Why Dyspraxia is important to us
A personal highlight of our COVID ravaged, rather gloomy British summer was my youngest son, Ben learning to ride a bike. No doubt I was celebrating this cherished, childhood landmark in conjunction with thousands of other parents up and down the country. However, whereas most of those other children would have been aged between 3 and 7 (the age range when most children conquer this skill), Ben was 13.
This is because Ben, like his older brother Sam, has dyspraxia.
What is dyspraxia?
Compared to its more famous learning disability cousins such as dyslexia and ADHD, dyspraxia is relatively unknown and misunderstood. Not so long ago it had the charming name of ‘Clumsy Child Syndrome’ and whilst the most visible feature of people with dyspraxia is their lack of co-ordination and general clumsiness, there are a whole host of other difficulties (planning, organisation, memory, visual perception, using both sides of your body together, telling left from right etc.) associated with the condition that are not so visibly apparent but utterly debilitating when trying to navigate your way through every day life. Simple tasks that most of us do subconsciously become an exhausting challenge for someone with dyspraxia.
If we take something as simple as washing and dressing yourself, there are a number of challenges that we all encounter when we first attempt to master this important life skill but for the child with dyspraxia, there are additional complications such as…
- Working out and remembering the correct sequence in which to complete each step of a task e.g. remembering to wet hair before putting the shampoo on or that underwear needs to go on before clothes.
- All toddlers lack the fine motor skills to judge how to squeeze only a small amount from a bottle of shower gel or to button a shirt but children with dyspraxia can lack these skills well into their teens and even beyond.
- Stepping out of the bath or shower safely without slipping or balancing on one leg whilst putting on trousers.
- Using both sides of your body in a co-ordinated way e.g. holding a sponge with one hand whilst squeezing soap onto it with the other or using both hands together to tie shoelaces or a school tie.
And the longer you go without successfully mastering a simple task like this, the greater the risk of social humiliation.
The net result is that the simple tasks of every day life are harder and exhausting and learning important new skills like learning to ride a bike can take literally years versus your peers which chips away at social confidence and inclusion. It was therefore inevitable that my parental experience of bringing up two boys with dyspraxia would form a large part of my own drive and motivation behind Scrubbingtons. Seeing first hand how disempowering this condition can be and the negative impact it has on self esteem is heart breaking. I was determined that our products, with some careful thought could be designed to help all children master the important life skill of being able to wash themselves and taking care of their own personal hygiene – especially important after a long bike ride!
How we’ve made our products easier for kids to use:
We designed our children’s toiletries with chunky bottles that are easy to handle for all kids, they have pumps which are also really easy to use and dispense just the right amount of foam. In fact we wanted our products to be foaming because foam is so much easier. It sticks to the fingers, it doesn’t fall down the plughole and it is easy to see where you have washed.
Things we think your kids will love:
Scrub All, our 3 in 1 hair and body foam, makes it much easier for kids to be independent in the shower. No fiddling about with lids or numerous different bottles of shower gel, shampoo and conditioner.
Scrub Up our kids hand & face foam. Nice chunky bottle which doesn’t fall over, simple pump action and easy to use foam.
Bug Off, our alcohol free sanitiser. Again, easy to use foam and pump action bottle, but also it won’t sting the hands which can be so off putting for children, and the foam makes it really easy to see where you have applied it.
Download our visual guides to washing yourself for kids. We designed these specifically for children with dyspraxia, we hope you find them useful.