Focusing on Dyspraxia: Reading and Writing (Part 1)

Focusing on Dyspraxia: Reading and Writing (Part 1)

Over the last year I have posted a number of blog articles about my journey from childhood to my official diagnosis of Dyspraxia at the age of eighteen. Over this year I will be focusing more closely on certain areas which Dyspraxia can cause difficulties; the first being reading and writing.

Children with Dyspraxia, and in some adult cases, may have problems with reading and writing including spelling, comprehension and handwriting. According to the Dyspraxia Foundation limited concentration and poor listening skills, and literal use of language may have an effect on reading and spelling ability. A child may be able to read well but not understand some of the concepts in the language. The child may also be reluctant to read aloud because of articulation difficulties or because they lack self-confidence.

It may be surprisingly to learn, because now I study English Literature and Creative Writing at University of Hertfordshire, but throughout my childhood I found reading and writing incredibly challenging. One of my nemeses was and still is handwriting, one of the many areas which Dyspraxia often presents itself in. My handwriting was relatively poor in the sense that my letters were often very big and I could not write in between the lines. During handwriting lessons I would often have to ask the teacher for help. When it came to comprehension tasks I found it hard to string sentences together aloud and on the page. Nevertheless as time progressed I was showing signs of having a good imagination and I occasionally wrote stories about ghosts and haunted houses, but these stories were rarely completed.

I will never forget the few weeks leading up to my Year Six SATs. My mum and I were in the kitchen trying to find words I could learn to put into my writing in order to impress my teachers. One word in particular I remember learning was ‘sumptuous’. Amazingly the writing exercise we had in our tests was about food, so I remember trying to put this word in my descriptive exercise. Naturally I spelt the sumptuous as ‘sumptous’, sorry Mum. In the end I achieved a Level Four in English. When looking back on this I am happy considering the challenges which Dyspraxia often presents with handwriting, comprehension and spelling.

This is actually one of my better pieces of handwriting in 2005 when I was eleven years old…Copyright © 2015- Jake Borrett. All rights reserved.

 Reading was another difficulty of mine throughout my childhood. Before the age of eight I had very little interest in reading. My parents would often read stories to me and I would not grasp the meaning behind the adventurers the characters were having. My mum asked a friend for book suggestions that would get me interested. Mum’s friend suggested Dav Pilkey’s ‘Captain Underpants’ and Francesca Simon’s ‘Horrid Henry’ as her son really enjoyed these books. Strangely enough I loved these books too. Although it was a big obstacle grasping the language I was enjoying spending time learning about the attack of the ‘Talking Toilets’ and why Horrid Henry hated his brother Perfect Peter.

I personally recommend Pilkey and Simon’s series of books as they were my first stepping stones into enjoying literature. This interest was shown in Year Three when we were asked to write to our favourite author. I wrote to Francesca Simon. No one got a response except me.  I am very grateful for the reply and if you ever come across this blog post, thank you.

Francesca Simon’s kind message:
‘Hi Jake!
I am glad to know I have a number one fan! The new one is called “Horrid Henry and The Bogey Babysitter” and it is coming out in July. Keep reading!
Francesca Simon’
Copyright © 2015- Jake Borrett and Francesca Simon. All rights reserved. 

Those with Dyspraxia often have an increased difficulty with areas connected to reading and writing. I still find reading and writing tough in areas despite studying English Literature and Creative at degree level. However every bit of encouragement you can give can help with self-confidence and make us more willing to learn. I will be looking at this encouragement in the second part of ‘Focusing on Dyspraxia: Reading and Writing’. Until then thank you for the great support you wonderful people.

Stunning YouTube Videos (8): Mid-2015 Edition

Warning: Some of the videos in this article may contain adult content

Disclaimer: I do not own the rights to any of the YouTube videos embedded in this article. All rights are reserved to YouTube and the YouTube Artists mentioned on this page.
If I have breached any issues, copyright or otherwise, please do get in contact with me and I will be happy to remove your video on your request. Thank you for reading.

Hey everyone! Jake here!

There has been a long silence over ‘Stunning YouTube Videos’ but I can now confirm the blog feature is back and hopefully this time for good. If you are unaware this blog feature has been created to applaud the brilliantly entertaining and deeply emotive videos across the internet.

So are we ready for the Mid-2015 edition? What videos have been chosen this time around?

Video 1: Kittens Meet Puppies For The First Time
‘Kittens Meet Puppies For The First Time’ is one for all you animal lovers out there. The BuzzFeed video shows what happens when kittens are first introduced to puppies for the first time. One YouTuber made an interesting comment that ‘prejudice is not inherent, but taught’. Cats and dogs are stereotypically supposed to hate one another but here are shown to be rather playful. Whether or not you enjoy the deeper message or I hope you enjoy the cuteness and chaos that runs throughout as Edvard Grieg’s ‘In the Hall of the Mountain King’ is played in the background. Are you a kitten or a puppy person?

Copyright © 2015- by BuzzFeedVideo. All rights reserved.

Video 2: One-Minute Time Machine | Sploid Short Film Festival · Official Selection
‘One-Minute Time Machine’ is a brilliant short film created by a number of talented people including director Devon Avery. The plot states that each time Regina rejects his advances, James pushes a red button and tries again, all the while he is unaware of the reality and consequences of his action. The musical score, the directing, the writing and the acting should be applauded as it comes together to create a humorous but also a real meaningful pieces. There are many ways to read this short film but one is to suggest that we should live in the moment. Please note that ‘One-Minute Time Machine’ contains adult humour.

Copyright © 2015- by Sploid. All rights reserved. 

Video 3: My Shoes [MAPS Film School]
MAPS Film School have done an excellent job in creating their short film ‘My Shoes’. The plot description states ‘My Shoes’ is ‘a fable of life’s appearance’. There are many ways to interpret this story but one way is that we should try to appreciate that we have and not to be jealous of others because we do not know their circumstances. Overall this film is shot with precision and heart. The thought provoking piece will be on your mind hours after you have watched it.

Copyright © 2013- by MediaArtProduction. All rights reserved.


Thanks to everyone involved in the creation of such brilliant videos for all of us to enjoy. If you liked them, then why not subscribe to their pages?

See you again soon where a video of yours could be chosen.

Until then thanks for the great support and have a good week.