10 handy little products to help with co-ordination around the dyspraxic home
1. Anti-Slip Mats
These are fantastic for putting underneath anything and everything to stop it from slipping around or being easily knocked over.
I have several of these, they have so many uses in different bits of the home. You can use them in the kitchen, under chopping boards or bowls, to stop them careering around the worktop. You can also use them under bowls, plates and cups when eating., or on trays when you’re carrying things I have one under my laptop as well to keep it in one place when I’m typing.
If you find using cutlery difficult, there are adapted sets which are easier to manipulate, particularly if you find it difficult to put enough pressure through your fingers or have hypermobile joints which tend to over-extend. They’re dishwashable. Kitchen utensils like peelers are often available too in easy-grip options.
3. Grip aids
I find it difficult to open jars, bottles and anything where you have to grip and twist the top. You can use these to make that much easier, and they go through the dishwasher if they get covered in the contents of said jar!
4. Oven shelf edge guards
I was forever catching my arm, hand or wrist on the edge of hot oven shelves until I found these. They mean that you don’t get a nasty burn if you happen to accidentally touch the edge whilst getting food in and out of the oven.
5. Cutting gloves
Whilst these won’t stop you from slicing yourself if you tried hard to do so, they do prevent small slices or nicks from knives. I put mine by the knife block in the kitchen so that I don't forget to use them. They are relatively thin as well, so you can still manipulate and grip things.
6. Night light
Getting a motion-activated night light reduces the risk of falls and bumps if you get up during the night, without having to fumble around trying to find the right switch, or forgetting about the light altogether!
Writing is difficult for lots of dyspraxic children and adults. Have a look at different pens which support your fingers to be in the right position for writing. Finding the right pen for me has reduced pain and improved my writing. There are sets available for right and left handers, so that you can try out different ones to work out which suits you best.
8. Travel cups
Fortunately it’s becoming much more normal to take a cup with you to cafes and for takeaway hot drinks. I’ve spilled many a hot drink down myself whilst out and about and had to sit through meetings or social events with coffee down myself. It’s difficult to focus on the task in busy environments (that’d be most cafes!) or whilst doing other things (walking and drinking coffee – argh!) Having a cup which is easy to grip, which seals well and doesn’t burn your fingers is great. It also doesn't break when it's dropped (I've tried) It’s something which seems like a small change but it can really make a difference to your confidence being able to have a drink out.
9. Posture cushions
I have a fair amount of difficulty maintaining a good posture and sitting still. This gets even worse when I’m concentrating on something like writing or eating. Having one of these has made me sit in a better position as well as reducing the amount I move around on a seat.
10. Anti-slip socks
These may not technically be in fashion, but having slipped down a staircase once I feel it’s definitely worth forgoing fashion when I’m in my home.
Dr Emma Tremaine trained as a medical doctor and psychiatrist before starting up a social enterprise specialising in comprehensively supporting adults and young people with Dyspraxia (The Dyspraxic Doctor). She also provides regular emotional and social skills therapy for children and young people who have a neurodevelopmental diagnosis (including Autism/Aspergers and ADHD). Dr Emma has Dyspraxia herself and is a passionate writer and speaker about neurodiversity, mental health and her own experience becoming a doctor with a hidden disability. She also enjoys horse riding, yoga, amateur sewing and making people laugh.