She has lots of tools in her tool box, but at the end of the day, slowing down and having lots and lots of patience was really key.
Which therapies/approaches were most effective?
Early on, the therapists worked on her core strength, which was helpful. When she was younger, asking her to do one thing at a time versus “piling on” so that she could focus was very helpful. We also had one specialist that created “to do” lists with pictures so she’d know what to do on a daily basis. For example at home, the chart showed her pictures of brushing teeth, getting dressed, eating breakfast, etc. For school the charts showed her unpacking her book bag, and working with a buddy. It was always important that she had a buddy in each class — someone that was smart, and followed directions, listened, and knew what was going on in class. Lydia could sit next to that person and lean on them to help her stay organized and get her to where she needed to be throughout her day.
What coping strategies do you find most helpful in your daily life?
Getting fresh air, exercise, and plenty of sleep. When anxiety hits, taking deep breaths and thinking about what is factual versus what is in her control. To-do lists are extremely important.
What would you like others to understand about Dyspraxia/DCD?
It’s an invisible handicap, but with the right tools, kids with Dyspraxia can do anything. Our daughter had straight A’s until the 10th grade and made the varsity golf team in the 9th grade. They call kids with Dyspraxia “clumsy”, but we started with sports very early on (age 5), and tried one sport after another until something stuck. Oftentimes, it wasn’t the sport, but the kids that stuck. It’s not always about excelling, but about having fun and belonging.
Regardless, Dyspraxia is not easy and we are all human, so when all else fails, lean on love and patience and don’t beat yourself up when things don’t go the way you had hoped.