This week (5th – 10th October) is Dyspraxia awareness week so I’d like to share some information about Neuro-diversity, specifically Dyspraxia.
On Saturday 10th, the documentary film that I have made, #FatLadsCantClimb, based around my Everesting attempt will become live on my Youtube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NTDRMLmPuWc). To find out more, just type #FatLadsCantClimb into the search bar on facebook and you’ll see what has already been posted and the event too and I will also be hosting a live Q&A (https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/x/fatladscantclimb-qa-session-tickets-124127766491) where I will be taking questions about whatever you’d like to ask me…
You may be reading this because you know who I am through Cycling and be more familiar with me talking (or writing in this instance) about bikes or an event, or more likely some daft idea for a ride that might not even be possible to do! If this is the case, I’d like to ask you to bear with me as you read on. This is not specifically about cycling or bikes but it is about endurance and determination and where that skill-set comes from.
Some of you may already know that I am dyspraxic and live with depression; in fact, I hope that most of you already know that as I feel like it’s quite important to raise awareness about hidden disabilities as a matter of course. In the very nature of the fact that someone who has a hidden disability like a mental health condition or a specific learning difficulty does not display any physical characteristics, it’s really easy for our awareness to slip and for discrimination to take place without any acts of malice. I have no specific, high profile case to cite and no data to support it, but I’ve been there personally and I’ve taught young people who have been there too.
I don’t believe that anyone sets out to dis-advantage and marginalise people like me in day to day life so there isn’t anything that people need to stop doing so that Neuro-diverse people are included but there is something that you can do and its easy!
If someone is behaving in a way that seems different, its probably because they are thinking or experiencing the world in a way that is different.
I’d like to point out that I didn’t do my Everesting attempt to raise money for a charity, but I did do it for a good cause (raising awareness of Neurodiversity) and this is the part where I ask you to give; not money, but time. Watching #FatLadsCantClimb will cost you 24minutes and might help you to understand the subtle differences between how we all experience the world. I’d also appreciate you spending 5 minutes to forward this, along with a quick note from you, onto a friend, colleague or family member who you think may benefit or find it interesting.
If you don’t know about Neuro-diversity, please ask. I think a lot of people nod along without asking the question on their mind for fear of it being seen as rude or ignorant where actually it could make a big difference to the way we understand each other: I obviously, can only speak for me, which is where some of the social awkwardness around this stuff lies. The next person might really dislike explaining how they are!
To make it easier for you to come up with the questions, here are a few topics that they might fit into…
- My cycling achievements (please stroke my ego!)
- Questions about cycling
- Specific Learning Difficulties
- Neurolinguistic Programming
- Being a fat lad and wearing lycra in public!
- How to get into cycling
- Learning to ride a bike
- My strategies
- How to create your own strategies
- Anything else (literally anything: if I can’t or don’t feel comfortable answering it, I’ll just move on or answer privately later!)