I asked my mom about what happened when the doctors first told her about my disability.

“They gave me a pamphlet,” she said, one that was 15 years out of date, and offered no advice on what we were supposed to do next.

This was before social media and Google, yet despite the lack of support and resources, she still managed to find me accommodations and care.

I have since met people who share my diagnosis, and I’ve witnessed firsthand how these social connections can help overcome stigma, build friendships, and increase access to support services.

When the COVID-19 pandemic swept the world, people with disabilities told me their support networks stopped meeting in-person, and moved completely online. Despite the constraints of social distancing, they said these virtual communities have been critical sources of comfort and resiliency over the past year.

I was diagnosed with dyspraxia when I was four years old.

Also known as developmental coordination disorder, dyspraxia is “a disorganization of information from your body to your brain and back again,” according to occupational therapist Susan Madigan. It affects your spatial awareness, your sense of time, and your response to your environment. Dyspraxics find it challenging to tie knots, catch a ball, and multitask. They have poor short-term memory, and are hypersensitive to their surroundings.

My only sources of information about this were doctors who often didn’t fully understand my disability. Most of the information I found was either outdated or too negative about people with disabilities.

The only way I learned how my disability affects all aspects of my life was by making a ton of mistakes.

Read the full article about disability support networks by Rosemary Richings at Shareable.