Living with dyspraxia: Tips for washing up with dyspraxia

Tips for ‘Washing up’ with dyspraxia

This time, the dyspraxic chef is bringing you tips for washing up with dyspraxia. There are no guides as far as I know in tips for washing up with dyspraxia. This is my effort in doing so.

‘Washing up’. Two words that strike fear into the heart of any adult with dyspraxia, or mine at least. Hearing the words, “can you do the dishes?” can have a devastating effect on me.

Immediately, I become frustrated and anxious at the prospect of clearing the sink of its contents to begin the deed of cleaning. When I look at a pile of dirty dishes, I see chaos, no order, no correct way to start.


Dirty dishes in the sink

What do I clean first? It can take longer to motivate an adult with dyspraxia symptoms to wash the pots then the task itself.

Some people might think, what is dyspraxia, and how does it effect doing the washing up?

Dyspraxia is a developmental coordination disorder and a common dyspraxia symptom in adults is clumsiness. If I was to make a small line on the Great Wall of China for each glass smashed or cup dropped, I’d run out of the wall. It is not just about dropping cups, I’ve cut myself many times and I have spent so long cleaning, my hands wrinkle as if I have aged 100 years. And without fail, each time I wash up, I end up wet through from the waist down.  A good tip for washing up with dyspraxia might be to wear an apron.

Symptom checklist

If I were to make a dyspraxia symptoms checklist that affected adults with dyspraxia in the kitchen it would involve spatial awareness issues, clumsiness, bad dexterity, poor concentration, poor hand-eye co-ordination. The list could go on.

It is recognised that adults with dyspraxia exert more energy completing an everyday task than an average non-dyspraxic person.

Tips for washing up with dyspraxia

  • Declutter your kitchen worktops
  • Empty the sink of all dirty dishes and objects (to avoid cuts)
  • Take a moment and make a mental order of what you will clean
  • One by one clean and wash your dishes
  • I prefer to drain to let the dishes dry
  • Keep a tub for knives while they dry
  • Take your time
  • Wear an apron (only if you want to stay dry)