My last child Yasmin who is ten years and nine months old was diagnosed with Dyspraxia when she was just over five years of age.
Dyspraxia is a delayed developmental disorder of the brain causing difficulties in activities requiring coordination and movement. Inside her Dyspraxia came dyslexia, dyscalculia (maths dyslexia) speech and language comprehension disorder and severe sensory difficulties.
 Yasmin would take a long time to learn a task.
In those early years before a diagnosis, life was very crazy with Yasmin, (my little angel).
The first thing that I noticed was unusual was her car sickness. Yasmin started to get car sickness at six months old. As soon as we got on the road to do basic groceries or errands, Yasmin would vomit up very severely. This happened every day and sometimes twice a day all the way till she was nearly eight years old. ( When her continuous sessions of Occupational therapy kicked in, it really turned things around!)
I spent endless hours pulled up on the side of roads and motor ways trying to clean up her and the car. I managed really well most of the time because as well as being sick, Yasmin would scream hysterically with discomfort or fear. I had to remain calm to reassure her, but a couple of times I had a couple of tantrums myself and scared both Yasmin and Sarah.
There was one time that is a bit funny. Yasmin was about three years old and I was picking up Sarah from the horse yard about six km away. It was a winter’s evening, so it was dark and rainy with heavy winds. And it happened, Yasmin said ‘Sick, sick!’ I got Sarah to pass a bag back to her, (At this point Yasmin could hold a bag to get sick in, it helped a lot!) Yasmin proceeds to get sick and is crying hysterically. I reach back and take the bag when she’s finished, (No I don’t stop the car and pull in till it’s over, I was really tired and just needed to get home:) )I hand the bag to Sarah to hold, (Sarah’s thirteen at the time) “No, Ugh, No! I can’t hold it!” She squeals. “Oh for God’s sake Sarah! Throw it out the window!” I say. (I forgot to mention, that Yasmin has to have the window down in the car in freezing conditions!) Sarah throws the bag out of her window up front and the bag of vomit flies into Yasmin’s window at the back! Going all over Yasmin and the car! “Ahghghgh!” I scream, (No I still don’t stop the car!) I had to put Yasmin straight into the bath (And water hurts her!) and I cleaned the car the next morning. (I went through a lot of car seats and cars!)
On one of her last bouts of sickness, (I have to share this) we were traveling to JFK Airport in a smelly taxi cab. It was a hot summer day and there was a lot of traffic. The lovely Haiti guy was really chatty, but he was jamming on the breaks every couple of minutes. Yasmin was crying, she felt really ill. The inevitable happens. Thankfully we had one plastic bag and Yasmin filled it well and then I felt so ill, I had to get sick too! As Myself and Yasmin were vomiting in the bag, the taxi guy was saying to my husband, “Are they ok?” And my hubby says, “Just keep driving, they’re grand,” The smell was killing him!
Yasmin said later, “Oh Mam, your sick really smelled!”
In the last five years of solid help for Yasmin, she has come along way. Yes it took her a long time for her to learn to ride a bike and skip and swim, (mastering swimming in the last year!) And she had many injuries from falling while just playing, broken leg, arms, elbows, wrists, head bump, and nasty gashes.
I was a nervous wreck by the time she started pony lessons at age five and after many falls, you wouldn’t believe what she has mastered in pony riding today! She says it is her passion. (Pony riding is very good for children with difficulties)
 Yasmin loves school (Rathbeggan National school) and all her friends. She knows she’s a bit different in ways, but she also knows everybody is different. Although she finds literal and numerical work difficult, she is eager to learn.
Her planning and organizational skills and showers are something that I’m going to be helping with for a long time, but I’m happy to do it.
There were a hard few years and I am grateful to all who has helped Yasmin achieve her milestones.
Now, as she approaches puberty age, I ask her, “Will I show you that book on body changes for growing girls?” And she says.
“Not yet mammy.”
Jean xx

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