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Returning to Study

I recently decided to return to study. I wanted to study full time but the cost was prohibitive. The state government has recently removed many subsidies on education causing the price of a course to triple.
After considering my other commitment’s in life, financial stress and the organisational difficulties of my dyspraxia ,I decided to start off part time. Our first exercise was to write a bit about ourselves for our lecturer. I was relieved that we didn’t have to speak in front of the whole class. For me anyway expressing myself in writing was easier then speaking. When I have to speak verbally my brain seems to freeze and I cant organise my thoughts. I then become stressed which causes my brain to freeze even more. Like many people with dyspraxia I am highly emotional and I start to feel like I am going to cry. This makes me feel really stupid because I know I am over reacting but I can’t stop it. Its a vicious circle because the more I cry the stupider I feel and the stupider I feel the more I cry. Of all the issues I have with my dyspraxia this is definitely the most embarrassing .

The question now was should I admit to my dyspraxia or not. The first time I ever admitted to my dyspraxia was in 2011 when I was doing a course to train as an Education Assistant. We were given a list of special needs and told we had to choose one and do a written and verbal  assignment on it. I remember everyone reading the list and saying dyspraxia, what is dyspraxia?. I of course knew but said nothing. My brain just froze on me again. Public speaking would have to be my worst nightmare. I was so terrified I thought about quitting the course but I decided to face my fear. A week before our assignment was due my lecturer dropped a bomb shell. She thought it would be interesting if we all explained to the class why we had chosen that particular special need. I was terrified but I gave the talk and admitted to my dyspraxia. My classmates were all good about it and when we had to do a cooking class for O H and S they helped me. but admitting to my dyspraxia to a group of women training to work in an area where they would likely deal with  children with special needs  is a little different to admitting it to people in general.  In early 2012 I told a special friend who was supportive but I still  told very few people  I would always end up having to explain what dyspraxia was and because I was put on the spot I didn’t do it very well.. When I first started this blog I wrote it under a pen name. One day I just decided that this is me and having dyspraxia is part of who I am . I now blog under my real name.

I decided to admit to my dyspraxia. The thought of having to try to explain yet again what dyspraxia is was stressful. But people cant be understanding about something if they don’t know about it. To my amazement my lecturer knew what dyspraxia was . She has been really great giving me extra help and teaching as much as possible in away that is easy for me to follow. My lecturer suggested that I contact Student Services because if you have a disability there are things that can be done to assist you. Once again I expected to have to explain how dyspraxia affected me. I have found that reactions  range from never heard off it to being told on more then one occasion that there is nothing wrong with me. My O T even told me she had never heard of anyone being born with dyspraxia. The lady from Student Services was very nice and when she started talking about difficulty with working memory, I realised she actually understood what dyspraxia was. They have allowed me to go to an extra catch up class  and given me extra time on exams. It is so nice to not have to try to explain what dyspraxia is and be looked at like I am making excuses because I am lazy or stupid. It was never like this when I was at school. I would have been saved a lot of humiliation if it had been..

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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