Monday, 13 October 2014

Ask A Dyspraxic: Confidence, Self Eseem and Mental Health

Firstly thank you so much to everyone who has sent in a question for this blog I really hope this blog can give some hope and light to you and maybe help even in the slightest. Even if you aren't dyspraxic maybe some of the advice can be helpful for you too as many many people struggle with the topics of these blogs so I hope it helps you too.
The Dyspraxia Foundation launched some statistics today in response to a survey they conducted on dyspraxic teenagers some of the statistics were shocking but not surprising to me. Over 95% of dyspraxic teenagerss admitted to struggling with anxiety, 70% experienced bullying and 84% left out of a social situation. I've personally experienced all 3 either directly or also indirectly due to dyspraxia especially as a teenager and into adulthood too. This is personally probably the hardest blog for me to write for awareness week as it's something to be completely honest is work in progress and probably always will be but its something which I'm very passionate about raising awareness of as a lot of people who struggle with low self esteem and confidence can go on to develop additional mental health issues. But you're not alone and there is light at the end of the tunnel. I hope my questions and answers help some of you out there,

1. How should I help my child with emotional issues?
My advice would be to try and get the child alone and when not upset use basic language and ask if there is anything which may be bothering them, maybe have something positive to look forward to or play with to help boost self esteem and confidence.

2. My daughter has obsessions which are worrying her.
I think a lot of dyspraxic Young people can develop obsessions or become attached to interstes and know a lot about the subject this can be a very positive thing as can help the person relax but also a lot of dyspraxic people can be over thinkers and I think if an obsession is becoming distressing maybe tell them to focus on other positive things which are going on and encourage them to talk when something is distressing to them so they can ask out for help.

3 I hate being different
As a young person and adult difference is such a difficult issue to deal with whether you have dyspraxia or not and its hard when everyone around you is doing something which is completely different to you, often this can lead to bullying and negative perception. How hard it is you have to just accept it and in time become proud of it as it makes you who you are, talk to others about maybe the quirkier aspects of dyspraxia so they have a better understanding but also embrace them. Difference is so much better than being a clone or sheep baaaa baaa. Difference can be a very good thing when it comes to employment.

4. How do you appear confident in social situations?
This is something which I find difficult especially in new ones or in big groups of people as I can never focus on more than one conversation going at once, I can also take things literally which can lead to humour and interesting situations. If it's at work it's like i put on an act and it's almost like you're acting out the role in front of students. My advice would be to stick to small groups of people and breathe.

5. I struggle  with anxiety
Anxiety can be a huge problem whether you have dyspraxia or not. A lot of dyspraxic people can find  anxiety in organisation and memory which I'll cover in more depth in a later blog. But anxiety can also be there for a variety in social situations too. I've found sessions of CBT helpful to my anxiety as it can be quite severe at times.  But the best thing I can suggest is that you talk to someone if you're experiencing anxiety on a daily basis it's nothing to be ashamed of or embarrassed about and you can recover from it. But telling a family member or a friend what's going on is something which can be so helpful and take a weight of your mind. Simple things to help anxiety would be to write down any worries, make sure you do things which you enjoy and don't beat yourself up and most importantly take a few minutes to breathe.

6, My son gets bullied because of being dyspraxic and its really getting him down.
firstly I would say to make sure the school is aware all schools have an anti bullying policy also to remind him of all the positive things about him maybe write them down for him, get him involved in activities which he enjos a lot of dyspraxic people struggle with sport so maybe find a hobby or interst where he feels comfortable with.

7.  People don't undertand what dyspraxia is.
Although thanks to the incredible work done by the dyspraxia foundation and others to raise awarenss of dypraxia it's often not heard of as much as other hidden conditions such as dyslexia the best advice I would give us to keep talking and keep
Speaking out and keep getting people aware of what it is and the amazing positives people can have too.

8. My daughter has begun to self harm.
This is quite a sensitive subject but I thought it was an important issue to address for
Anyone who may be struggling regardless of hidden condition my advice would be not to judge or assume, give as much support as you can boost the positives she has and tell her she is worth so much more than to do this to herself and she is worth recovery.

That's all my questions answered I hope they have helped some people out there. Tomorrow I am off to the houses of parliament to celebrating dyspraxia awarenss with the dypraxia foundation something which I feel so privaliged to be attending. Tomorrows blog theme is on day to
Day life please email your questions to: or leave me a Facebook comment or tweet.

1 comment:

  1. We as parents should be the one to help our children to gain their self esteem.
    Raising Self Esteem in Children


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