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Archive for November, 2011

Tiramisu And The Dyspraxic Diner

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

Dear Rachel

Dyspraxia is often accurately, if unkindly, known as ‘clumsy child syndrome’, but adults have it too: Harry Potter has the condition, as did Albert Einstein.   If Winston Churchill had had it, his famous broadcast to the Empire and Commonwealth as the Germans threatened seabourne invasion would’ve been ‘We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets; we shall fight in the hills.  We shall never surrender.  Blast it, I’ve knocked my bloody brandy over’.  It’s that kind of a thing, really.

If you had your house rewired so that you could drive a bumper car from room to room, or even across rooms to feed the goldfish or put the kettle on, it would be similar to the interactions that a dyspraxic child has with their environment.   I don’t have children and I don’t have dyspraxia, and while the former would appear to be creeping up the agenda, the latter is unlikely to change.  I would suggest, however, that our allegedly impoverished public sector could save a great deal of money spent on conventional testing for infant dyspraxia by simply getting children to walk through a wide doorway with no distractions whatsoever, and seeing what happens.  I myself was sitting near a doorway of this type at a dinner party recently.   Had I not already known the the daughter of my host had very mild dyspraxia, I would’ve offered a prognosis to this end with no paediatric training whatsoever, on account of the number of times she charged into the back of my chair while walking through at steady pace with no distractions at all, then pinballed into the doorframe while trying to correct her trajectory.   This was before the dinner had started.   After the dinner had started, and in support of a conversational point, I managed to say ”Basically, I just can’t stand children’, offering a quick ‘No offence’ to all the people seated on my right, none of whom were over 10.


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