At the weekend I (Rosie) Skyped Kerry Pace from Diverse Learners and her daughter Phoebe about our joint blog for Dyspraxia Awareness Week. The focus of this joint blog is the strengths of dyspraxia such as:
We want to emphasise how people can change the language they use when speaking to us about the things we find challenging. The choice of language you use will genuinely make people feel a little bit more positive about themselves thus boosting self-esteem and confidence.
As always with all of our blogs it’s important to remember no two people with dyspraxia are affected in the same way. We all have unique profiles of strengths and weaknesses (or areas of improvement as Kerry likes to call them).
On Saturday there was a workshop held by fellow dyspraxics, Dyspraxic Me set up by Jessica Starns and Chloe Spicer as part of Dyspraxia Awareness week. The workshop encouraged participants to write a negative “comment” someone had made about our dyspraxia on one card. Then we had to reframe the “comment” in a positive way.
Created by Rosie in the Chloe Spicer / Dyspraxic Me workshop. The original negative comment opposite the same comment but reframed in a positive light
There were so many amazing ideas, some of which highlighted the social and emotional aspects associated with dyspraxia for example being perceived as over enthusiastic, hypersensitive and too emotional.
At the workshop I (Rosie) addressed the negative comment by reframing my quiet and sensitive, passionate nature is a sign of high emotional intelligence. This emotional intelligence means being a good listener, a passionate person who cares about what they believe in and someone who cares and understands others. One thing I love about speaking with Kerry is she’s just as passionate as I am (always good to know you’re not the only one that gets into the things you love.) It’s about changing those negative assumptions and making them more positive.
Resilience and determination are also an area of strength for many people who have dyspraxia - the ability to keep going, keep trying, and never giving up. During the Skype chat there was a discussion there was a sharing of examples of our resilience and determination.
Kerry passing her driving test after the 8th attempt (or maybe 9th). Phoebe awarded the resilience prize for completing her A-levels despite her anxiety and me completing my 10k run.
We then chatted about the little accomplishments which may not mean much to some people. However, as we are constantly trying to find different ways of completing tasks, and having to practice things many times in order to master it those little things are big achievements and show a lot of determination and strength. There is more detailed advice in Kerry’s article My Personal Experiences of Dyspraxia: Management strategies and resources for all here (see page 72).
To finish we thought of the song by Tubthumping- I get knocked down (and get back up again) - as a way to describe some of the positives of dyspraxia, we literally get knocked down or fall down, but get back up again, dust ourselves off with a few extra scrapes and bruises later and keep going in life.
Kerry and Phoebe’s dyspraxia vlogs
Vlogs for Dyspraxia Awareness week 2014
Kerry’s Journal Article (Pg. 66 or in pdf reader p72)