THE GIFT OF DYSPRAXIA
The Gift of Dyspraxia Updated 14/05/07
It is vital that the person living with dyspraxia is identified in order to help develop the persons self esteem. Most of what I have mentioned so far is very negative, so I have researched into the gifts of dyspraxia.
Adults Living with dyspraxia can be creative original thinkers, Mary Colley et al (2001) In my experience they are often good at creative writing and art, using abstract designs as a coping strategy. They can be good at photography where there is no need to be able to draw.
Adults living with dyspraxia can have a high verbally ability. This helps them to develop a sense of humour in adversity.
We are often fond of and good at caring for animals, because pets give unconditional love and do not judge a person by their appearance or ability.
We can be very good at looking after children because we sometimes prefer their company than peer their own age. This can also be tuue when working with older people.
We often have empathy with others who are experiencing oppression because of their own experiences. Many Adults who have dyspraxia have careers in the caring or teaching profession and those who facilitate support groups are community workers.
Kirby (2002) "Many adults with D.C.D. are very understanding of the feelings of others, They may be good with the young, elderly and with animals."
In my experience many develop their own coping strategies to overcome problems associated with dyspraxia, which could become useful to enable other people living with dyspraxia or with differing types of disabilities.
We can be hard working and determined to succeed in overcoming the obstacles that society confronts us with. "Good Computer skills may have been developed because of a need to bypass writing" Dr Amanda Kirby (2000) "They may have an excellent long term memory and retain a lot of information" Kirby (2002)
I have found that most Adults living with dyspraxia are usually honest genuine and sincere, because they do not put on a false act in order to impress others.
The Positive characteristics of dyspraxia was discussed on the dyspraxia email group http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/Dyspraxia
Thos prove how divers dyspraxia is and what one person with dyspraxia may find hard another person may find very easy or have developed their own problem solving strategies to remove disabling barriers, in their community, in education or work place.
Nat asserts that he has the following strengths.
Due to lack of innate organisation skills, I have developed and practiced very good disciplined time management and self management skills since my school days.
I am able to apply the same organisational skills to projects – defining smaller short term tasks, applying priorities and moving non-'core' tasks until later without failing to do them when they become important. I know to look at a problem as soon as it is given to me and ask questions at this point, rather than leaving
everything until there is time to do the entire task.
Long Term Memory
I have an above average long term memory, if I've discussed something verbally or read about it, I'm very likely to remember details of what was discussed for a long time afterwards. This is especially useful for keeping details of a large specification in my mind and remembering everything requested or mentioned by a client during requirements gathering.
I have verbal reasoning and problem solving skills in the 98th percentile (top 4%). This means that given a little time to think I can solve problems, find good solutions or explain my reasoning.
I have verbal comprehension skills in the 95th percentile (top 6%). This means that I can correctly interpret the meaning of complex descriptions and work out what someone means to say even when it isn't described clearly. This is very useful for requirements gathering and technical project management ie correctly interpreting what is required from the bug report or specification.
Literal interpretation of Language
Due to literal interpretation of language, I don't make assumptions about other people's meaning, I ask questions to test my understanding and ensure that all jargon terms are clearly defined so both sides are using the same negotiated vocabulary. This is very useful for requirements gathering and technical support.
Literal interpretation of language and lack of innate organisational skills mean that I will tend to follow the established procedure or rules unless I am unable to. I make use of the central calendar system, accurately and reliably fill my timesheets and will always do things the standard way or ask for clarification if there is no defined procedure.
This is generally a positive trait within an organisation. If there are no procedures or processes, I will work to create some. I am a completer-finisher and I thrive in an environment where there are clear deliverables and deadlines, even if I am defining these myself.
Attention to detail
Many dyspraxic people and people with other non-verbal learning disabilities tend to focus on the incongruent details in a story rather than automatically form a coherent narrative. In general, this gives me a good eye for detail. In requirements gathering or specification
writing this allows me to easily identify small problems which stop the system from working as a whole in advance of implementation, thus saving time further down the line.
I am not intimidated by public speaking and giving presentations, in fact my difficulties in more social situations mean that I am far more comfortable in a clearly defined situation where I have a role such as speaker or when the audience is expected to ask questions. This also means that I am not afraid to 'use my voice' within the organisation and raise any concerns with my line manager and department head as soon as they are apparent.
Do to the increased likelihood of minor mistakes in my writing, I always carefully proof read and re-read any written materials I produce such as tenders, specifications, client communication etc. As such, my written communication tends to be well structured and accurate.
Nancy adds that:
Sense of Humour
I have a really dry sense of humour (more like someone from Britain than America) and I am a riot. As a young person I never understood why people laughed at what I was saying because I was just being honest and serious. I have
been able recognize a pattern to what people think is funny and now for 90 % of the time when I make people laugh I am doing it on purpose.
I have a pretty good vocabulary. I do not know the dictionary definition of the words, but I have an intuitive sense and feeling for the words.
I have weak pelvic muscles so I can move my hips when I dance. In my younger days I could MOVE!
When I talk about myself in a support group I am an excellent public speaker, I am not boring. I am funny, engaging and am able to package the information in an interesting way.
In college whether in my science classes or humanities classes I often had the feeling of being on the edge of seeing something in a way that no one else has seen it before(maybe delusions of grandeur)
I really strong analytical skills and pick up on patterns that interest me and am able to remember them and readily recognize them when I encounter them again.
I can write simple sentences in a clear way.
I was really exceptionally good at archery and for some strange reason the obstacle course in gym. Other than that PE was a nightmare.
I am involved in an adult support group and have contributed to the newsletter of our association, the dyspraxia association of Ireland.
I can write down words when I need in essays for example
I have extra strong leg muscles for some reason, which means I can
push a lot of things!
I can really get good marks in a presentation by knowing what i want
to see and it works some how.
I know a lot of really weird facts for some reason.
I write assignments totally different to everybody else.
I know what goes where in the back of a computer, might be because i
have seen it before.
I can describe something really well, just as long as it doesn’t
include anything to do with distance.