Dani Plung’s Story

 

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.

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For instance, while a lot of my peers dived into sports as a source of recreation and release, I found that, because of my coordinational difficulties, sports didn’t appeal to me in the same way that they appealed to them. So, as a supplement, I found myself drawn to creative writing—especially poetry.  I wasn’t the best at it, at first, but with dedication and practice, eventually I reached a level of aptitude that I’m proud of, and actually compete in local Poetry Slams. This is the sort of attitude that I try and apply to my everyday life, and especially to things that are related to dyspraxia.

Organization, for example is an area that gives me some issues, but, though it takes me a lot more time and effort to stay organized than it probably does for peers without dyspraxia, I attempt to stay determined and solider on, knowing that with enough effort and patience with myself, I will eventually achieve. Furthermore, when I occasionally manage to organize a binder, I am able to feel very accomplished, because I know how hard I worked to do so. I can appreciate the little things.

I won’t pretend that it’s always been easy, though. It hasn’t. For a long time, I only saw myself as my diagnosis—dyspraxic first and myself second. I focused so much on what DCD inhibited me from doing, I was blind to the infinitely more things that I could do in spite of it.

What I have come to realize is that dyspraxia is something that I deal with, sometimes even embrace, but it never has to be who I am. Every person is just that: a person, not a diagnosis.

If you would like to get in contact with Dani or have any questions for her, feel free to use our Contact Us page, putting in the subject “For Dani:”.