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Introduction

Dyspraxia has been a part of my life for over 4 decades. Each day brings challenges for me just doing simple tasks others take for granted.  Because dyspraxia like many other disabilities cannot be seen, many people just dismiss it as not being real. To make it worse most people have never heard of dyspraxia let alone understand it. I recently had to go for a medical assessment and the nurse taking down my details asked me to explain what dyspraxia is. How can we expect people to understand if half the medical profession don’t?. Dyspraxia has so little recognition that my spell checker doesn’t recognise the word. For a long time I did not admit to my dyspraxia. I don’t explain myself very well verbally and found having to try to explain it to people stressful so I said nothing.

 

2 years ago I went to a TAFE college to train as an Education Assistant. Our lecturer asked us to pick a “special need” and present a report on it to the class. I hate speaking publicly. I am so socially phobic I almost pulled out of the course to avoid the talk. However with the help of a friend who encouraged me to believe in myself I decided to face my fears.Then a week before the day we would give our reports my lecturer said she thought it would be interesting  if each of us told the class why we had chosen that particular special need.  “Gulp”  I had not admitted to my dyspraxia. When we were presented with a list of special needs we could do, someone said dyspraxia, what is dyspraxia? No one seemed to know. Of course I knew but I sat quietly and said nothing to afraid to speak.

 

The girls all knew I was afraid of doing this talk.One girl lent me a stress penguin which I clutched through my entire talk. To make things worse my phone began to ring in the middle of the talk. Though it gave me an excuse to leave the room as soon as my talk was over.However I was proud of myself I had faced my fear of public speaking and admitted to my dyspraxia. I decided then that I would no longer hide the fact that I have dyspraxia. It’s a part of who I am just like having brown eyes.

 

I have knowingly only met one other person with dyspraxia. Perhaps there have been others who like me have felt uncomfortable admitting to it.There has only been 1 occasion in my life when I  have admitted to having dyspraxia and not had to explain what it is. If by sharing my experiences in this blog I can help even one person understand dyspraxia better, or give one person the comfort of knowing that they are not alone with this often frustrating condition. Then it will have been worth the effort.

Sharon Beaumont

I am a single mother of 4 who has lived with dyspraxia for several decades. My hope is that by sharing my experiences I can help to raise awareness of dyspraxia. I trained as an Education Assistant but found some areas of this to be a difficult career if you have dyspraxia. Currently I am an Information Technology Student and am trying to teach my self to speak French. I love travel, writing and anything French.

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