How Does Dyspraxia And Dyslexia Affect Us In Relationships? by Dyslexia Dublin © 2015
A strong, healthy relationship can be one of the best and most important supports you will ever experience in your life. A good, strong relationship improves all aspects of your life, it helps strengthen and maintain a healthy existence, it settles and improves your mind and it can also help you maintain and develop connections with others. However, if the relationship isn't working, it can also be a tremendous drain and strain. Relationships are for the long haul and you should reap what you sow.
As has been mentioned in previous articles, we are made up of left, right and those with left and right brains… this is important to understand as communication between like-minded people is, for the most part simple, straightforward and often without problem. However, communications between a left brain dominant and a right brained dominant can have its fair share of moments… equal left/ right brained should find communicating with others less problematic.
Dyspraxia and dyslexia can affect us in many of our relationship’s, families… friends, school peers and also loving relationships. One of the key elements that can cause mood swings and distancing is so often the fear of being let down or letting others down, through poor judgement or negative criticism (often rings bells from the past), doing or saying the wrong thing at the wrong time (this is mainly down to lack of confidence). We can also miss the point due to our slow processing speed, which leads to incorrectly picking up the wrong signals and we can also appear shy. I had a huge problem with dancing due to co-ordination… this was a real inhibitor, as those that could dance always got the girls. We also tend to be very trusting; we don’t always see the worst in others until it’s too far down the road and, coupled to this, we tend to fall in love very quickly.
I think this is down to the draw of being loved, attention and the initial lack of criticism; the wheels can very quickly fall of when the relationship settles down and our partners tire of our ways and then start to pull us up with regularity due the many things we struggle to do correctly. This is hard and often brings us back to all the criticism we have had to face from so many throughout our lives.
It’s so important to get through conflict. Some couples talk things out quietly, while others may raise their voices and passionately disagree. The key in a strong relationship, though, is not to be fearful of conflict. You need to be safe to express things that bother you without fear of retaliation, and be able to resolve conflict without humiliation, degradation or insisting on being right and this can be difficult with those of us who have dyspraxia. We by nature have excellent memories, we don’t tend to let things bother us in the early stages and we store things, often quoting letter and verse at the person we are upset or arguing with.
Honest, direct communication is the mainstay of any relationship. When both people feel comfortable expressing their needs, fears and desires, trust and close bonds are maintained and indeed strengthened. Non-verbal cues, ie. body language like eye contact, leaning forward or away, or touching someone’s arm, are critical to communication and again this is an area that doesn't come as natural to a dyspraxic as it does to those who don’t suffer from the syndrome.
Touch has long been accepted as a fundamental part of human existence; however this can be a problem for those of us that have tactile processing issues. Studies on infants have shown the importance of regular, loving touch and holding has a long lasting benefit to early brain development. These benefits do not end in childhood. Life without physical contact with others is a lonely life indeed.
This article seems to have an adult flavour to it, however I would like to point out that some of these points would be relevant to our children too.
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Toby Lee, Dublin CETC © 2015
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