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Featured Clumsiness

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by SliverOfSand, Mar 1, 2021.

  1. SliverOfSand

    SliverOfSand Well-Known Member

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    I’ve always been somewhat clumsy... constantly running into walls, stubbing my toes, tripping over my own feet, or slicing my hands on things I wouldn’t think could cut me (e.g. a wood table). I feel like the motor skills I have in my hands are much more refined than the rest of my body, probably because I spent my whole life drawing and painting. I think it gets worse the more tired I am, almost like I can’t hold myself together, lol. Lately, it’s been getting worse, and I’m getting a little bit tired of it. If I’m playing a sport and I have a lot of energy, I’m totally fine, but just walking around the house I’ve lived in for years is like a mine field. Does anyone else experience clumsiness, and if so, did you find that there is something that helped you deal with it?
     
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  2. SimonSays

    SimonSays A work in progress

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    Meditation practice/mindfulness practice helped me. I'm not generally clumsy, but the slower I am, the slower I move, helps me to be more aware, gives me more time to adjust, so that I'm not.

    I spent time living in a small space. A van I couldn't stand up in, or walk in when I made up the bed. I kept banging my head on things, and realised if I was going to stop (and not have to wear a helmet) I needed to become aware of myself more so I would not have to. I never stopped hitting my head entirely, but I could go ages without doing so. It took several months of mindfulness practice. Being slower. Noticing more. It worked. It just took time.
     
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  3. Au Naturel

    Au Naturel Au Naturel

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    Clumsiness is a very common trait with ASD people. It is a painful part of the autistic experience, especially children in sports-oriented environments. When I a kid, your ability to play sports was an important determinant of your social status. Being picked last for teams was a daily reminder of inferiority. As an adult, I have found it less limiting but still a problem.

    Proprioception is the sense that tells you exactly where your body parts are without you having to look. I think many people on the spectrum are particularly deficient in that area. I know I am. It leads to "bull in the china shop" situations. I have to intentionally slow down my movements and watch them closely or I bang into things. I also have problems with fine motor skills. My handwriting is atrocious despite years of effort on the part of exasperated teachers to correct it. (Of course, they thought it was because I just didn't care.)

    So I was horrible at sports that required agility, precision movement, and eye-hand coordination. I probably could have improved from horrible to just poor or even mediocre but the only kids who got that kind of supplemental attention were the naturally good athletes. I was unable to master touch typing - to this day I still need to see the keyboard and can only manage three fingers - and never was able to master fingering on the Sousaphone, the instrument I got stuck with in band. I'm no good at doing precision craftwork.

    OTOH, there were sports I could have done well at but they weren't part of my schooling. I could have been strong in weightlifting and track but I was so convinced I was useless in sports I never pursued them until after high school. I'm an excellent shot if I have time to aim (helped me in basic training) but am terrible at quick draw.

    Oh... and I have NO rhythm. I cannot keep a beat with anything less clear than a marching cadance. I can slow dance but anything else is a fail.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2021
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  4. Nervous Rex

    Nervous Rex High-functioning autistic V.I.P Member

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    Slowing down is what works best for me, too.

    Slowing down will also dramatically improve my handwriting. If I write slowly and watch my hand as I write, my handwriting is perfectly legible.

    Usually though, I just want to scribble some quick notes while working - I don't have the patience to permanently improve my handwriting.
     
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  5. Tom

    Tom Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    It's not universal with ASD but very common. I suspect it has to do with which particular ones of the many autism related genetic variations one has.
     
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  6. clg114

    clg114 Still crazy, after all these years. Staff Member V.I.P Member

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    I have always been very clumsy and have very bad handwriting. However, I am a big sports fan. For me, team sports are just for viewing. I am a big time football fan, both NCAA and NFL. I enjoy several individual sports and have spent a lot of time and money on them. I enjoy golf, shooting and in my younger days, motorcycle & snowmobile racing. While I enjoy these sports, I was just never very good at them.
     
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  7. SliverOfSand

    SliverOfSand Well-Known Member

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    Interesting. That could explain why I find it gets worse when I’m tired. I stop focusing on what I’m actually doing. It would drive me insane if I were to keep banging my head like that! Glad to hear that meditation helped you to deal with it. I should probably start focusing on making deliberate movements instead of just going on autopilot, since my autopilot sucks! :D

    This encapsulates my experiences with sports perfectly! The only reason I was picked in team sports was because of my height, and even then I was one of the last left. I was good at running, but I didn’t really care enough about it to actually compete more than once.

    The handwriting situation is funny, since my handwriting is pretty atrocious as well, but I am an artist, so I can draw things just fine. Or, when I’m creating a logo, if I draw the letters instead of just writing them, they’ll turn out fine. I learned this through some hand lettering books that said it’s more about drawing than writing. My family makes fun of me for being an artist, but not being able to write nicely.

    Things like touch typing or playing an instrument are fine, I’m no professional, but I don’t need to be looking down to do it. I think it’s because most of my special interests revolve around using fine motor skills. Rhythm in video games is fine, I actually love playing fast pace rhythm games. When it comes to dancing though, I just end up flailing around trying to do something that remotely resembles a dance move.
     
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  8. SimonSays

    SimonSays A work in progress

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    Exactly.
    It wasn't so much the meditation, it was being mindful and present. Focussing on my movements (which is a kind of meditation) so that I am aware of myself. That's what helped the most.
     
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  9. theporgsnest

    theporgsnest Well-Known Member

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    Can attest to this, my proprioception is awful. In my last house I had an attic room but it was like the concept of a sloped ceiling was new to my brain every time I went near the window, I was always managing to hit my head on it. (Also hope this isn't TMI for others here, but as a cis woman periods make it twice as worse for some reason)
    I can relate to your point about fine motor skills like writing and painting being the exception to the clumsiness. What do you like to paint?
    As has already been commented, slowing down and even stopping to gain more awareness helps. It can be frustrating some days that there isn't always a reason but if I see my anxiety is making things worse I can practice coping techniques such as mindfulness. Also it's not surprising that I seem to hurt myself the most when I am stressing or rushing - so I allow time and break things down into smaller steps.
     
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  10. Thinx

    Thinx Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Yes I am clumsy and bang into the furniture etc. I took a lot of trouble to improve my handwriting in my teens, I wrote slower and smaller. And it's still quite nice. Before I did that it was very untidy. I type with two fingers, but quite fast, and I am poor at sports or team games, but as a child and adult I have enjoyed cycling, swimming and walking. Yes I have to concentrate on movement related tasks, or I may drop or break things.
     
  11. Aspychata

    Aspychata Serenity waves, beachy vibes

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    Yes. l seriously need to elevate my scrawl into nice writing.
     
  12. OkRad

    OkRad μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος οὐλομένην V.I.P Member

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    I never used to be. Becoming so and it feels weird.
     
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  13. Markness

    Markness Young God

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    Be mindful with your movements and don’t rush anything physically. Get plenty of rest as well. But don’t beat yourself up for not doing so sooner. Mindfulness isn’t known as much as it should be and humanity is only beginning to understand it.
     
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  14. Magna

    Magna Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I have bad proprioception issues as well. I've always been accident prone and it's caused broken bones and I almost had to have a finger amputated due to accidents. I'm a poor judge of where I am in proximity to my surroundings for sure. I frequently bump into doorways when I go through them in the house for example. Thankfully I don't bruise easily.
     
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  15. Mia

    Mia Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Mine's become worse with age, last summer I had several accidents cycling, one was pretty bad. Not only does it have to do with people cutting me off on a cycling path, in those moments I lose focus, which upsets my balance as I veer off onto gravel or the opposite bike lane.

    As for art, I've been known to cut myself with exacto knives while cutting materials for collages, and while sharpening pencils and conte and pastels. Think I might have to eventually switch from large collages back to painting or media that does not require sharp blades. Or not do any cutting on days that I realize are clumsy days.

    Have discovered that when I'm fatigued I'm far more clumsy as a result. There seem to be a few days once in awhile where it escalates and then stops for awhile. Yoga and other sorts of exercise seem to help.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2021
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  16. _eri_bellehumeur

    _eri_bellehumeur Active Member

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    Mine was a lot worse when I was younger, but I still can't walk down the street and look at eye level when I walk- my eyes are constantly turned to the ground or I trip over my own darn feet. Like others, yoga and exercises specifically aimed at coordination have helped.
     
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  17. Gift2humanity

    Gift2humanity Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I’m clumsy, good fine motor skills but poor gross motor skills.
    Stress makes it worse.
     
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  18. Mary Terry

    Mary Terry Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I write like a first grader with really big letters in cursive writing and sometimes it is virtually illegible. My printing is much smaller and neater but takes a lot longer than cursive writing. I think decent handwriting is a skill that I lost many years ago when I started typing everything instead of handwriting, first using word processors and later on computers.
     
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  19. Nervous Rex

    Nervous Rex High-functioning autistic V.I.P Member

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    In high school (~35 years ago, when PCs weren't ubiquitous), I had started turning in typewritten homework because I was tired of getting my right answers marked wrong when the teacher couldn't read my writing.
     
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  20. Soleil

    Soleil Well-Known Member

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    I don't think I'm super clumsy; I don't have dispraxia or anything like that. But in elementary school I did have a special PE class where we went over things like catching and throwing, running form, hand/eye coordination, and such.

    I'm told my handwriting used to be really nice, but it's pretty hard to read now.