Podcast Episode 41. What is Dyspraxia? If you don’t know or if you do and want to know more this week’s podcast is for you. My guest, Christine Draper has written a book called My Friend Josh has Dyspraxia to help more people understand dyspraxia and, more importantly, help more people understand what it means for her son Luke who has dyspraxia. Christine strives to spread awareness about the condition to help people have a better understanding of Dyspraxia.
Christine starts by explaining her journey with Luke and the early days of getting a diagnosis. Concerned about her son constant dribbling, Christine took Luke to the doctor who initially dismissed it as the normal dribbling of a young child. However, Christine persisted and was finally referred with Luke to a paediatrician. Luke was diagnosed with Oral Dyspraxia and later on diagnosed with General Dyspraxia.
Christine explains Dyspraxia in simple terms and talks about her son’s challenges with Dyspraxia. She explains how it impacts on his communication and coordination and how it affects his daily life, including being unable to play any sports or ride a bike. This has made it difficult for him to join activities with other children.
One result of Luke’s dyspraxia (in part because of his communication difficulties) is that he never made any real friends when he was younger and now has no desire to. However, as Christine argues, as long as he is happy and content in himself, she isn’t going to try and force him to make friends. Christine goes on to talk about the impact dyspraxia has on her son’s independence. His navigation and organisation skills are affected, which means he finds getting from one place to another difficult without help. He also has difficulty with daily tasks like using a knife and cutting things up.
We also discussed what the future might hold for Luke and Christine admitted she doesn’t know, although at this point in time she feels it will be very difficult for him to be completely independent. We discuss the impact of this on the family and, in particular, his older sister who he is very close to.
One area that Luke has got a head start on is purpose. He has already written a novella with plans for it to be published later in the year. As Christine says, the purpose he gets from his writing, has given him a real sense of identity and self-worth.
Dyspraxia is sometimes called a hidden disorder because it is often not as obvious. But the impacts are very obvious. However, Christine and Luke show that it possible to not only live with dyspraxia but find your own identity and be seen as an individual who just happens to have dyspraxia.