Living with Dyspraxia: Woman reveals life with disorder that affects one in ten ahead of Manchester workshop

A Manchester Dyspraxia sufferer has revealed what life is like with the condition ahead of a workshop scheme aiming to raise awareness of the disorder.

Dyspraxia sufferer Janet Taylor acts as an adult support group co-ordinator for the Dyspraxia Foundation, which is running the event.

Arriving in Manchester next month, The Dyspraxia Event aims to raise awareness of the condition which affects an estimated 5% of the UK population.

A form of developmental co-ordination disorder, Dyspraxia can affect speech, movements and thoughts.

“I was 33 when it was confirmed I had it but I’d noticed that I was different from a young age,” explained the 53-year-old.

“I suffered from short term memory loss, a lack of organisation and co-ordination which I still struggle with every day.”

The foundation is the UK’s only specifically dedicated to offering support and awareness, and has come a long way since Mrs Taylor was first diagnosed.

After being diagnosed the Manchester resident sought help in the form of support groups, but discovered to her disbelief that none existed and that there was little understanding about the condition.

“When I found out I had it I wanted to go to a support group but I found that there were none available, so I decided to set one up and at the first meeting we had 20 people attending,” she said.

“Since then we have grown and whether it is a social chat or a formal group meeting, we always have people who are interested in coming along and finding out about us.

“Young people especially we have noticed want to find out more about Dyspraxia.

“There is much more awareness about the condition now but back when I was diagnosed there was none.”

Working in her role for the last 14 years, Mrs Taylor feels the workshop offers an excellent opportunity for adults and children to learn more about the condition whether they suffer from it or not.

“The workshop is fantastic as they help people understand what Dyspraxia is and how they can cope as well as difficulties that people experience in the work place as a result of having it.”

Focus will also center on topics ranging from physical activity at school for children to self-esteem and social interaction and Mrs Taylor believes more can still be done to help people.

“Employers certainly need to become more aware of it and just how it affects people with regards to the workplace.

“I think people with Dyspraxia have a stigma attached to them that they aren’t good at anything but that really isn’t the case.

“If someone is diagnosed with it they should contact the foundation as we will be able to offer support and help them feel like they are not on their own.”

As well as voluntarily working for the Dyspraxia foundation, Mrs Taylor also works at Future Visions helping people with learning disabilities but is still determined to further improve the foundation over the coming years.

“My aim in the future is to setup more groups to help people with Dyspraxia and at the same time raise awareness.

“From personal experience I would suggest that being open about having it and telling people you have it is better than trying to hide at it as it can often make things twice as worse.”

The workshop will be held on Friday March 7 at the Manchester Conference Centre from 10am.

Image courtesy of RBBI Cohen Nesbit Productions via YouTube, with thanks.

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