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My New OT

This week I was given a new Occupational Therapist (OT). She told me that the brain can be rewired to do anything if you do it 700 times. I am not so sure. I am sure that I have tied my shoelaces more than 700 times and they still won’t stay done up. Perhaps in people with brain injuries from strokes and accidents you can retrain the brain to perform tasks they could do before the injury. These people have the correct wiring in the brain, it has just been damaged and needs repairing. They just need to re learn things the way we all did as babies.In these cases then yes doing something 700 times may teach the brain to perform tasks.

Dyspraxia is caused by a miswiring of the brain. Nobody is sure how or why it happens.I am no expert but surely teaching someone with a neurotypical  brain which has been injured, is not the same as teaching someone who has a brain that is wired up incorrectly.If I thought repeating a task 700 times was going to rewire my brain then I would gladly do it.However it  isn’t that simple. We can learn strategies to cope better with our difficulties but we can’t rewire our brains. When dealing with adults, OT’s only seem to have been trained to work with people who have had strokes or accidents. My last OT said she had never heard of anyone being born with dyspraxia. I had to take my diagnosis in the following week to prove it. Dyspraxic children grow into dyspraxic adults so why aren’t  OT’s trained in dealing with dyspraxia in adults.

I saw my GP about a month ago for a foot injury. He looked at my feet and said that my laces are too loose and I need to tie them tighter.I told him that I couldn’t as I have dyspraxia. He looked at me and said well you will have to learn to. I started to say that I really couldn’t and realised that I was wasting my breath. I get so frustrated sometimes. I understand that the average person has not heard of dyspraxia. But when dealing with the medical profession I really do think they should have some idea. Perhaps my OT is right and I am wrong. I would be more than happy to be wrong. I think I can speak for everyone with dyspraxia in saying we would love to have our brains rewired

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.

  • I cannot thank you enough for the blog article.Really looking forward to read more. Really Cool.

  • Thank you very much.I am glad you found it helpful

    Sharon Beaumont

    June 17, 2014

  • I have only just found out about this fabulous blog..I also have dyspraxia and was diagnosed when I was 40! I’m also an OT! Sorry to hear that those OT’s you’ve come across demonstrated so little awareness of the condition. I personally know 3 other OT’s who have Dyspraxia. I suspect OT is one of the professions that attract people with Dyspraxia because of the challenges being non neurotypical presents we have to learn alternative ways of doing things which is a skill OT’s need in abundance when working people who struggle with day to day tasks for all sorts of reasons. In my opinion individuals with Dyspraxia become are talented at learning to adapt. Someone once told me if you have dyspraxia you can excel at thinking outside the box mostly because we can never find it in the first place! Hang on in there..sadly most Health Care Professionals aren’t clued up about Dyspraxia I’m always trying to educate my colleagues.. sadly it seems that those who are neurotypical have difficulties conceptualising how our brains work.. Please keep sharing your experiences

    Jan Gordon

    June 15, 2014

  • Thanks Jan.I totally agree with you about people with Dyspraxia learning to adapt. It is something we have to do a lot.I love the quote about thinking outside the box because we can never find the box anyway. I agree with you that neurotypical people have difficult understanding how our brains work. I find even people close to me don’t really understand.It is great that you are an OT. Like you said we are used to looking for alternative ways of doing things, but you will also have an understanding of the frustration that your clients feel when they have difficulties with everyday things. My 10 year old son is on a waiting list for an OT. I am hopeful that this will be a more positive experience.

    Sharon Beaumont

    June 16, 2014

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