everything in the world that might help me is geared towards children
Casual reminder that Donald T., the first person ever diagnosed with autism in this country, sang in his school choir, graduated from high school, earned a college degree in French, drives, golfs, travels for fun, has a circle of friends, and lives on his own.
This is the person with, literally, the prototypical case of autism.
So if you’re making an argument that any given person is too “high-functioning” for their input to count in the national discussion about autism, or that Autism Speaks is “not really talking about people like you,” when they call autism a national catastrophe, when they call us lost, missing, kidnapped, diseased, burdens on our families and society, and lobby for our elimination…you may need to recalibrate your ideas about autistic people a little bit.
Dyspraxia has been, for the most part, renamed Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD).
From Medical News Today:
A person with dyspraxia has problems with movement, coordination, judgment, processing, memory and some other cognitive skills. Dyspraxia also affects the body’s immune and nervous systems.
Dyspraxia is also known as Motor Learning Difficulties, Perceptuo-Motor Dysfunction, and Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD). The terms Minimal Brain Damage and Clumsy Child Syndrome are no longer used.
Developmental coordination disorder (DCD) also known as developmental dyspraxia and “clumsy child syndrome” is a chronic neurological disorder beginning in childhood that can affect planning of movements and co-ordination as a result of brain messages not being accurately transmitted to the body. Up to 50% of dyspraxics have ADHD. It may be diagnosed in the absence of other motor or sensory impairments like cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis or Parkinson’s disease.
People with developmental coordination disorder sometimes have difficulty moderating the amount of sensory information that their body is constantly sending them, so as a result these people are prone to panic attacks. Having other autistic traits (which is common with developmental coordination disorder and related conditions) may also contribute to sensory-induced panic attacks.
To put it simply, it’s the brain’s inability to plan muscle movements and carry them out. What you think you want to do is not always what happens. Sometimes there is success in an action, sometimes it’s a complete clumsy failure. It also has a lot to do with the processing of sensory information, leading to a great deal of oversimulation from external sources. Dyspraxia can range from verbal to mental to physical. It can affect the ability to understand language, read social cues, recognize danger, and speaking. It can limit motor skills and physical coordination.
With Autism Spectrum and Dyspraxia, there is often some overlap. In my experience, coordination was never great. It makes it hard for me to do as well as my friends at games that require a lot of it (Like Beatmania and Dance Dance Revolution, though I won’t say I suck at them). If I don’t practice a lot, I quickly lose the skills I’ve gained. I do NOT do aerobics classes because of it. Of course, let’s not forget social awkwardness around the average NT crowd; I hang out with geeks and other Aspies for a reason. (MY PEOPLE.)
Autism.org.uk has some GREAT information on Dyspraxia and how it relates to autism. It’s a good read!
I really hate when people blame an autistic person’s perfectionism on their autism, when autistic people are constantly being shamed and punished for not being able to do certain things, for not perfectly following the social rules, for not properly “passing” — and so forth. There *could* actually be something about autistic neurology that makes a person more likely to be a perfectionist. I don’t know. I haven’t read up on the research. But even if that were true, it really doesn’t help that autistic people are often treated as though they’re not trying hard enough when they’re not successful at something, that they’re just being lazy, that they don’t really have the difficulties they think they have. I mean, try *not* being a perfectionist when people treat you like that. And that’s the other thing: it’s bad enough that we get punished for failure, but if we worry too much about avoiding failure, well, that’s wrong, too.