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Proprioception or why I trip and fall

I dunno know if this will be of any interest to anyone but I thought I should record it and tell my neurologist the next time I see him.
One of the benefits of having Little T is that I'm exposed to a whole range of other parents who have kids with disabilities. There's a lot more diagnosis, and a little bit more understanding. One of the things I've known for a long time, but didn't have the proper term for it is that I have problems with proprioception, which is processing how one's body moves in the world and learning new ways of moving.

If I don't consciously notice that I am moving from one type of surface to another, I can trip and fall. My understanding is that typical people don't need to physically see they're moving from say concrete to grass to adjust their walking. That's one of the reasons along with hypermobile ankles why I sprain my ankles a lot. I watch the ground a lot when I hike. I wonder if Little T has the same problem. He does seem to trip an awful lot. Loss of proprioception is a known temporary side effect from chemotherapy.

Once I've learned a motor activity like say dancing or driving, I can perform it just fine. However I also have to be told some word for the thing, or I can't do it. For example, I couldn't draw an @ to save my life until someone told me that it was an a with a circle around it. I just didn't see it. I didn't know left from right until someone pointed out to me that the left hand forms an L. I have never had a problem reading or distinguishing letters. I know an L is an L and not a backwards L. Little T's understanding of prepositions lags behind the rest of his vocabulary which is pretty big now. I have never heard him use a proposition.

I know that my driving habits are bad, and hurt my wrists, but I don't know how to drive differently. I can't just do something different like that.

Initially when C or anyone would draw a letter on my hand I had no idea what the letter was. I've learned this task now.

I used to have a hard time touching my nose with my fingers. Since neurologists ask for this all the time, I've learned how to do it, but it was a learned task.

I have trouble translating 2-d to 3-d and back. I didn't know how to read a map until I was in my twenties. I also used to have physically turn the map or myself to the correct orientation of the world. I don't have to do this anymore. I almost flunked chemistry, because while I could represent an isotype with a 3-d model. The system of drawing an isotype on paper completely baffled me. I was too embarrassed to tell anyone. Now I would have told the teacher my problem and asked her if I could bring 3-d models to the exam, or asked her to help me understand the drawing system.

I don't have a problem processing multisensory information. In fact I can multitask things I already know how to do pretty well. I also don't have problems learning things that don't involve moving my body. I just realised from watching American Idol that some people find it hard to learn a song. I find I can hear most pop songs once and sing it back. But if I was asked to hold my mic a certain way, I'd have a really hard time doing that and singing, because it would be a different way of moving my body.


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Feb. 24th, 2007 03:00 am (UTC)
That's really interesting. Is there anything they can do for that other than just a lot of learning?
Feb. 24th, 2007 03:56 am (UTC)
Thank you for posting this. I am grateful that you share this sort of information - not just because it helps me learn more about you, but because I'm fascinated by how the brain processes information.
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