Donal Fitzpatrick is registered with Dyspraxia Ireland.
What is Dyspraxia?
Dyspraxia is a disability which affects a person’s ability to organise themselves and their movement. It affects hand-eye co-ordination, spatial awareness and short-term memory. It causes problems with perception of distance and with the speed of moving objects and people.
Dyspraxics may have problems following instructions, which require remembering several steps in sequence (such as driving) which can prove quite difficult. Dyspraxic's struggle to distinguish left from right and will have extremely poor sense of direction.
To be able to steer a car, to concentrate and judge distances, to use both hands and feet together and to remember how to carry out a sequence of tasks all at the same while travelling at speed can be very daunting.
Developmental dyspraxia is a motor learning difficulty that can affect planning of movements and co-ordination as a result of brain messages not being accurately transmitted to the body. It is a hidden disability present from birth, it affects between 10 and 15 per cent of the population and is part of the umbrella of specific learning difficulties, which also includes dyslexia, ADHD and Asperger’s Syndrome.
Many adults who are diagnosed as Dyspraxic's identify their disability through difficulty or reluctance in learning to drive, while others are affected without knowing it. They might blame their driving difficulties on nerves, not recognising them as a symptom rather than a cause.
If you find yourself struggling with co-ordinating and multi-tasking when driving, there are a few things for you to consider.
Take some lessons with Fitzpatrick driving school.
Consider an automatic car. Less co-ordination is needed and there is less to think about.
Have extra wing mirrors fitted for easier parking and reversing.
Mark the right and left sides of the steering wheel with a label to help you to remember which side is right and which is left.
Plan and prepare your journey as much as possible before you set out. Write down the directions and clip them to the dashboard.
Take frequent breaks if you find concentrating difficult
Ask for a Supervisor’s test and explain to him\her your situation. They are very understanding and familiar with Dyspraxia.
Information found on this web site was drawn from Dyspraxia.co.uk and Dyspraxia.ie and
my own personal experiences of teaching. I specialise in teaching students with Dyspraxia