Living with dyspraxia – In the kitchen

Living with dyspraxia throws up all sorts of challenges in day to day life. What may appear to be a straightforward task to a non-dyspraxic, can seem to be a mountain of a task to an adult with dyspraxia?

Take cooking for example. When cooking, dyspraxic symptoms in adults can become clear to see. No two dyspraxics are not the same, but how their dyspraxia affects them may be very similar.

When I am cooking, I tend to find it tiring and, at times, frustrating. With that being said, I immediately have to contradict myself, because, I also find it incredibly rewarding.

So if you were ever wondering how living with dyspraxia symptoms affects cooking, then hopefully, I am about to serve you some useful information.

Motivating adults with dyspraxia

I find motivating myself to get into the kitchen one of the biggest challenges when cooking with dyspraxia. Like with many other day to day task for adults with dyspraxia, cooking can seem like a lot of hard work.

Dyspraxia and time management

I have a tendency to want to start everything all at once. One of the main ways dyspraxic symptoms affect me is my poor time management. Keeping track of the time that I have been cooking can also be tricky. What is tremendously helpful for keeping an eye on the time is a kitchen timer. Fairly cheap to pick up and you don’t have to worry about burning your food or your kitchen. Set it to the length you need and you’ll get a sharp reminder when you need to do something. Of course, we live in the age of the smartphone, but the less technology in a dyspraxic kitchen, the better.

Adults with dyspraxia and using knives

Cutting vegetables and potatoes can be very difficult and time-consuming. For myself, it requires a great deal of concentration and effort. For example, if I am peeling and chopping potatoes, my hands will ache and feel as if they have stiffened. It doesn’t take long for this to occur and is a regular feature for adults living with dyspraxia symptoms.

Dyspraxia symptoms commonly entail poor dexterity and poor hand-eye coordination. Now this gets better with age and practice, but I still manage to drop my fair share of ingredients. The best advice I can offer is to take as much time as you can. For me, holding what I am cutting like this helps.

cooking with dyspraxia

Standing still with dyspraxia: Muscle strength

Adults living with dyspraxia often have weak muscle definition or weak muscle strength, making standing in one spot for more than a few minutes to cause great discomfort. This, along with lapses in concentration, could potentially cause a kitchen nightmare. In my case, I always try to move around and stretch at regular intervals, sitting down when I am able.

There are plenty of stretches and exercises you can do to improve the muscle strength of adults with dyspraxia that don’t require you to pump iron. It is always best practice to consult a medical professional beforehand.

Dyspraxia and messy eating

You can expect a mess on occasion when someone with developmental co-ordination disorder is at the dinner table. I can drop a knife or folk at the drop of a hat. Spill and stain on a whim and make more mess trying to clean up I made while trying to eat.