It’s Dyspraxia Awareness Week and as my husband has severe dyspraxia, I decided I would take part in the awareness raising.
Reading through the list of symptoms on the dyspraxia foundation website really made me chuckle. It sounds awful that it’s comical to me if you are a severe sufferer, but my husband and I have learnt to live with it and I find it endearing (most of the time). Things I forget can be related and I get at him frequently for include ‘Slow to finish a task. May daydream and wander about aimlessly,’ ‘Difficulty in following instructions, especially more than one at time,’ and ‘Difficulty in planning and organising thought.’
One of the main reoccurring rows with my husband happens when I am having a hormonal day and I decide that he can’t love me very much as he NEVER plans anything for us to do. I am a compulsive planner, he laughs at me for having a list for everything ie. I composed a Christmas list for each of the things I want to buy our children in August, and have been purchasing from it and wrapping presents since August. I will spend a lot of time planning things like his birthday, surprises and just all of our family life in general. All the day to day running of what we are doing, or where we are taking the kids, how we are making our ridiculously busy Saturday happen is all by my design and we usually stick to the plans. Even writing this now makes me realise that I have to reassure myself that it is definitely not because he doesn’t love me that he doesn’t do any of these things. It is because he has Dyspraxia.
Reading through the list of symptoms makes me cherish all the things he strives hard to overcome so that we can live as normally as possible. He is a fantastic cook, despite the fact that he finds it difficult. He is currently learning to drive, which he finds especially difficult. This is something I know my encouragement (which he never had in the past) can really help. I 100% believe that he can conquer driving, it will eventually click and become like breathing, it just requires more effort for him to get there than the average person.
I treasure the events that he has planned for me in the 3 and a half years we’ve been together. My amazing proposal at the ‘Titanic Spa’ (highly recommend by the way), my beautiful engagement ring he designed and had made, my 30th Birthday which he had really put the effort in for, so despite my family life crashing around me at the time I made sure we didn’t cancel. It was a lovely escape for 24 hours from a nightmare situation. He took me to the ‘BroadOaks Country House’ which was a beautiful boutique hotel. A lot of thought always goes in to getting me to these places, especially as at the time neither of us drove.
When you’re as easy going and full of good humour as my husband is, you can see the funny side. The first time he met my family, he was soaking wet through from falling in a lake near their house. When he met some of my friends, we discovered that it’s worse when he’s nervous. He walked into 7 different lamp posts on a 10 minute walk home. On our wedding day my maid of honour was in hysterics, as he managed to fall off a chair whilst just sitting comfortably and signing the register. The registrar nearly didn’t let us wed as they were debating if he was drunk.
The amount of times that he has fallen down the stairs, I stopped asking if he’s ok, I just listen to hear that he’s still moving. My friends think that I’m cold, but it is such a normal occurrence in our lives, it used to make my heart stop with fear as I was so afraid of him hurting himself, but I guess I’m now just desensitised to it all. The most random being the time he went to fix under our bath and set himself on fire. He couldn’t find a torch and decided it would be a good idea to take a candle into the enclosed space so he could see what he was doing.
He has most of the symptoms on the link above, no specific hand that he writes with, sets knives and forks the wrong way round at the table, very forgetful, clumsy, but he doesn’t let it stop him doing ANYTHING.
He joined in with football on the local youth project that we used to work with. He has an interesting way of dancing but still joins in with the girls when they play Just Dance on the wii. He has definitely shown me that it doesn’t hold him back at all.
When I ask him what the most annoying part of having dyspraxia is for him, he answers, ‘struggling with organisation’. Even with that though, I am so proud of him as a Social Worker there is SO much paperwork. He has just finished his final year at University, I was pregnant throughout his first 2 years at Uni, we had a newborn whilst he was on each of his placements, and he is still finished 2% off a First Class Degree. I am so proud of all that he achieves, and need to remember to cut him some slack when he fails to remember things I ask him to do (even if I have written them in a list, lol).
It is a very misunderstood condition. We are still learning to adjust to it everyday, but I must stress my husband is living proof that having dyspraxia does not need to define you, and it doesn’t need to prevent you from achieving anything you want in life. I’m not saying it doesn’t make it harder than some of the rest of us have it, but ANYTHING is possible if you’re determined enough.
Writing this post has reminded me, I’m proud of you babe, proud to call you mine, and I’m excited for all you will continue to achieve in the future. Nothing holds you back.
Dyspraxia Awareness Week 12th – 18th October 2014.