Imperial Dyspraxia

The website has changed its URL to

(please update your links and bookmarks)

This is because the domain was left to starve and expire without our knowledge, poor thing, even though the registering company was paid in time to have it renewed. The company have not only messed up, but they’ve failed to reply to emails.

So Rhodri Marsden to the rescue, rejigging the site with a fresh new suffix. I’m so grateful to him. Please read his stuff in the Independent, add him on Twitter, and buy all his books, several times. 

I hope to get the domain back at some point, but for now it’s .com all the way.

I like being a Dot Com. Makes me feel… imperial. 


In other news, I have discovered a new thing about me. After a visit to an educational psychologist in Bethnal Green, I’ve been diagnosed as officially dyspraxic, with a touch of dyslexia thrown in (‘surface dyslexia’  it’s called). I know I can read and write and spell okay, but my reading technique is slower and more stilted than average. I used to think I was just being more thorough and anally retentive with my reading, going over passages again and again, but there it is. It certainly helps to explain my general clumsiness, physically and socially, and why I’ve found some things in life easy to learn, while others have eluded me (driving, understanding computer code, playing guitar in the proper way). In fact the more I find out about dyspraxia, the more I realise how it accounts for so much of my past failures to do things, or finish things, or sort things out, or The Trouble With Me in general. Not quite an alibi or or an excuse, mind, but it’s a major step in helping me deal with, well, Life.

What happens now is that the college will provide me with a dyspraxia-tailored range of study support to take this into account, including tutoring in reading techniques and specialised software. One program, for instance, reads aloud texts while highlighting words on the screen as it goes.

What’s interesting is that these programs are not the same as audiobooks. Audiobooks have performances, usually by actors (or authors in actor mode), and these can actually be less helpful to dyspraxic people than the computerised text-to-speech programs. One can become distracted by thinking, for instance, ‘What an interesting accent the actor has given that character. Isn’t Martin Jarvis fabulous?’ – and before you know it, you’ve missed the next sentence. A computerised, evenly-toned voice, on the other hand, supports the text rather than interprets it. At least, that’s the theory. I’ll certainly give it a go.

On the plus side, I was told that I have an IQ of 141, with a percentile of 99.7. This apparently puts me on the level of ‘genius’ according to Mensa.

I’m not convinced IQ tests are any use by themselves, but if nothing else they’re good for self-esteem. Nice to be called a genius.  Just a bit of a slow genius.


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