Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Caged in Chaos



FOR MANY years Vicky Biggs was haunted by the feeling that there was something wrong with her. She fell over a lot. She was useless at games or anything that required physical co-ordination. She had no friends. Yet from the age of 3 she could read fluently and, although her grades at school were often mediocre, she knew that there were many concepts she understood instantly where her peers struggled. “It was very confusing because I knew I was different,” she says. “I knew I was clumsy, a bit antisocial, but the problem areas are very diverse so I was never able to work out what was wrong. It was like having a small volcano sitting inside me. Also, some of my better attributes, like the photographic memory, I assumed everyone had them. The realisation came in fragments.”
Her condition, dyspraxia, was not diagnosed until she was 15, and this was a liberating experience. Not only did she discover that her lack of physical co-ordination puts her in the bottom 1 per cent of the population, but a psychologist told her that her IQ, at 155, is in the top 1 per cent. Suddenly her behaviour made sense because she knew why she struggled to organise the way she moves: her brain isn’t wired like most peoples’ and when it tries to send messages not all of them get through. So she has poor balance and depth perception — she can reach for a door handle and miss, she can’t pour a drink without spilling, or walk upstairs without hanging on to something. She struggles to cross roads because she can’t judge the speed of traffic and, in spite of six years of weekly piano lessons, she has yet to reach Grade 1.  
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I have dyspraxia, too... but not as badly as Vicki.  I know what its like to have poor balance and depth perception and what it's like to spill a lot of food and drink (although therapy has cleaned that up).  The Interactive Metronome is going to do a lot for wiring the brain and body back together. 

Matts Hidoeout's site has a lot of good stories and information about dyspraxia.
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