I'm Matt - for those who don't know, I'm Rosie's boyfriend, probably better known in The Saturdays fanbase as @TheSatsCoUk / www.the-saturdays.co.uk - and I asked if I could write a guest blog, to which she agreed to! I'm hoping this will be the first of a few from me!
I've been thinking long and hard on what to blog, and hopefully this one will be a success so I can blog more about what I have been thinking about, but initially I feel that maybe a welcoming blog and what it is really like to live with someone with dyspraxia.
As you may (or may not) be aware, me and Rosie have been dating for nearly 3 years now, and we finally moved in together in September of last year. It's pretty fair to say its been a big step for us both. I initially had a few reservations - and I'm sure Rosie did too. My concern for Rosie was that in the previous few years of travelling down to London, I've always met her at Euston and taken her to and from my house (In Croydon, South London) - even if it was at 10pm at night! Plus her fear of escalators, and the issue of crowded spaces with lots of ambient noises! But more on that in a later blog - if this blog is a success I will hopefully blog a couple of more times!
Living with Rosie, going to concerts, seeing places, and most importantly meeting friends, means I get to see all sides of someone who has Dyspraxia, where as others might only see a few different sides but not always the whole picture. I truly believe that those who suffer from dyspraxia really do see the world in a different way to everyone else. This has major advantages over the traditional way of seeing life, but on the flip side it has it's challenges.
Rosie has undoubtedly the most creative mind I've come across - but she is also extremely intelligent and determined things might take her that bit more longer but when she does she has the determination to overcome what has been stuggling her, I mean you don't get a Masters Degree by twiddling your fingers and not having the motivation to do so! This comes across in her daily life with ease, she's always thinking about something, be it Mollie's Birthday Book, to what event she can attend next, what to next blog about, how we can both help a charity etc. You think of it, Rosie already has done, plotted a way to get there, and how to reach the outcome - which is where the disadvantages also kick in, as Rosie's set ways are very methodical and sometimes if I suggest a change, or an alternation (even if it screaming out as a logical change) the dyspraxic mind challenges this change.
Despite working in a school, I don't come across Dyspraxia on a daily basis outside of Rosie, so I can only imagine this is the same for most people, which throws up social issues. Rosie, and I presume most other people with dyspraxic, tend to suffer from spacial awareness issues - there is more to this than just simply bumping into objects such as crossing the road - and in areas where there is high levels of sensory - such as music concerts - the combination of noise, the sheer number of people, and the large scale of the venue, can lead to mass confusion, there has been many a time where Rosie has - unexpectedly - become an anxious wreak at a concert , which has led to anxiety attacks . Living with Rosie I do my best to calm her down and bring her mind back on track, but for others this can be quite a moment for those who don't experience this on a normal basis. We are very lucky and have understanding friends, but I can see this being an issue for other people with dyspraxia.
People with dyspraxia can also struggle with most things which others take for granted such as fine motor skills and every day tasks can take 10x longer than the average person- so if Rosie has a nap you know why. The nature and stigma which surrounds dyspraxia and other hidden conditions, is that every day is the same struggles and people can never get over their issues, but no day is the same every day is different but with the right help and understanding dyspraxia shouldn't be a barrier to sucess and independence.
The key for me is that living with a dyspraxic person you can often have to deal with the outright amazing and lows all within a 24 hour period. The 24/7 nature of life in 2015 isn't dyspraxic friendly, social medial, television, concerts, music, all stimulates the mind for good (and bad) reasons, and those who don't live with others with dyspraxia might not totally understand that something that might be said which most people will brush off under the carpet, or ignore, will trigger that wonderful mind of the dyspraxic, and will get them thinking - and this can lead to chaotic results.