Dyspraxia and Me | Philippa Baraclough - UK

For as long as I can remember I have always been dyspraxic. It has made things harder for me, but it has also allowed me to be more determined and more creative.

Dyspraxia tends to be very unheard of. When I joined Twitter that was when I really started to connect with other dyspraxics. Sharing in shoelace tying jokes, running jokes, the ability to get lost in thought even though you just had it. Discussing these things with complete strangers in 40 characters or less made me feel like I was speaking to people who got it, even though I’d never met them.

The problem with social media is that it’s great to connect with people online, providing you are safe about it. Discussing dyspraxia and swapping stories helps you to feel part of a community. This is something which I know this magazine has come out of. The need to feel connected, without fear of people harassing you.

When you meet a Dyspraxic person in real life you can see how hard they are working to navigate the world around them. It’s not all doom and gloom though. Just like our other Neurodivergent Cousins, we are capable of creative thinking in ways neurotypical people may not have even considered. We do not think like other people, because we can’t. We have a unique and colourful way of looking at the world and it is all the better for it.

Who wants to be like everyone else? I don’t.

One of the ways in which I think my neurodiversity helps me, especially my dyspraxia is with my photography. I love all kinds of photography. The photos I take are on iPhone because your phone is always with you. When I take my photos I take them at a moment when other people haven’t noticed something I have. This is funny because I am visually impaired and people don’t always expect to see someone with a long cane taking photos.

I enjoy photography, it makes me happy. I see the world differently to other people because of my Dyspraxia and my Visual Impairment.

Being neurodiverse is not an issue for me. I am not saying it is easy, by no means is it easy being a visually impaired neurodiverse person living in a world built for neurotypical people who can see.

However, I am saying it gives me the ability to look at the world differently and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.


Phillipa Baraclough