Male, 24

by Jamie

Hi Everyone!

I was diagnosed with a proprioceptive disorder when I was 4. I was the quentessential klutz as a kid. I ran into walls turning corners, would write so hard the pencil would snap in half, and pounded my feet every where I went! Thankfully my mother is a special ed teacher and recognized that something was "off" and my doctors were able to give us the reason. Starting at the age of 4 I went through 5 years of OT, doing it as many as three times a week. As a kid I was never the graceful sort and never quite excelled at traditional sports.

When I was 12 I became obsessed with speed skating during the Salt Lake City Olympics and begged my parents to help me get involved with the sport. However, I live in a very rural state that had exactly ZERO speed skating groups. They still put me in ice skating lessons though, and due to my weak ankle I needed to use figure skates for the added support. Quickly I realized that I had a passion for figure skating, and remarkably I did well! This summer will mark my 12th year of being on the ice, and by now I have risen to the upper levels of the US Figure Skating testing structure. I still struggle with my sensory disorder, and I'm still the quintessential klutz, but skating has increased my awareness of my body, and also has taught me coping skills so that I can make my body perform in a proficient way despite my sensory disorder. Sure, it still drives my coaches crazy when they say that want this leg here, or that arm there, and I immediately do the exact opposite (90% of the time though I could've sworn it was where they had wanted it...).

FOR PARENTS!! I encourage you to find a sport or activity that your child with a proprioceptive disorder is passionate about. Particularly if those activities (like ice skating) require them to be aware of their bodies, and utilize their fine motor skills. Activities like dance, yoga, or ice skating are great! While many young boys will not be passionate about ballet, or figure skating, even ice hockey will require them to use fine motor skills.

The article says, "Will they ever be a professional baseball player, ice skater, or gymnast? Probably not." Probably not, does not mean that they can't! Starting in January of 2014 I will be joining the cast of major touring ice show! Find something you kiddo likes and increases their body awareness, they'll thank you for it!!

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Nov 13, 2015
by: Regina

Thank you for your wise words....when first introduced to this medical issue, one can not but feel overwhelmed and have shown a light on the 'end' and have given many parents/grandparents hope and courage to keep walking this new path we have suddenly found in our way...thank you so much..and blessing on your new career..

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