For my final blog of Dyspraxia Awareness Week and as it's Funky Friday too which for those of you who aren't aware is the Foundation's main awareness day where people can wear anything funky, quirky, or bright which celebrates uniqueness. I've been planning this blog in my head for weeks, so I hope you all like it. I'd also like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has been having a read of everything I've been involved in this week I hope it's helped more people find out a little bit more about dyspraxia.
Seen as the theme for awareness week this year is on how women can mask some of the dyspraxic symptoms and be later in getting a diagnosis, this could be your mum, sister, friend or loved one. I thought I would write a blog on how dyspraxia can effect day to day tasks many women don't have to think twice about,.
As with all my blogs no two people with dyspraxia are the same, and not every dyspraxic woman or girl will find some of these issues a struggle, and some men may find them an issue too.
Wherever you look around you the media portrays this image of perfection, perfect teeth, perfect hair, perfect make up, perfect body, perfect nails, which means many women dyspraxic or not feel under pressure, but not all women have the fine motor skills to be able to be able to carry out self care tasks to a high standard.
Fine motor skills are the the little movements with our hands and fingers which we use to carry out so many tasks in day to day life. People with dyspraxia can have assumptions made about us that we mustn't care about our appearances when in reality that's far from the case.
I've always never been typical of people my own age and always struggled so much fitting in, I've always stood out and been different. But I am quite a girly girl, I love dresses, have enough necklaces to open my own Accessorize and nail varnishes and make-up to give Superdrug a run for it's money. But my dyspraxia makes using and applying these tricky as I have very poor fine motor skills, I also have sensory issues which means I dislike the touch of certain textures or fabrics against my skin I also have to be careful what footwear.
Some issues some dyspraxic women may struggle with are:
Footwear and clothing
I have to be very careful in my choice of footwear as I need shoes which give me good grip and stability to help me with my balance, I've also had quite a few ankle problems over the years so they need to be supportive and I'm very heavy footed and put quite a bit of pressure down when I walk and wear my shoes out really easily. So heels are deffo a no go for me as are ballet pumps. I try and find boots with zips as trying to tie laces takes an age and they often come undone. There's also some textures I can't bare next to my skin including tights and silk or any clingy clothes.
Before I go into hair styling I'm going to start with the basics brushing hair. My mum used to have such a battle brushing my hair as I have very thick hair and hated the sensory feeling of it being brushed, there was a lot of meltdowns involving me and hair brushing. Even now I always miss a bit at the back of my hair and struggle brushing everywhere. I recently bought a tangle tease which is a lot easier for me to grip. As for styling my GHD's are a saviour to me as they're the only ones which go through my hair.
I've never been able to style my hair using curlers and tend to only straighten when I know I have more time. My boyfriend dyes my hair for me as I once got red hair dye all over my bathroom door and bedroom carpet.
Make up and nails
I love the pretty colours of make up and nail varnish and I own a lot of it (I'm a nightmare if I see a 3 for 2 deal) but always struggled applying it. I recently got some Real Techniques brushes which have helped me blend a lot better. I also recently made the decision to stop wearing eye liner as I could never get it right. One thing I have found help is going to Benefit having a make-over and being advised what shades suit me.
When I apply make up or nail varnish things tend to get messy. My mum has got though a lot of stain remover over the years on clothes, bed sheets, even walls and hand rails when I've not realised foundation is over my hands. Some people with dyspraxia struggle with the sensory issues of having make up on the skin too.
Some women with dyspraxia struggle managing around time of the month, the fine motor skills of changing and remembering when and what time of the month. I find I'm a lot more clumsy and emotional durning those times. Some women can struggle to master how to put on a bra, fiddly things they are.
Then there's the myth that all women are good multi-taskers, I'm awful I struggle to keep on task when doing one task never mind lots at once. Lots of things at once for me is just overwhelming. I've heard dyspraxic women being told they have to be good at multi- taskers as simply they are a woman- what a ridiculous assumption.
As mentioned in my blog for Mental Health Awareness Day about how people with dyspraxia male and female are prone to anxiety, stress and depression. Struggling to carry out tasks like these on top of all the day to day tasks can really effect self esteem and confidence. The amount of times I get frustrated as things don't look how I want them too and I feel self conscious.
Then there's the social aspect of fitting in Alice has done an amazing job explaining this in her blog: http://bit.ly/1OHyukB not fitting in can be difficult and society can be so judgemental too. Even little things like how society uses the words "girls nights out" not everyone feels comfortable in clubs, give me a pub or cocktail bar any day over a packed club. Funky Friday is about embracing your uniqueness and what makes you different, raising awareness of dyspraxia isn't just for one week it's 365 days a year.
To whoever is reading this blog you, yes you are beautiful in your own unique way.