia things do get hard like I get fed up with falling over, but with determination you can cope. I think Dyspraxia makes me more determined and not changed my life for worse but for better as well.

And what about her parents? Its not easy facing up to the reality that your child has a difficulty, but it can also be the starting point of where to start really helping...

 "When we got her diagnosis of severe dyspraxia, it was a relief on the one hand, that someone had recognised this invisible problem and was going to help. On the other hand, getting the diagnosis was still a shock and sad for us, as it made dyspraxia a reality and the reality is hard work, mostly for our child, but also for us in making sure that she gets the help and support she needs.

The support we got from our daughter’s OT was really helpful. Our child has great determination, thank goodness, and will practice again and again those skills she really desires, like dancing. Her OT gave her physical exercises for core stability and ideas for improving memory. She practices pilates daily, and has found using lists for daily tasks helps enormously.

 Once we came to terms with the news of her diagnosis, we decided to become ‘experts’ about our daughter’s way of learning, way of perceiving and we were very grateful for her determination, positivity and responsiveness. It’s really quite fascinating to find out about the detail, and each person’s dyspraxia can be different. With our daughter for instance we now know that her maths skills are good, it’s visual issues or using fiddly equipment like shapes, drawing, graphs, tables, clocks that throw her. Or if a problem has several parts, she can work each part out ok, but may forget to do the last section. Her literacy is great, but having to handwrite slows her down.  

Currently it’s quite a challenge for us to try and work out a way of helping her learn to find her way around: directions and remembering routes is very hard and she isn’t able to picture a route in her head, even to the local shops round the corner. We’d like her to have independence like other children her age, so we are trying all sorts of things till we find what works and then we have to repeat and repeat the learning till it sticks.

We always reassure her that she’s not stupid, she just learns in a different way, and it’s up to us to find out about that way. And it is true, if she really wants to learn something or improve something, she does, it might take a long time, but she can do it, and when she does, she does it fine. It was quite emotional for me seeing her in her dance show this year, all her hard work had paid off, you could not tell she had dyspraxia and she did not stand out, in the best possible way."

E's Mum

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