Dyspraxia – We kinda get it
What is dyspraxia?
Dyspraxia is a learning difference that affects how the mind processes actions such as coordination, movement, balance and organisation abilities, as well as motor difficulties including poor hand to eye coordination and spatial awareness. Individuals with dyspraxia are often highly motivated and strategic thinkers who have had to take a different approach to concepts and problems.
Our final personal story we’d like to share this week comes from Ruth Rainbow, our network lead. Below, Ruth tells us of her experience of neurodiversity and why she’s so passionate about Our Indigo Minds.
It was a balmy British summer’s day, my maternity leave mum-friends were gathered in a protective circle, eating ice-creams and clucking over their pre-schoolers as they tumbled and somersaulted down the gradient lawn of the local botanical gardens.
Meanwhile, I was at the bottom hill – in the dark shade of an old tree – guarding my non-verbal 3 year old son as he attempted to re-enact the story of The Gruffalo – disappointing his very soul in my inability to remember accurately enough how precisely the Owl hopped. Each time he (or more likely I) made a mistake, he had a meltdown and went back to the top of the script.
In the distance I could hear their maternal chatter – gentle agreeable noises, affirmations and laughter as they discussed selected primary schools, which ballet class their darlings were attending and compared their up-coming holiday plans. I realised then that my situation was very different. I realised then that I needed help. I realised then that I have never felt so lonely.
The next nine months were a whirlwind of medical, psychological, physical and educational assessments – swiftly followed by pamphlets, form filling, complicated terms, abbreviations I didn’t (and still don’t) understand and in honesty…a lot of Google and YouTube research. We got the formal diagnosis confirmed before he started school: Autism & Dyspraxia.
Harry is now ten, and his appearance on the national disability register, and a complex Educational Heath Care Plan (EHCP) provides him with the support needed to gorge himself on learning – adding more chapters to his long library of immense and detailed knowledge.
I have learnt a lot in the last seven years: notably patience, tolerance (and some of the buzz words). Yet what I am most enlightened by is that difference in thought processing (neurodivergence being the ability to think in non-neurotypical ways), is the future of our world, and embracing this capability key to the success of all our futures.
Our Indigo Minds aims to inform and educate about neurodiversity. We want to shine a light and explain the brilliance, colour and creativity that this community can give to our workforce, that with just a small amount of consideration to adaptation – we can and will all benefit.
And speaking personally, if like me you ever feel like you are stood alone, under a tree, unable to hop like the Owl from The Gruffalo – and think that your path ahead is different… We are here. You are not alone. We kinda get it.