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Organising My Thoughts

 

Organising My Thoughts

Everyone with dyspraxia is different and we don’t all have exactly the same difficulties. It isn’t like a disease with a set of symptoms that are always present. I struggle with some things that other people with dyspraxia don’t find a problem. I also know of other people who have difficulty in areas that I don’t. I can only write from my experience and how it affects me.

QOne thing I often find hard is organising my thoughts. It frustrates me that I can express my thoughts and feelings in writing, but if I am asked a question verbally, I either say nothing or what I am saying isn’t very clear. This is a problem for many people with dyspraxia. When I write I have time to think and there is no pressure. It can be difficult to deal with because it makes you look stupid when you aren’t. I am no super brain but I am not stupid either. When I don’t feel under pressure I can hold an intelligent conversation. However if I am put on the spot with a question, it is like my brain freezes and I can’t answer. I become frustrated because the harder I try to make myself think the more it won’t come.

I hate group discussions because of this. People often think I am stupid or not interested but that isn’t the case at all. I remember one day at church we were asked to get into small groups and tell each other how we became Christians. Fortunately the 2 people I was with were happy to talk and just let me listen. I have particular difficulty when talking about myself. If I had known ahead of time and been able to write it down, then I would have been able to do it. But I couldn’t think on the

When people know me well they know not to put me on the spot.I did belly dancing for 3 years and sometimes our teacher would get us to take it in turns to decide the next step. It sounds really simple but I couldn’t do it. I just couldn’t think on the spot even for something as simple as a dance step. Then because I can be overly emotional I would get upset. I felt really stupid because it is such a simple thing but no matter how hard I told myself I could do it my brain would freeze up. My teacher began to pre warn me so I could be prepared and asking me to go first so if someone else took what I was thinking of I wouldn’t have to re think on the spot.

Teachers who have a student with dyspraxia should remember this and not call on the student to answer unless they put up their hand. Forcing them to do it will just damage their self-esteem. I have been lucky at TAFE to have a lecturer who understands dyspraxia and it really does help a lot. We are at a disadvantage when it comes to job interviews as it involves being asked questions on the spot and needing to have a good clear answer. I try to think of the possible questions ahead of time and what I might answer. The worst thing to do is panic as it freezes the brain even more. Staying calm is the most important thing.

The reason that I don’t pray out loud in groups is because I can’t organise my thoughts as to what to say. It isn’t as has been suggested to me that I don’t believe in god. It is just a pity that some people don’t think and maybe try to understand why someone is doing something and not be so quick to judge.

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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