Louis Barnett is one of Britain’s most successful chocolatiers. His tasty chocolate bars are sold in nine countries and counting, and they’re also helping raise money to protect endangered animal species around the world.
By any measure, Louis’ story is amazing. He started his company, Chokolit Ltd., when he was just 12 years old and has built it into a thriving global venture in just seven years.
Jordan didn’t talk until he was 2, and for years, his mother had to translate so others could understand him. But each time she pressed doctors and educators for answers, they had none to explain why Jordan was lagging behind children his own age.
Luckily, his mother discovered the Dyspraxia Foundation USA Web site and began piecing together a diagnosis based on what she learned from other parents and the organization’s founder, Warren Fried.
Our daughter Phoebe is two and a half years old and at the age of 19 months she was diagnosed with Dyspraxia. After months of reading and researching on my own, we had an idea that it was Dyspraxia that we were dealing with. Phoebe had missed many of her milestones such as rolling, sitting, babbling and walking. She was worked up for seizures, stroke, cerebral palsy and many other syndromes and disorders. It was our neurologist who finally made the diagnosis of Dypsraxia.
When our son Collin was born, his older sister had just turned 3 and his brother was just 17 months older than he. My husband and I, just by default, had a pretty good sense of what was happening developmentally by the time Collin came along. Also, I am a physical therapist and my husband is a sports medicine physician, so we also have some medical background.
“We really didn’t want to give Luke a label, but more importantly, we didn’t want to give Luke an excuse not to try by using dyspraxia as a crutch,” said Dawne.
Faye just turned 3 in April. She was a full term, healthy baby. She was a late walker at 19months and was diagnosed with hypotonia (low tone) and Globally Developmentally Delayed at time of walking. She began PT and wearing AFOs at 22months. She was diagnosed with Dyspraxia in September 2013. Since she was 19 months old, she was involved with our state’s Early Intervention program. Our EI team was illiterate to the Dyspraxia diagnosis. Faye has been receiving regular PT and aquatic therapy through Children’s Rehab since aging out of the EI program. She receives Speech through the school system and has had a dire need of OT since September 2013 (through her neurologist), but has yet to receive it. EI did not see a need for OT and Sensory therapy and therefore did not implement services despite my knowledge in the field and will to fight for my daughter. We hope that through volunteer medical help, she will be picked up for OT services.
Omar Alexander Espinosa
In the beautiful autumn of 2007 in the month of October God gave us the joy of being parents for the first time to a beautiful child, and we name him Omar Alexander, whom with love we call Xander. At first everything seemed normal, but I began to notice some developmental delays. Everyone told me that I don’t have to worry, that I shouldn’t compare him with other children, etc.. But my instinct as a mother told me that my baby needed help.
He spent his entire childhood knowing he was different from other children. He felt stupid and struggled with depression. He grew up feeling isolated. He was bullied horribly and even felt rejected by certain family members.
It wasn’t until Warren moved to England at age 19 that he learned about dyspraxia and realized he had the disorder. In the United Kingdom, Warren found the support and acceptance he’d been searching for his entire life.
Joey Gaskins Jr. was born on Grand Bahama Island in the Bahamas in 1986. As a child he displayed difficulties tying his shoes and adopting the right pen grip among other challenges, and found subjects like math, handwriting and spelling especially hard. In the Bahamas there were no resources for children with learning disabilities and thanks to the patience and dedication of his parents and a few teachers, Joey begun to excel at academics. Toward the end of his high school career, Joey was chosen to fill the prestigious position of Head Boy at the Freeport Anglican High School in Freeport, Grand Bahama.
I am the mother of a 4 year 7 month old boy. He came in to this life 12 weeks early. Our beautiful baby boy was born October 23, 2007. He spent the first 11 weeks of his life in the NICU at Central Baptist Hospital. Maddox went through a lot during his stay at the NICU. He was such a good baby during his stay and even when we brought him home. Because of his premature birth he was at several different doctors for a myriad of therapies. We love being parents to Maddox and are so thankful to have him.
Claire Tisne Haft
Claire Tisne Haft moved to Greenwich 7 years ago, relocating from Harlem with her family. Her eldest son Louis was diagnosed with Dyspraxia when he was 5 years old and currently attends Eagle Hill Southport.
Twins Aidan and Colin are 6 years old and the best of friends. Colin was diagnosed with dyspraxia at age 4 and began receiving early intervention in preschool.
When I asked her what was hard, she said, “Everything! I would study all my words and the spellings for hours at night. I would test myself and have it all right and then by the next day, when I took the test, I couldn’t remember anything. I got a zero.” She has told me that story more than once. It is a source of pain and frustration for her because she didn’t know why this was happening and why she couldn’t remember. She said, “I used to hide under the bed so I wouldn’t have to go to school. I would stay there a few hours and then come out. I told my mom I had a sore throat.”
Victoria “Tori” Madison
Seven Years ago we were so excited/overjoyed to welcome our first child – a girl Victoria Madison “Tori”. My pregnancy was PERFECT! My doctor asked me what vitamins I was taking because my count was perfect/over the top. I read pregnancy books, nursing books, took Lamaze (sp) classes/birthing classes with my husband.kI listened to her heart beat and played music on headphones put it up to my tummy so that she could hear. Interviewed various GY doctors to pick out the best one to deliver her. Was promised that someone would be there in the office if my doctor wasn’t available-met backup drs. as well. Packed two suitcases lol in case I stayed in the hospital (most baby clothes lol as I couldn’t figure out which one to pick).
Micah was born 6 weeks early, arriving on December 19th as an early Christmas present to our family. Our third son, he was instantly spoiled and never put down. Although small, he proved to be very healthy, leaving the hospital with me after the usual stay.
After decades on the fringes of the Scottish music scene, at 49 I have finally started getting somewhere. Last year a BBC radio DJ featured me in a live session, describing me as “Scotland’s best-kept secret”. I’m delighted at the recognition, but wonder what role my dyspraxia has played in all this.
My name is Olivia. I am 17 years old and will be celebrating my 18th birthday in November of 2015. I learned of my official Dyspraxia diagnosis in middle school. It took me many years to accept this and come to the conclusion that my disorder is a difference, but not a flaw or a disadvantage.
Kevin was born in Nov 19 2004 he was a healthy baby and full term. When Kevin was a month old he contracted the RSV Virus and went into respitory arrest and was admitted to Westchester Children Hospital , after a week he was sent home with a clean bill of health. It was not till Kevin turned one that we noticed something was not right . we thought it was the last effects of the RSV and complications but our pediatrician said it was not and he seemed ok. When Kevin turned two we noticed his speech was not developing like how his sisters was at that age again we went to our pediatrician and he assured us that Kev was fine and he was just hitting his milestones lil later. We watched kevin for another year and we felt that something still was not right he was playing and stumbling alot and his speech was still not fully developed. his sensitivity to water was like it was hurting him . This time Kevin was 3yro at the time and almost ready to start school in the next year or so . Our Doctor finally refered us to a child Neruologist and it was confirmed that Kevin did indeed have a problem .
I’m Dani Plung, from the great city of Pittsburgh, PA! I’m seventeen, was diagnosed with Dyspraxia when I was five years old, and, as a result, have been knowingly living with it for twelve years now. It hasn’t always been easy, but I am convinced that I am all the stronger for having grown up with what we might refer to as “a hidden handicap,” both because it’s it’s taught me what is really important, and also it has pushed me into areas of interests that I’m not sure I would’ve found otherwise.
Michael Francis Quinn
Both at Elementary and High School, Michael underachieved academically. Despite adequate teaching and a stimulating learning and home environment, Michael was making very little progress. As a result, his self-esteem hit rock bottom. He was convinced that he was stupid and not as good as the other children in his class. Michael had several difficulties that impacted negatively on his ability to fulfil his potential as a student. Typically, his difficulties included specific aspects of learning such as reading, writing, spelling, planning and carrying out sensory and motor tasks and movement. In Ireland, during the 1990s, when Michael was attending school, there were limited structures and provisions in mainstream schools in place to identify children with learning difficulties such as Dyspraxia.
Thomas was born on May 24, 2002 in Pinsk in the Brest Region of Belarus. He had a difficult birth and had to be given supplemental oxygen. Thomas spent the first two months of his life in the hospital and then the following six months in an orphanage. On Feb. 11, 2003, he was adopted by his parents Patty and Walter Rimkunas and was moved to his forever home in Seymour, CT, USA.
I remember the day that I realized I was different than my friends. I looked the same as they did and I liked the same things they liked, but something was different. It never bothered me before that it took more practice to be able to jump rope. It never made a difference to me that they could tie their shoes, use scissors or write…and I couldn’t. I didn’t know that I was doing the motor skills development exercises we did at school incorrectly. I thought I was doing a splendid job and I had a lot of fun with them. That all changed when I moved up to first grade and the teacher brought out the red bouncy ball. It was time to get introduced to dodge ball and I was introduced with a blow to the head on the very first throw.
Diagnosed with dyspraxia when she was a young child, Bri remembers feeling anxious and different because she couldn’t do things like play catch, ride a bike, jump rope, swing or write well.
“I felt different from other kids because I couldn’t catch or throw and gym class was always an issue,” she said. “I just couldn’t always execute things.”
But Bri soon discovered she had other talents, and that’s a message she shares with other children struggling with dyspraxia.
My name is Brandon Sutcliffe I am 10 years old. I was diagnosed with Dyspraxia when I was 6 years old. After I was diagnosed with Dyspraxia my parents started taking me to karate. I am currently a blue belt and a member of the black belt club. They also began taking me weekly to get both occupational and physical therapy. In OT and PT I worked on all of my gross and fine motor skills. I learned how to skip, button and hold a pencil correctly. It was in first grade when school started to become hard for me.
When my 18 year old daughter came home from work tonight I told her that I had spoken with Mr. Fried and he would like her to be an advocate for Dyspraxia. She said”I would love to do that!” Then she proceeded to look it up on her phone and was giggling at what the characteristics of a person with Dyspraxia is and said “WoW! That describes me to a tee!” Since first grade, we have been working with Jenny, and she never even looked it up to understand exactly what she has. That makes me laugh. She has always said “I am amazing!” That’s all she needed.