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.