Three guesses what the following items have in common:

Trailmix

paint

Salad

Rice

They are all items that have been “Dyspraxia’d” this week.

I use that term in an endearing and quite accurate way, if you ask me. Because I know that the only reason all four of those unique items are grouped together is because they are all things that had their fate affected by the disorders my beautiful Elizabeth has.

For those who don’t already know our story, Elizabeth is my 24 year old daughter who has special needs. She is an amazing, loving, smart young adult who has SPD (Sensory Processing Disorder) and Global Dyspraxia.

It is this second one that plays the bigger role in her life at this point, and in my observance. This disorder is a motor planning one, so that all tasks are challenging and for Elizabeth, ones she sometimes has to have broken down into steps to learn well. Sometimes she masters them easily and other times, she makes an incorrect habit while learning a new skill and this “habit” is so hard to undo, that that new skill will for a VERY long time be extra challenging.

Ex. Learning to use her new can opener. It is a manual one, and sort of has adaptive features to it. As we were learning how to put it on the can and engage it, she was able to use the correct grip, but to WORK the can opener and twist it properly, she needs (ed) to change her grip.
Which she did not do the initial few times as we were practicing.

So now, EVERYTIME we use this tool, she cycles through the incorrect grip to eventually get to the correct one.

That is an outward way that dyspraxia shows itself, there are so many more but we can leave it at that for now, but dyspraxia also affects in ways that are not shown and THIS is the toughest part. I mean I can see her hands struggling and remind her to switch a grip but I cannot know the days that she is feeling disorganized, anxious about how she will handle this new thing or even why one day she is flying around doing everything well and the next day she is staring at me waiting for me to help her initiate the first steps to do ANYTHING that day.

I think one thing that saves us, for anyone who needs this, is that we started talking/communicating about her day, life, feelings etc when she was young. Sometimes I did the most talking, as she got older and could talk better, it was her. but this communication helps me understand what is going on each day. Use a white board to draw a picture, write a question and give 3 answers for them to circle the one they want, draw faces to help them identify emotions…whatever helps them communicate their emotions and feelings.

Are we always just in perfect harmony, even though we talk. Absolutely not. It is tough! It all requires patience and some days that is a hard one to muster.

But I know we do our best and that, to all who are reading, is the goal and hope for each day.

The trailmix, once in its nice container, was found upside down in the sink. Dyspraxia makes it difficult to know where your body is in space and hence she misjudged and in went the trailmix. All those delicious pieces literally filled up the garbage disposal. Elizabeth filled the container up, set it on the counter and proceeded to knock the entire thing into the sink.

Who knew that our bathroom would become splatter paint artwork. It did because Elizabeth cleaned up her brushes from doing her artwork for her Etsy shop.

The salad, precut and ready to go, became a little salad trail in the kitchen from the fridge to the counter. How? I cannot explain this. I do think it has to do with her judging how to cut open the bag with scissors. Sometimes she is right on point and other times, she is aggressive….like this time.

And the rice was petrified in the microwave from where Elizabeth put a bag of it to cook but must have laid it down and a good bit fell out… Sometimes with Dyspraxia, she is just happy to do the task and doesn’t want to do more work since it is hard work, to do the skill in the first place.

She helped clean it all up and said the words you read in the title….quite a few times this week.

It was a big dyspraxia week this week.

I hope some of this made you smile and I wish everyone a peaceful week.

Michele Gianetti author of I Believe In You

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