Dyspraxia To Me

It’s dyspraxia awareness week, so I thought I’d do a post on it. Some of you might have watched the recent ‘Doctor Who’ episode and noticed that a new main character – Ryan – has the condition. I was extremely impressed by this stance as dyspraxia is almost never portrayed in fictional characters. You often have clumsy characters, but it is never said that they have dyspraxia. However, it was made very clear that Ryan does have it. His struggle with learning to ride a bike was something all too real for me as I too suffer with dyspraxia and have never learned to ride a bike. I tried, but I could never get off the stabilisers. This is a problem for many dyspraxic people – though not all. My mum is dyspraxic and can ride a bike. Each person has their own weaknesses and strengths.

People often think that dyspraxia is just a medical term for being clumsy but it is more than just physically bumping into things a lot. It can sometimes give problems with speaking. For me, I get words muddled up and I end up saying the completely wrong word or phrase or pronouncing it wrong. People always correct me and it makes me really angry sometimes because it’s not that I’m stupid. It’s not that I don’t know how to say it. It’s that my mouth doesn’t work with my brain. It can also affect handwriting, making it hard to read. At school, I had terrible handwriting, so they tried to make me join it up — this, however, just made it impossible to read. Thanks school.

I don’t know how to do up a bra. A simple task that lots of girls my age can do is impossible for me. I remember, for years, I’d get my mum to do it up. Now I wear sports bras. I also used to have to wear ties at school, which I could not tie. PE was a nightmare. I can’t tie my hair into a bun. I remember, once, for science (and this was our practical exam so it was important) I had to tie my hair up into a bun. I knew how to do it into a ponytail, so I did. The teacher, in a very angry voice, told me to do it into a bun. I didn’t. I couldn’t. Remember, I’m also autistic, so I couldn’t exactly express this to her. I felt embarrassed and ashamed because every other girl could. She repeated herself, even more angry. I kept fiddling with my hair until finally – as if by a miracle – it became something that resembled a bun. I then burst into tears. Luckily, goggles were covering my eyes so my teacher didn’t notice. She called me over to check my bun. It was fine. I was safe. I could continue with the practical exam. I think, if I hadn’t have done my bun up in that moment, I might have walked out of the classroom and jeopardised my grade. I still can’t do up a bun; that was just a moment of madness where my hands managed to do it. I haven’t been able to repeat it since.

I’m terrible with organisation, and time management, and directions. Don’t ask me to read a map for you. I also can’t do up shoelaces. There’s a lot of things that dyspraxia stops me from doing. It is a disability, yet it is in the shadow of other conditions, and I just don’t know why. For instance, if I were to tell someone I was autistic and dyspraxic, they would immediately start thinking about my autism and how that must affect me. My autism is what everyone talks about, but my dyspraxia is also very challenging to deal with, and it really isn’t recognised that much. Most kids are told they’re clumsy or stupid when they might have dyspraxia. I think it’s seriously under-diagnosed.

That’s what awareness is about. Getting people to recognise the symptoms so they wonder whether they have it or someone they know has it. Remember: it plays out differently in everyone.

A lot of dyspraxic people struggle with sports; catching and throwing a ball can be a real challenge. I’ve struggled with sports and was often told that I just wasn’t good at anything. I have terrible posture, also a result of my dyspraxia. This posture issue causes me pain when I stand up for too long but I can’t say to people that, because I’m disabled, I deserve to sit in that disabled seat on the train. They’d look at me and think I was a liar. I don’t look like I have a disability. The ignorance is astounding.

I have autism and dyspraxia, which are actually quite often found together. Dyspraxia can be found alone, as with my mum, but is usually accompanied by something else. It is also said to be much more common in men than women but you don’t really know how many people truly have it, due to the fact it is under-diagnosed, and whether the statistics are as true as they seem.

Dyspraxia isn’t just clumsiness. It’s much more than that. I hope this post helped you understand some of the difficulties we face and begin to recognise the signs that someone has dyspraxia. Remember that we are all different and this is just my story of dyspraxia. Somebody else’s story might be very different.

Lia

Say What You Mean!

Something I struggle with a lot is people saying one thing but meaning another. I automatically assume that they mean exactly what they said, but this often isn’t the case and it’s very confusing deciding whether or not they meant what they said.

Sometimes, this makes me feel betrayed when they didn’t adhere to what they said, but it can be because they never really meant it in the first place. They were just making conversation.

For instance, someone says ‘oh we should do that sometime’ or ‘we should meet up’ but they didn’t really mean it. It’s something that a lot of people seem to say but not mean. It’s kinda suffocating trying to differentiate between a legit promise and a fake one. I just wish people would say exactly what they mean. It would make life a lot easier.

If people told me exactly what they thought of me, life would be easier too. I can differentiate between people who like me for who I am and people who want me to become something I’m not — and stick with the friends that accept me.

I just don’t understand why people always say the opposite of what they mean. It means that I get my hopes up for something that’s never going to happen. Over the years, I’ve had a lot of failed promises, but I still seem to get my hopes up because I never know when one is real.

Sometimes, promises are real, and I am so thankful for the people that say what they mean. For instance, when MyMindSpeaksAloud said that she’d love to go to a cat cafe with me, I was wondering whether we were really going to do it. Now it’s booked and ready for August! I am very excited about it, and it’s really happening, unless a cat-astrophic event happens that prevents it. I love puns.

If people just told everyone what they meant, we would all have a much easier time, in my opinion.

Do you find people confusing?

Lia

Everything Ends

The saddest part of life is how everything eventually ends. I’ve been thinking about that recently, and then I realised that we don’t know for certain that everything does end: does the universe end? Our time on this planet never truly ends, because we left a small dent in it. Everyone leaves a small dent, or a big dent; we all do something to the planet. It might be negative or positive, but the planet won’t forget us. The planet will remember us. But when the planet’s gone — will we truly be forgotten? Perhaps our history will be rewritten by the inhabitants of other planets. Like how we’re rewriting the history of time before we were here. We have evidence, but we also have theories. How accurate is history?

I don’t know, but I think if this planet ends, we’ll still have left a mark on the universe. I think that, whilst most things are temporary, the universe is not, and our planet can crumble and burn, but the universe will be watching. I don’t like the idea of everything ending; if everything just ends, what was the point of starting in the first place? It was to make your little dent on the universe. However you do that.

Existing is the best gift in the world, and we should make the most of it, by paying our respects to the planet we live on, and trying to prolong the existence of it. Of course, it will eventually end, but giving it a while longer will give everything else a while longer too. Everything ends, but some things end before others. Making a small difference to the planet might give it a little more to look forward to.

Thank you for reading,

Lia

Our Strengths

There are a lot of things I can’t do that others find easy.

I can’t ride a bike; I did have a bike when I was a kid but I never made it to the stage of not having little helper wheels.

I can’t tie my shoelaces. This is one thing that I struggle with that almost nobody else does. I was sitting in a group the other day, and I noticed how many people were wearing trainers with shoelaces. It was a lot of people. There are obviously people out there that struggle with it as well, but I haven’t met them. If you see me wearing shoes, I will most likely be wearing black ankle boots. If I’m not, then perhaps I’ll be in my slip-on trainers.

I can’t do a lot of things to do with clothes actually. I can now do buttons (I couldn’t at all for many years) but it’s slow and usually, I’ll put the wrong button in the hole, so my mum will have to correct it for me. I don’t understand how collars work, and often get that wrong too. Don’t even get me started on my childhood of wearing ties that I couldn’t do up. I learned to loosen them at middle school, but sometimes they’d fall out of it and I couldn’t correct them. Also, ties mean the top button has to be done up, which is torture. I also can’t do up bras, so I wear sports bras all the time. They’re more comfy, anyway.

I struggle with going on public transport alone. I used to be able to do it, but due to a break in confidence, I haven’t been able to do it in a while. I’m hoping to regain my confidence but it could take a while. I can’t buy stuff in shops. Again, I could do that when I was younger, but I haven’t had the confidence to in a while. Also, I need help ordering at restaurants. Occasionally, I have the confidence to talk to the waiter, but usually I can’t.

There might be a lot of things I can’t do, but that doesn’t mean that I’m a lost cause. These things I can’t do just set me apart from what’s ‘normal’. Normal is knowing how to do most of these things. Often, you can’t survive in this world if you don’t have such basic knowledge. I know I struggle to survive, but I have knowledge of other things. I read poetry daily, and you learn a lot from poetry. I have an inability to express myself properly, when speaking, and poetry taught me that expression isn’t about speaking. You can express yourself just fine on paper. I might be an awkward speaker in person, but putting it down gives me time to know exactly what to say.

I also learnt about morals and philosophy, not from any lessons at school, but from simply opening my own mind. I opened my mind to the thoughts and opinions of everything around me. I even thought about what inanimate objects would be pondering; it helped me to open my mind. From that, I felt the suffering of the creatures around me, and I wanted to help them. So, I became vegan. And the fact that I have maintained it for almost four years gives me the courage to say that I have perseverance. I used to think I was weak, and perhaps I’m fragile in some ways, but I’m stronger in other ways. My fragile emotions just show I’m sensitive, and that I care deeply, so is that such a bad thing? Caring? I don’t think so.

I think everyone has something special about them. They all have things they struggle with, but they have something else which makes them who they are. If we were all the same, we wouldn’t have names. But we do: that makes us different and individual. If you don’t know what your strength is, then perhaps it’s modesty, or perhaps it’s such a great strength that you’re the only one who can’t see it.

I’m not talking about what you’re good at. I’m talking about what strength sets you apart. We’re all different, and often you can tell who someone is just by hearing them walk. It’s a privilege to be ourselves, so why don’t we appreciate what makes us that way?

We’re all special. Remember that.

Lia

Hacked Account

So my WordPress account recently has been getting hacked. I tried everything but it kept getting hacked. At one stage, I thought I might have to delete my blog. However, I have transferred the blog from my old account to a new account. The old account is inactive now; I can’t delete it, so that’s what I’ll have to settle with. Anything that happens there, I no longer have a concern for. I did everything I could to prevent the hacking and it still happened so I’m just going to start afresh with a new account.

This means I’ll have to follow everyone again. I might forget people, so if you want me to follow you, you can leave a comment.

I’m sorry for any weird behaviour that my old account caused. Hackers suck.

The Box and The Ball

The box is blue.

Inside the box is a ball.

The ball is red.

The ball doesn’t want to be inside the box.

The ball would much rather be inside a red box.

The ball jumps.

The box doesn’t move.

The ball learns to accept that it is stuck with the blue box.

The box doesn’t want the red ball to be inside it.

The box tries to open.

The box is stuck.

The box tries to crush the ball.

The box can’t get rid of it.

The box learns to accept that it is stuck with the red ball.

A yellow car comes.

In one movement, the yellow car crushes the blue box.

The blue box crushes the red ball.

The red ball suffocates.

If only, the yellow car had avoided them.

If only, the blue box had opened up.

If only, the red ball had jumped out.

Q + A Answers

Note that not all of these questions were asked on the blog, some people preferred to message or email me the questions.  Here goes:

 

I like that you tagged this post with #lol – what is the craziest/funniest tag you’ve ever used?
I’ve used a ton of crazy/funny tags. I literally don’t care whether the tag is irrelevant. If I want to use it, I’ll use it. I pretty much use at least one irrelevant tag each time hahaha.

If you were to live in a box, what kind of box would you live in?
A big box. Like, the size of a house. It would also be so thick that rain couldn’t penetrate the walls. I would have a slightly smaller box as a garage.

Light or dark?
Dark because, if there is the slightest bit of light in my room at night, I can’t sleep. Also, I love the sky at night.

Favourite sound?
Music. Of course. If you’re referring to non-musical sounds, then I like the sound that you get when you wet your finger and put it around a wineglass, though that’s semi-musical. I think all sounds are kinda music in their own way.

If you were in the middle of a field and saw a lake, what is the first thing you’d do?
Look for ducks, duh.

If you had to live in one place for the rest of your life (real life and/or fictional), where would it be?
I’m tempted by Hogwarts but that’s a school so you can’t live there forever, you have to become an independent witch/wizard. So I’ll go for a real life location: France. It’s hot, but not as hot as places like Spain, and it has such a lovely language and it’s beautiful and I just would really like to live there.

Five people you’d like to be stranded on a desert island with?
MyMindSpeaksAloud because she would have remembered her music when she got stranded, so we’d have some awesome tunes to listen to.
My mum because she’d make me feel calm when I felt lost.
It’s a shame that it has to be people because I know a few animals…
Patrick Ness so he can make a story about the desert island and I’d be a famous character.
Einstein, if he were alive, because, come on, the smartest man in the world. He’d get us out of there in no time.
Also a guy who has a sack of potatoes because potatoes are not only delicious, they are also very good conductors and you could start an electric supply out of potatoes.

Five people who you wouldn’t want to be stranded on a desert island with?
A serial killer. That’d be bad.
My dad because he’d tell me not to snack… on a desert island. Seriously!
A kid because I’d feel so sad that they’re all out her by themselves that I wouldn’t think about anything else and I’d just cry forever.
The prime minister. They’d tell me they were getting us off the island, but would never do it.
Donald Trump because, come on, it’s Donald Trump.

What made you start writing?
I started writing because I had a passion for it. There was no other reason. Nothing inspired me, I was a kid at the time, I just wanted to write, and I had a big imagination that needed to be let out.

Imagine you were a cat for the day, what would you do?
Sleep and not be judged. Also, express how I feel about people in meows and purrs so they think I’m being sweet when I’m not.

Do you belong to any clubs/groups?
At the moment, I’m part of a lady’s autism group. I don’t feel like a lady, I’m only eighteen, but that’s what it’s called. Because we’re all adults and female. I like it, though.

What is your favourite take away?
There’s this pizza place near me called Pizzaface and they do great take away vegan pizzas.

What is your favourite TV crime drama and why?
Probably Death in Paradise because it’s funny and cleverly written.

What is your favourite quote?
“Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited, imagination encircles the world.” – Albert Einstein.

If you could go back and relive your life from any point and still have your current memories but also have the ability to change what you originally did, would you?
I’d go back to when I was six and become a really smart child because I have all these memories. I’d be like a genius for a good few years. Also, I’d become more confident in myself and wouldn’t withdraw. I’d finally stand up for myself.

If your life was made into a movie, which actors would you want to portray you and your family members?
Hard question! I think Saoirse Ronan for me, Jennifer Aniston for my mum because she would love someone attractive to play her, Jude Law for my dad, and Chris Hemsworth for my brother. I know he’s over 30 but I mean, come on?? Like, I’d get to meet him on the set and everything…

If you could gain an ability/skill that you don’t have now, what would it be?
The ability to read minds. I really need to know what people actually think of me.

If you could only be remembered for one thing, what would it be?
Oo hard. Maybe my writing?

What is your theory of how Game of Thrones will end/who do you think will sit on the iron throne at the end?
I hope it’s Daenerys, and that Jon Snow is her right-hand man.

Carpet or hard floor?
Tough one. Hard floor is cold but carpet collects dust… Carpet because, although bad for my asthma, it feels nice on the feet.

Thank you so much for all these questions! I hope you enjoyed the answers.
Lia

300 Followers?! Q+A

So I woke up this morning to 300 followers on my blog, which I think is so cool, considering I only ever started blogging to get into a regular writing pattern for my creative writing a level. Now, I’m no longer doing that a level but this blog is kinda a part of me now haha.

So, I didn’t do a Q+A at 200, but I’ve decided I’m going to do one for 300. So that means you can just send me in questions about anything and I’ll answer them. Whatever you want to ask, go ahead.

Thank you so much for this milestone,

Lia

My Christmas

This is my Christmas post!! For Christmas, I brought presents for my mum, dad, brother, and brother’s girlfriend. I got my mum a nice dress, my dad some chocolate penguins, an electronic bug, and a bike t-shirt. I got my brother a Mr Poopybutthead figurine, which you’d know if you watch Rick and Morty. I got his girlfriend an animal crossing K.K. Slider plushie, which she seemed to like. My brother was jealous though, perhaps for his birthday…?

I got a new phone for Christmas too, because I haven’t had one for a while. It’s cheap but it seems nice and it has that new phone feel. I also got the best surprise ever: a Pablo cushion! I screamed when I opened it because it’s the best thing I could have gotten. My brother got a Smiler cushion. For my stocking, I also got a magnetic poetry kit, which I’m going to start using for my instagram. Also, my dad got me a book that he brought when he was with me, except he told me it was for my brother.

My roast was lovely, with Tofurkey… mhm. I love roast potatoes and mash too. And sprouts.

On boxing day, I went to my aunt’s. It was really nice. One of my cousins gave me a box of delicious vegan sweets (honestly, best I’ve ever had). The other cousin gave our entire family a David Attenborough collection of DVDs, but also gave me a box of vegan chocolates, and no one else anything extra. I’m obviously her favourite. I got a lovely poetry book and top from my aunt and uncle. But my uncle’s sister got me a VEGAN YULE LOG. Okay, it wasn’t really a normal yule log, it was more dark chocolate in the shape of a yule log, but it was delicious!! I love my family. We also played some games, including Bananagrams, which I love a lot. It’s kinda like Scrabble but quicker and you laugh more.

I also won a competition a few days before Christmas. My favourite author, Patrick Ness, ran a competition where 10 winners would win all these prizes and 100 runners up got some good prizes too. I was one of the 10 winners, and it makes me so happy, because one of the prizes means I get to go see A Monster Calls as a play in the Old Vic, London. I also get some cool other stuff but I think that’s the one I’m most excited for, especially considering the star of it is a tree. I’m just wanting to see a tree walk on stage, really.

Overall, my Christmas was the best time of year, because I got to go see my family. I don’t care about much else, it’s just nice to see them. The rest of my year wasn’t really much to beat either. I also played ‘Who Am I?’ and one of the questions I asked was ‘am I female?’ My cousin answered ‘you are… now’ and I instantly knew I was Doctor Who. Hehe…

The pets got a ton of presents this year too, including a bum for Pablo. Yes, a bum. My cousin got him a cuddly baboon’s bum, which he loves.

Thank you for reading,

How was your Christmas?

Lia

When You See Me

When you see me, you see a white girl with blonde hair and blue eyes. She can see, she can walk, she’s got nice clothes. That girl is lucky. Perhaps you’re right; I live in a house, with a family that cares, and I’ve got pets too. I am writing this on an iPad, that’s nice as well. I’ve got a lot of things I should be thankful for. I am thankful for them, but life isn’t a breeze either.

As a stranger, I look normal to you. But I have a hidden condition, and it’s called autism. For me, it means that I crave social contact but want to run away when I get it. It means that I won’t speak up about something I dislike until hours later, when I tell only my mum. It means that I can’t go out alone, can’t navigate alone, it’s too terrifying. It means that sometimes my words get scrambled up and I say things wrong. It means that I can’t currently work, because it would be too much; the people, the tasks, the deadlines— it would all get too much. I wouldn’t even survive the interview. It means that I stay in my house most days.

It means that I am not who you think you see.

People with autism look just like anyone else. Sometimes, they’re even extroverts willing to party (they do exist, I know a few!) and sometimes they’re not. Each person with autism is different, no two share the exact same difficulties. But we all blend in. Just because you can’t see it, that doesn’t mean it isn’t there. It’s very real and very frightening.

Thank you for reading,

Lia