3 things I wish I knew when I was first diagnosed with dyspraxia (DCD)

Rosemary Richings
6 min readOct 10, 2021
Little girl in a white dress and white shoes walking on a paved road with her back turned to the camera. Her hair is in a ponytail hair-do and some hedges are in the background.

From October 12–16th 2021, a few organizations I am personally affiliated with: Dyspraxic Alliance, Dyspraxic Me, and Dyspraxia Magazine are celebrating dyspraxia awareness week with Dyspraxic Help 4 U, and a large percentage of the online #dyspraxia community.

To celebrate this occasion, we’re organizing everything from virtual social events, to Q & As and fundraisers to make an awareness week that’s about so much more than hashtags and appearances. FYI: The link to our full calendar of events is available at the end of this article if you’re interested.

The more time passes, the more I feel nostalgic when I participate in awareness week.

When my efforts have a positive impact, the people I’m interacting with always remind me of how I felt when I was first diagnosed. I have been invited to do two dyspraxia awareness-focused live streams this year. So those feelings will probably come back in a pretty significant way.

Although my diagnosis was a really long time ago. It was the mid-1990s, I was four years old, and I turn 30 this month. So my memories of the diagnosis itself are imperfect, to say the least. The one thing I do remember quite vividly though is what happened in the days, years, and weeks that followed the diagnosis.

Having a diagnosis early on in my life didn’t solve everything. The biggest advantage of all though is that it gave me peace of mind about why I responded to my environment in such a distinct way. That part really matters, and it’s why having a diagnosis shouldn’t be a luxury or a privilege.

1. Self-awareness is tough to find, but you need it to tell people what you need + increase your chances of positive results.

For the first decade and a half of my life, I relied very heavily on adult authority figures in my life. I was convinced they knew better than I did in terms of what’s best for me. The internet wasn’t a widely available thing yet, so I couldn’t just ask Google. I was way too young and naive, and low-confidence and self-esteem clouded my judgment.

Rosemary Richings

Writer, editor, author, neurodiversity advocate with a lived experience, dyspraxic POV