Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) or Dyspraxia is something I’ve struggled with my whole life and there are still some days now where I still struggle.
The difference is, DCD defined my whole childhood and teenage years. Since my diagnosis, everything was put down to DCD. I struggled with co-ordination, social cues, and the way I learned new information, all traits of someone with DCD. Up until very recently, I carried these things with me in shame thinking that these traits would be how people saw me and that was that. Until with some encouragement from my father I realised despite these things I have a lot of things I could be good at and traits that are positive that can be associated with DCD. Not only that, but I learned that DCD is not who I am.
Since then I’ve accepted these things about myself good and bad, most importantly being upfront about them. My attitude is yes, I have these flaws but this is what I’m good at, passionate about and can bring to the table, especially when it’s come to employment which admittedly has been my biggest struggle. As well as accepting these things about myself I have put in a massive amount of work on rectifying or conducting damage control on the things which I am able to. This means working on my organisational skills, social skills, and all-around attitude both inward and outward. I try not to battle with myself and put myself down for things I know are part of DCD and try outwardly to not let the anxiety and social awkwardness that comes with it affect me as much.
Despite it still presenting itself in aspects of my life, my DCD has not defined who I am and is not getting me down like it used to. A well-known trait of Dyspraxic people is their resilience, it has taken a lot of time to get where I am and it can only get better from here. Neurodiversity Awareness Week is important because I hope that it can get better for a lot of people like me or anyone with any similar disorder who struggle with being understood.
A lot of companies are improving their understanding of DCD and similar disorders and championing inclusivity, awareness and are making reasonable adjustments for neurodiverse people in their employment. Luckily I’m employed by a company who doesn’t see my DCD, they see my creativity, imagination, hard work and determination. I just hope others with my condition can find the same.
Today it has been reported that under new plans by the government, migrants from the EU and beyond that are considered “unskilled” will not be entitled to visas into the UK. Employers are being encouraged to focus on keeping staff instead of hiring ‘cheap labour’ which from the view of job progression for UK citizens looks to be a plus. But will it create job security or leave employers wanting for staff leaving gaps in industries?
A tweet on the subject from this morning read “I have a postgrad qualification. I have a mum with dementia in a care home. I could not do the “low skilled work” the carers show my mum & others in the unit. They are amazing people with a unique set of skills I cannot equal”. And she’s quite right, what quantifies low skilled work? And without anyone in the care industries or indeed, construction or surveying industries from abroad, can the British population fill the gaps the absence of workers will create?
Just because we have 1.29 million unemployed (as of December 2019) does not mean the gaps will be filled easily or that people want to do ‘low skilled’ work which can be construed as low paid. The difference is our unemployed want a livable wage. For people from low economy areas in the EU and beyond, our minimum wage is more than they’d expect in their own country.
Rejecting migrant workers who work hard at jobs we in this country take for granted, for example, fruit pickers would be detrimental. Though the job can be seen as tiring, having an early start and long hours, it provides us with nutritious food and is carried out in a wide-open space with fresh air. Unlike migrant workers, many would not see the benefit of working in this environment. And this is where the problem lies.
Particular sectors are taken for granted in this country and low paid doesn’t always mean low skilled. Fruit pickers aside, what about those who process food, prepare the food, cook the food? None of these jobs are unskilled by any means. Let’s revisit that tweet mentioned previously. Would you know how to care for someone with Dementia or other cognitive disorders? Would you know how to cut an animal carcass to separate the best cuts of meat? Would you know how to sort the meat by its quality? By disqualifying people with these skills, surely money will be wasted on hiring the 1.29 million unemployed in these sectors and training them to have the skill of someone from the EU or otherwise with this knowledge already?
In any case, the new points system appears to leave a lot to be desired, considering 21% of EU migrants are in factory and construction industries despite there being a need for a £23,000 salary minimum to gain points.
It can be argued that industries that pay workers minimum wage but are in high demand will struggle unless they increase their wage. In comparison, the point system states that a PHD is needed in a relevant field to the job or related to STEM, despite 9% of EU migrants being STEM professionals and 7% being STEM associate professionals which will generally be higher paid jobs but in less demand.
I recently wrote an article on the current situation pertaining to migration, specifically the Windrush generation and how everybody has the basic human right to liberty and personal security. You would think this includes the right to legal representation. However, to read today that not only will people be deported for petty or historic crimes without access to representation, but these people have lived in this country a majority of their lives is horrifying. Considering the fallout from the Windrush scandal is still resonating with a lot of migrant communities in this country, you’d think lessons have been learned by now. Yet here we are, deporting people on tentative grounds again. The move was made despite a court order citing mobile phone outages prevented the potential deportees from gaining legal counsel. Between not knowing how many have been ejected and how many are even under legal circumstances, it is astounding that there is such a blatant disregard for the lives of immigrants especially those from the commonwealth. To quote famed actor Hugh Grant in the past week it’s “hate actually”. The quotes were made regarding the MailOnline stating a black woman was only hired in a high up position at John Lewis to appear diverse, and he’s not wrong. Hate seems to be a somehow unifying factor considering not so long ago we relied on the same people we are persecuting to fill jobs and contribute to our economy. So what changed? How did the values of the Tommy Robinsons and his EDL cohorts become part of legislation and laws?
When a woman is raped, why should it be the first instinct to question her sexual choices/preferences or even her actions on the night in question? Time and time again, even in the cases of women dying from abusive partners using the ‘rough sex’ defence it’s always the woman’s fault. The #metoo movement is not enough without substantial change from both genders. In the case of the alleged rape in Cyprus, the people who were supposed to protect her questioned her moral integrity, instead of doing the right thing and bringing the suspected perpetrators to justice.
Moreover, why were these suspected perpetrators not scrutinised? Especially when some sources state that they received a heroes welcome back to Israel and there was the chanting of “The British girl is a whore” at the airport on their collection. You don’t have to be partial to any party involved to recognise that as odd or inappropriate behaviour under the circumstances. It could be construed as remorseless, or even guilty regardless of which side you stand on.
What is most disturbing about this case is the way the authorities treated the girl as automatically guilty and it can be argued, attempted to protect their own interests ie. the four million tourists that pass through each year. Prosecutors saw the girl write and sign a document retracting her report. According to the victim, this was under duress and without the presence of a lawyer. Not only that but the presiding judge seemingly ignored video evidence that a video found on the alleged perpetrators’ phones no less, that showed people trying to enter the room while she was having consensual sex with one of the men and her asking them to leave. Again, whichever side you’re on this seems to be a smoking gun.
All of the evidence aside there needs to be a point where women are just outright believed. Women in these situations are generally reluctant to go to the police in a regular rape situation let alone when you’re in another country and international agencies are involved. The rape in itself and the ensuing medical examination should be enough. Yet women have to endure the hoopla of trying to convince police they have actually suffered. Not only that but in this case, the price of reporting to police has left herself charged and fined. In 2020, we need to create a space where women feel empowered and safe coming forward about rape with no fines, consequences or even media circus as this one has.