How Do Dyspraxia Adults Manage Their Daily Lives?

Imagine you want to make a cup of tea. For most, it’s a breeze. However, for someone with dyspraxia, that simple task can turn into a minor expedition. Dyspraxia, also known as Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD), affects motor planning and coordination. Daily activities that seem effortless to others can be frustrating challenges.

In simple words, dyspraxia is a condition that makes it hard to plan and carry out physical movements. People with dyspraxia might have trouble coordinating their bodies to do things that seem easy for others, like writing, catching a ball, or getting dressed.

What are the Major Issues People Who Have Dyspraxia face?

Three major problems dyspraxic adults face daily include:

  • Difficulties with coordination: This can affect tasks like using tools, getting dressed, or riding a bike.
  • Challenges with planning and organisation: Breaking down complex tasks into manageable steps and staying organised can be difficult.
  • Increased stress and anxiety: The constant struggle to complete everyday tasks can lead to frustration and overwhelm.

It’s important for people with dyspraxia to better manage their daily lives because it can improve their overall well-being and independence. By using strategies and creating routines, they can reduce stress, become more confident, and achieve their goals. Effectively managing daily tasks can also help them feel less dependent on others and improve their quality of life.

Why is it important for people with Dyspraxia to better manage their daily lives?

There are many benefits to better managing daily life with dyspraxia. By making use of the tips and tricks mentioned, adults with dyspraxia can:

  • Reduce Stress and Anxiety: Feeling overwhelmed and frustrated by everyday tasks can take a toll on mental well-being. Effective management strategies can help reduce stress and anxiety, leading to a better overall mood.
  • Boost Confidence and Self-Esteem: When you can accomplish tasks independently, it builds confidence and a sense of accomplishment. This can be especially helpful for dyspraxic adults who may have struggled with certain skills for a long time.
  • Increase Independence: The ability to manage daily tasks allows dyspraxic adults to live more independently. This can be empowering and contribute to a greater sense of control over their lives.
  • Improve Overall Well-being: Effective management of dyspraxia can lead to a better life overall. By reducing stress, boosting confidence, and increasing independence, dyspraxic adults can live happier and more fulfilling lives.

But don’t be alarmed. There are ways to navigate this and conquer everyday hurdles. Here’s a toolbox filled with tips and tricks to manage your daily life and become a master of your own domain.

If your child presents signs of Dyspraxia, claim your 20 minutes FREE consultation valued at $125 with our expert

Slightly Modify Your Planning Approach:

Planning well is like the cornerstone for each and every individual, whether they are neurotypical or neurodivergent. The difference between them is the Approach. People with Dyspraxia must personalise their planning in the following ways.

  • Design a More Detailed To-Do List: Lists are your friends! But don’t overwhelm yourself. Break down large tasks into smaller chores that are manageable for you. For example, instead of “clean the kitchen,” write “empty dishwasher,” “wipe down surfaces,” and “sweep the floor.” Crossing things off provides a much-needed sense of accomplishment.
  • Visualise Your Task: Can’t quite picture the steps involved in a task? Use pictures! Draw out a simple flow chart or find online tutorials that show the process visually.
  • Schedule It In: Planning goes beyond tasks. Schedule in breaks to avoid sensory overload and fatigue. Feeling overwhelmed? Take a few deep breaths, step outside for some fresh air, or listen to some calming music.
  • Use Your Calendar: Appointments, deadlines, social events – it can all get jumbled. Invest in a planner or use a reminder app. Colour-coding tasks by category can also be a helpful visual aid.

Conquer Coordination Challenges:

Coordination poses a challenge for people who have dyspraxia. So it is important to gain confidence in your struggles to coordinate everyday tasks. Make it a point to pay attention to those tasks that you need to do daily such as cooking, or laundry, etc. Here are some ways to help.

  • Adapt and Improvise: Struggling with a fiddly button? Try using a buttonhook or sew on larger buttons. Does handwriting leave you cramped? Invest in a comfortable ergonomic pen or the voice-to-text function on your devices.
  • Technology to the Rescue: There’s an app for (almost) everything! Explore apps that can help with tasks like grocery list management, recipe planning, or even medication reminders.
  • Ask for Help: Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. Maybe a friend can help you assemble a piece of furniture, or a colleague can show you a new computer program.
  • Practice Makes (Almost) Perfect: While dyspraxia doesn’t disappear, some aspects can improve with practice. If you’re comfortable, try practising specific tasks in a low-pressure environment. Focus on small improvements and celebrate how far you have come!

Gain Better Control Over Your Time:

Is getting ready in the morning a constant battle? Lay out your clothes the night before. Pack your lunch beforehand. By minimising the number of decisions you have to make in the morning rush, you can avoid feeling overwhelmed.

Don’t try to cram too much into your day. Factor in extra time for tasks you know might take you longer. This will help you feel less stressed and avoid running late.

Create a routine that works for you. Having a predictable structure can help you stay organised and reduce anxiety.

Keep Your Cool:

Negative self-talk is your worst enemy if you have Dyspraxia. Counter your inner doubts with positive affirmations. “I can do this!” or “It might take some time, but I’ll figure it out” can make a big difference. Meditation, progressive muscle relaxation techniques or deep breathing exercises can all help manage stress and anxiety. Find what works for you and try to do it daily.

Acknowledge your achievements, no matter how small they may seem. Did you make it to work on time? Pat yourself on the back! Successfully tackled a new recipe? Treat yourself to a small reward.

Build Your Support System:

Find a therapist or counsellor who specialises in working with adults with dyspraxia. Talking about your challenges can be a huge weight off your shoulders. Connect with other dyspraxic adults online or through support groups. Sharing personal experiences and tips with others who understand your struggles can be incredibly validating.

Let your family and friends know about dyspraxia and how it affects you. The more they understand, the better they can support you.

Remember, you are not alone. Dyspraxia is a common condition, and there are many resources available to help you thrive. With a little planning, some clever adaptations, and a supportive network, you can turn

those everyday hurdles into stepping stones to success!

Beyond the Everyday Tasks

  • Fashionably Frustrated? Dressing can be a battlefield for some dyspraxics. Opt for clothes that are easy to put on and take off, like loose-fitting garments with zippers or velcro closures. Embrace comfortable shoes with good arch support.
  • In the Kitchen: Meal prep can be a lifesaver. Set aside some time on the weekend to cook food in large amounts and store it in mealboxes that you can easily reheat throughout the week. Utilise tools like vegetable choppers and spiralizers to simplify food prep tasks.
  • The Workplace Issues: People with Dyspraxia can struggle with finding jobs much more compared to a person with no neurological condition or learning disability. Don’t be afraid to disclose your dyspraxia to your employer or colleagues, especially if it might impact your work performance. Explore assistive technologies that can help you excel in your role. For instance, speech recognition software can be a great tool for those who struggle with typing.
  • Social Situations and The Art of Small Talk: Social gatherings can be overwhelming for some dyspraxics. Plan your exits beforehand, and don’t be afraid to take breaks in a quiet space to recharge. Focus on one conversation at a time, and don’t be afraid to excuse yourself if you feel overwhelmed.

Remember, you are more than your dyspraxia. It’s a part of you, but it doesn’t define you. Focus on your strengths and become stronger and better everyday. You are resourceful, determined, and capable of achieving great things. However if you are looking for a solution that can change the neuroplasticity of your brain so that you can be able to have better control over your motor planning and coordination, do find out about the Tomatis® Method.

If your child presents signs of Dyspraxia, claim your 20 minutes FREE consultation valued at $125 with our expert

How the Tomatis® Method Can Help People with Dyspraxia

The Tomatis® Method utilises filtered music and sound exercises to stimulate the auditory system. The program involves an assessment and a 14-day intensive training session involving listening to specific music, which helps your brain generate new neural pathways. This can be helpful for individuals with Dyspraxia in many ways. Here’s how:

  • Auditory Processing and Integration: Dyspraxia can sometimes involve difficulties processing sensory information. The Tomatis® Method’s filtered sound approach influences the brain’s ability to integrate auditory signals with other sensory inputs. This leads to smoother coordination and motor planning as the brain receives a clearer picture of sensory information.
  • Enhanced Listening: Strong listening skills are crucial for understanding instructions and following conversations. The Tomatis® Method’s focus on specific sound frequencies improves an individual’s ability to pay attention to relevant auditory cues and filter out background noise. This can be particularly helpful in social situations and learning environments.
  • Brain Plasticity: The brain possesses a remarkable ability to adapt and form new connections throughout life (neuroplasticity). The Tomatis® Method’s auditory stimulation influences neuroplasticity in areas of the brain responsible for motor planning and coordination. This leads to gradual improvements in motor skills over time.

The Tomatis® Method explores the potential for auditory stimulation to influence Dyspraxia. It is a holistic approach to help you create a path towards improved coordination, communication, and overall well-being. Dyspraxia is a lifelong condition, but it doesn’t have to define you.  

By incorporating these tips and tricks into your daily routine and considering the Tomatis® Method, you can develop your own unique set of coping mechanisms and become a master of your own environment. There will be good days and bad days, but with perseverance and an optimistic perspective towards yourself and your challenges, you can achieve anything you set your mind to.  Connect here to get a 20 minute free session,(valued at AU$125) with our expert. Françoise Nicoloff. Click here to find out more about the Tomatis® Method.

Françoise Nicoloff

Official Representative of Tomatis Developpement SA in Australia, Asia and South Pacific, Director of the Australian Tomatis® Method, Registered Psychologist, Certified Tomatis® Consultant Senior, Tomatis® International Trainer and Speaker, Co-author of the Listening Journey Series, 45 Years of Experience, Neurodiversity Speaker

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