I’m an adult woman with dyspraxia – realising that changed my life

But, beyond my weapons-grade clumsiness, the more interesting aspects of my diagnosis related to sensory profiling. Possessing a highly sensitive sensory system, most dyspraxics experience the world as “too bright, too loud, too fast, too tight”, as Dyspraxia UK puts it. I can’t join gyms because the loud music makes me hyperventilate. I can’t sit in chairs or on sofas for long; I need to sit on the floor, moving around sporadically. I wriggle in bed and drive companions crazy. Bright sunshine can genuinely screw up a meeting for me, the sound of drilling in the street makes me hyperventilate as I walk past and I rarely feel comfortable in my own skin or, indeed, in clothes. I can’t bear velvet, which might as well be velcro to me, and can’t even touch the likes of snakeskin, which feels like psoriasis to me. At times, being ridiculously sensitive to sound has made me look like a total dick. Like the date I went on that I had to prematurely eject myself from because, “Sorry, the music in here is driving me nuts.” The cafe I had to abruptly drag my ex-boyfriend out of, abandoning our coffees, because they started playing R.E.M., one of my most hated bands. I can’t work with music playing in the office – yet another thing that makes me come across like a diva. “Diva”, like “shit”, is another world I am gratefully replacing with “dyspraxic”.

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