Testimony: "dyspraxic, I was harassed and diagnosed only in adulthood"
There are handicaps that are invisible, as if enclosed in a body that looks healthy. Julien D'Arco suffers from dyspraxia, a disorder of executive functions that makes tasks combining coordination and automation difficult.
In appearance, when the thirty-something treats his house and does the housework, nothing shows the difficulties he faces. I'm having trouble knowing where to start, I'll start a task and forget to finish it, moving on to something elseexplains the young Breton. Make my shoelaces, get dressed, play football ... It's complicated. "
Diagnosed at only 21 years old, Julien spent all his schooling trying to " compensate for" . Like 6% of dyspraxic children, the student often forgets his school affairs, writes "like a grandmother"And has difficulty practicing the sports required. " When I had to play football, I was wrong team. I was lost. It's like everyone is idling around me. "
"Tabasse" by some, misunderstood by others
Julien's involuntary behavior comes up against the incomprehension of his entourage at school. From primary school to high school, he is harassed by his classmates who insult him, give him " ridiculous nicknames " . Some go up to the "Clobber" .
Not to mention his teachers who, as Julien says, lack compassion. "They thought I was doing it on purpose, that I wanted to draw attention, and fortunately some were very supportive."
Faced with difficulties, Julien works tirelessly. " I wanted revenge. I have spent my life trying to succeed. So my notes did not alert my relatives, which delayed the diagnosis. I locked myself in my schooling, I did not have many friends in high school and high school. "
It is only in graduate school, in occupational therapy school, that his teachers, specialists in visible and invisible disabilities, begin to talk to him about dys disorders. If his diagnosis is late, the young man assures that he is lucky. " If I had not been oriented towards this course, I would surely have had to wait several more years before understanding where my difficulties came from. The steps were accelerated. "
Swimming and writing, his only refuges
Despite his efforts and good results in theoretical subjects, his difficulties in the fields that require practice push him to stop his studies. He is reorienting towards his only passion: swimming. "The consequences of dyspraxia vary from case to case, some can not swim, because it takes a lot of coordination, but I do not know why." Swimming allows him to forget humiliation, frustration, anger and pain.
He finds a second weapon: writing. During his years in occupational therapy, he began writing a book. In the beginning, "It was just for me, to do me good". Despite the difficulties involved in designing a book, the man succeeds and even decides to be published *. "I wanted to talk to other people with 'dys' disorders because what I've been through, all the dys are living it." Through his testimony, he wishes "federate"And "Sensitize".
"Dyspraxia is double pain: we have cognitive difficulties and we have to face the eyes of others, all those who do not believe us or who make fun, we cry our pain, but hands arise on our mouth to tell us 'shut up, you've never had anything.'
Today, Julien is trying to move forward. A lifeguard, he teaches children with dyspraxia and autism. If for years, he thought that the practice of a sport was not compatible with his illness, he ends up finding happiness by combining the two. "Working with 'dys', it allows me to dissociate dyspraxia from my daily life.When I come home in the evening, I try to put aside my disorder.I had a huge delay in life, now I can say that I enjoy every passing day. "
* My path of dyspraxia, story of an invisible handicap by Julien D'Arco, published by Eyrolles.
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