Stumbling Through Space and Time: Living Life with Dyspraxia
In 1994, I was diagnosed with dyspraxia, and I was unable to do everything that children are expected to do by the time they're in school. For me, this included everything from riding a bike and catching a ball, to reading, writing, and basic math.When talking about her dyspraxia, Rosemary Richings is often met with confusion. Why do so few people understand dyspraxia, or even know what it is? Rosemary shares her experience of growing up dyspraxic, and how it impacts her sense of space, time and co-ordination. Diagnosed with DCD at the age of four, Rosemary shares her insights and experience dealing with challenges, from coping with bullies in school to choosing a dyspraxia-friendly university, pursuing self-employment and travelling abroad. Rosemary shares guidance for others about what helped her develop her skills, including ballet and gymnastics, the Wilbarger Protocol (brushing therapy) and equestrian therapy. Full of practical tips and insights into the strategies that gave Rosemary the confidence to succeed, this is an essential guide for other dyspraxics and those supporting them, which shows you how you too can thrive as a dyspraxic person.
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About the Author
Rosemary Richings is a writer, author, and advocate who was diagnosed in the mid-90s, when she was 4 years old. Her writing and advocacy work helps dyspraxics and other disabled people feel more represented, loved, and supported in our society. Rosemary is a co-founder of Dyspraxic Alliance and is on the board of trustees of Dyspraxic Me, a charity that provides a supportive peer group for dyspraxics ages 16-25.
Stumbling through space and time is a heartfelt memoir, offering an authentic insight into what it means to be dyspraxic. Rosemary not only creates a space where those with dyspraxia can feel seen, but she also creates valuable learning opportunities for anyone to learn about it. This will help to make the world a more inclusive place for everyone.--Emily Katy, autistic blogger, writer and Trustee of Autistic Girls Network
This beautifully written piece captures a raw glimpse of life as a Dyspraxic person. The cruel response of those who stigmatise invisible disabilities and the absolute importance of a strong support system around you. This very relatable book had me crying some pages and smiling with joy the next.--Krystal Shaw
Rosemary has a worldwide perspective of dyspraxia from moving and living in various places. Rosemary up bringing has had a positive impact in their personal development and understanding of who they are which results in a great read.--Jess Starns, founder of Dyspraxic Me, a charity for dyspraxic young adults
A very interesting insight into one girl's journey through life with a hidden disability that is so poorly understood. This is a must read for professionals - teachers, medics, councillors, psychologists, social workers, members of the justice system, instructors in various areas such as driving, swimming, fitness and other sports. It is also a must read for the loved ones of somebody with dyspraxia i.e. parents, siblings, external family members, potential partners and friends. As an adult with suspected Dyspraxia and Aspergers traits, I found that this book helps myself and others with these conditions to understand ourselves better and not feel alone. This book may help others like us in terms of finding outlets we never thought were there and increasing our self esteem.This book shows us how much the education systems globally needs to take a leaf out of the Canadian school System in terms of how to teach children with disabilities especially mild hidden disabilities such as Dyspraxia and Aspergers which are already so misunderstood in our society. This is particularly evident in the case of the alternative school system, the little science school on the island and the empathetic supports going forward towards high school which Rosemary greatly benefitted from and thrived. It also demonstrates the importance of a deeply loving and supportive family environment for a child with a hidden disability - Rosemary thrived with the fierce love, understanding and dedication of her family. A huge important point that is noted in this book is the lack of supports and services for adult dyspraxics once they age out of the secondary school system. Rosemary highlights the need for education and greater understanding of how to help and support adult with hidden disabilities such as dyspraxia particularly in areas such as obtaining and maintaining secure employment, driving a car, in some cases, independent living skills where adults with dyspraxia may have difficulty with. This is especially pointed out throughout her difficulties trying to navigate as an adult and having expectations of here which were not feasible, resulting in the loss of her self esteem and her battle with her inferiority complex especially during her college years and the yoga classes she tried. Importantly Rosemary demonstrates the crucial need for more social outlets for dyspraxic adults as well as getting everybody to take part in activities they like, not just because they are good at them. This book is a powerful read for occupational therapists and personal trainers in dealing with the physical aspects of dyspraxia such as helping to strengthen muscle tone and aid with focus and concentration in both adults and children with dyspraxia. It also brings awareness of the detrimental effects of what happens when a dyspraxic adult does not not have the much needed support to fulfil their potential particularly those with more intense needs and the severe effects of ableist portrayals of people with hidden disabilities in the media as objects to be pitied. This book has also taught me a valuable lesson in self discovery in conjunction with the bit of humour here and there e.g. Rosemary's expression 'apple juice o clock ' when talking about her husband and referring to the dyspraxia pandas. It is important to add in more peoples' experiences with hidden disabilities such as dyspraxia especially those living with both Dyspraxia and another hidden condition.
I would recommend immensely.--Mary Kilbane, Dyspraxia/DCD Ireland
The title of this book is 'Stumbling through Space and Time - Living Life with Dyspraxia', but Rosemary Richings, in my opinion, has conquered it. Learning of the hurdles she faced during her adolescence within the education system in Canada is in itself difficult to stomach but shows the grit and determination of the author to succeed despite the best efforts of educators attempting to write her off and label their neurodivergent student as another 'underachieving', 'unpunctual' and 'unruly' pupil destined to join the scrap heap that is 'life'.Rosemary, fortunately, had the moral support of close family and friends to guide her through adolescence into adulthood. I especially loved reading her honest account of dealing with the chaos and utter confusion that comes with being dyspraxic, especially in the big wide world where space and time aren't something we gravitate towards or away from easily. This book is a triumph from start to finish. I highly recommend purchasing it!--Billy Stanley, Dyspraxic Help 4U Founder and The Dyspraxic Help 4U Podcast Host
This is a raw and honest look at what life is like when the world isn't built for you. As a dyspraxic adult, I still struggle to explain myself but I found new resources in this book. Rosemary has encapsulated so many of my feelings of not belonging in the neurotypical world and reminded me it's okay to do things my way.--Rachel Charlton-Dailey, Founder and Editor-in-Chief, The Unwritten