Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Dyspraxia and learning to drive

So I planned to take part in Blogtober '17 - blogging everyday and linking up to HexMumBlog. However, such is my life at the minute it is now day three and this is the first post I have written!

Time seems to be slipping away rather quickly  and I am not the most organised person, in fact it is thanks to the dyspraxia - lack of organisation is one of many traits/symptoms.  There are many symptoms and signs - poor organisation, poor posture and fatigue, poor coordination to name just a few.

Bizarrely I didn't even know I was dyspraxic until I was in my thirties and ready to drop out of uni.  As a child I was the clumsy one, the one that needed to pay more attention in school, the daydreamer, the child that never managed to finish their work, the one that couldn't throw or catch a ball so was never picked for teams or was always the last person to be picked.  Even as a mature student who struggled so much, I thought I was stupid, I couldn't concentrate, write fast enough, my short term memory was quite shocking, note taking during lectures just never happened - I can not write, and listen at the same time. I was so luckily that one of the counsellors at college was aware of dyspraxia and managed to persuade me to stay - I will forever be grateful to that college counsellor. 

I saw an educational psychologist and the rest is history as they say.  A little help in the right places and some extremely helpful software, the person that left school with only 3 GCSE's at grade C (I did achieve a couple more later on) managed to earn a Certificate of Higher Education with Merit in computer programming and is now studying for a physics degree!

But do you know what I can't do? I can't drive...I am 38 years old and I just can't drive! I have tried, many times, never even got as far as test day which I guess is no surprise considering it took me three attempts to pass my cycling proficiency all the way back in primary school, no really, it actually did!  Every driving lesson I took, my brain could not compute how to change gear, signal, stop, go forward, clutch, gas at the same time and don't even get me started on which is left and which is right....

Image Source

But I do plan to learn, I will learn.  I will one day get my old style volkswagon beetle that I lust after! After my diagnosis (I am a little loathe to call it a diagnosis - it's not an illness after all - but just can't think of another word to use), I found the Dyspraxia Foundation site - a wonderful resource both for the person who has dyspraxia and those in that persons life - teacher, parent etc.

The site gives a number of useful tips for adults with dyspraxia who wish to learn to drive (and for many other scenarios in life). 

Some of the tips suggested for the adult with dyspraxia who wishes to learn to drive:

  • Learning in an automatic car rather than a manual, this would remove one element of struggle.
  • For the written element, it is OK to ask for extra time.
  • Look for schools that cater for learner drivers with disabilities 
For futher information about learning to drive with dyspraxia I would highly recommend checking out Dyspraxia Foundation - Driving with Dyspraxia page.

The site is also a useful resource for many other situations for you or your child (my eldest is also dyspraxic) may encounter.


Friday, 15 September 2017

Leek and Potato Soup

Well Autumn is well and truly here! And with Autumn come walks through crunchy fallen leaves, nights drawing in earlier, snuggling with warm jumpers, the heating on (yes, I have put it on much to Dude's chargrin!), hot chocolate and warm, nourishing soup!

One easy soup I enjoy with a warm, crusty bread is leek and potato and it really is so quick which as a busy Mum it is a bonus!

Picture bread torn and on wooden board.  flowers in jug vase


The ingredient list is short with very little prep involved including very little measuring also!

  • Leeks - approximately 3 large, chopped length ways and then into inch long pieces.
  • Potato - 1 large, peeled and cubed into one inch cubes (or there about, no need for a ruler!)
  • Stock - I use chicken but you could use vegetable instead if you are vegan/vegetarian  I use about 1 litre.
  • garlic = 3 cloves, crushed
  • onion - 1/2 large onion finely chopped
  • celery - one stalk, chopped 
  • oil - about a tbsp
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Butter - about a teaspoon
  • Crusty bread or home made croutons (I just chop up crusty bread into chunks, toss in plenty of oil, season and roast until golden brown) to serve.


1. Whatever I am cooking, I like to prep everything before I start cooking so that the actually cooking bit goes smoothly and I know that I have everything I need!   So first chop your leeks length ways and wash thoroughly - they often have sand and soil inside them - the only time sand is acceptable in your food is sandwiches at the beach!  Once washed, chop into smaller pieces - about an inch in size.  Also, chop onion, crush garlic and prepare stock if using cubes.

2. Gently fry onion, celery and garlic in the oil and butter until the onion is just softened.

3.  Add cubed potato and continue to gently fry for about a minute.

4. Add stock and bring to boil.

5 Add chooped leeks and reduce the heat to a gentle simmer.  Simmer for about 20 minutes.

6.Season to taste and then blend - I find using an immersion blender easiest and least messy!  You can have as lumpy or as smooth as you like.

Tip: If you have a little one joining you with soup - then either really thick soup would be best  or putting soup in a cup for them (but you obviously don't need reminding test the temperature before giving to them).  My little one enjoys soup in a cup and it's not too messy - well as non-messy as a two year old and soup can be! ha!

Hope you enjoy!