I have many challenges in my life, not least of which are dyspraxia and dyslexia. This page trys to explain, briefly, these conditions and offers links to relevent websites.
I was diagnosed with Dyspraxia in 2007 – after a number of misdiagnoses including bipolar.
Four years ago, following exhaustive tests, Katherine Kindersley diagnosed me as suffering from severe dyslexia and dyspraxia (an impairment that affects the ability to organise one’s thoughts). While my verbal reasoning skills place me in the top five per cent of my age group, my ability to control my language and thinking can be extremely challanged under stress.
My condition went undetected until the age of 47. Instead, I was said to be bipolar, stuffed full of heavy-duty antidepressants and sent on my way. Today I manage my condition through the techniques Ms Kindersley taught me, combined with a healthy diet. When I was diagnosed I was euphoric. I thought, now I understand why I’ve never felt normal.
“To deny a dyslexic person a proper education can be a waste of potential, if the correct training is incorporated into the education system it will encourage individual pupils to develop their personal skills.” This is my quote on the Xtraordinary People website and I truly believe in it.
As Kate Griggs, the founder of Xtraordinary People says, “Xtraordinary People believes that with the right support, dyslexics can achieve extraordinary things. Our aim is to ensure that anyone with dyslexia can be empowered to succeed.” View the Xtraordinary People website.
I have spent the last six months working with an educational therapist called Maureen Huxtable. Maureen is a retired Deputy Head Mistress, yet she still works her socks off teaching children and adults with learning differences and it has been an extraordinary journey. Time spent with Maureen has been invaluable. Maureen introduced me to the Enneagram which I found quite life changing.
The Enneagram is a study of the 9 basic “types” of people. It explains why we behave the way we do and it points to specific directions for individual growth.
It is an important tool in relationships with family, friends and co-workers. The roots of the Enneagram go back many centuries – it’s exact origins are unknown but it is used and recognised professionally worldwide.
The Enneagram teaches that early in life we learnt to feel safe and to cope with our family situations by developing strategies based on our own natural talents and abilities. Working with the Enneagram we develop a deeper understanding of others and learn alternatives to our own patterns of behaviour.
We break free from worn out strategies and begin to see life from a broader point of view. I was quite shocked at the accuracy of the Enneagram when it came to myself. I also was able to find new strategies that are positive and inspiring.
I am saddened that dyslexia, dyspraxia and Asperger’s is understood very little by the medical councils and even less so, the state school education system. I do want to inspire those with learning differences that we can learn everything! We just need more resources for teachers to be trained to teach us.
That way we can all be in the same mainstream classroom. We don’t need to be separated. In fact in a mainstream learning environment, with a trained teacher, the stress is taken out of the classroom and, in its place, we have an inspirational learning environment.
Below are some books which are really helpful if you, or someone you know, has dyspraxia, dyslexia or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).