It was break time again. Everyone was skipping with ropes, playing football and soccer, swapping stories and toys, except for Daisy. She was doing what she always liked to do, which was sit in a quiet place beneath the safety of a tree and observe the bugs in the grass. Then suddenly, a soccer ball rolled over into her personal space.
Brain ran over and cheerfully cried out, " Throw it over, please!" he smiled.
The elephant bit her lip. She had no idea what to do. She didn't want to throw the ball; she didn't know how.
" Come on, Daisy! Kick that rock!" Buster encouraged her as he came up behind Brain.
She was confused. Rock? Oh, he must mean that rock there! She picked up the small rock that was underneath her foot and gave it to Buster. The white, big-eared rabbit stifled a giggle.
" I meant the soccer ball, but OK. Come on, play with us!" he said.
" No, I-"
" Come on. You don't have to be an expert. Just come and fun with us!" he cried.
With her mother's advice in her head, she stood up and tried to join in, even though she didn't feel like it. She joined the others on the field and they all let her kick the ball first. The ball lay on the ground, waiting to be kicked. She stared at it with a terrified expression on her face, but Arthur, Francine, Buster and the rest were cheering her on. She ran towards it, readying her leg for the almighty kick but lost her balance when she lifted it off the ground. She did gambol right in front of everyone. They all roared with laughter. Tears welled up in her eyes and she ran away, heading for the toilets. But George stopped her.
" I saw what happened. Are you OK?" he cried, grabbing her shoulder.
" No, I am not OK! I'm sick of this school. I want to go home!"
" But wait!" the moose shouted. " I want to talk to you."
Daisy raised an eyebrow.
" I just want you to know that I have dyslexia. Is that what you have?"
She sighed. " It's a little different from that."
" Oh. Do you have Asperger's Syndrome? I've noticed you don't like being around people. My friend Carl's like that. He has Asperger's and he's really smart!"
" Nope. I have dyspraxia."
George gave a blank expression. " What's that?"
" That's why I don't like playing soccer. Basically, I'm clumsier than most people. I can't play any sports and I have a lot of trouble with fine motor skills."
George looked blank again. " Fine motor skills? What's that?"
" What you do with your hands. Like I can't use my knife and fork properly, and I have really messy handwriting."
" Oh! I get it!" George cried. " So is that why Miss. Browning sits with you?"
" Partly. I also have problems with concentration and my attention span. I can't keep up with the rest of the class, so Miss. Browning writes notes for me to take home so I can read them in my own time. People tell me what to do but sometimes I don't understand what they mean. I might think they mean something when they mean something else entirely! Like when the rabbit asked me to throw the ball. He said 'rock' and there was a rock on the ground, so I thought that was what he actually meant, when he only meant the ball. Dyspraxia can also overlap with other disabilities, so I have problems reading and I don't like being around people. My mum says it's like I'm wrapped in wool."
George smiled. " I'm like that with reading. I read books, but I just don't get it! Words and letters just don't mean anything to me."
Daisy laughed. " It's good I have this with me." She opened her backpack and took out a book. But it wasn't a book. It was a CD version of a book. She also took out a CD player with earphones attached. " This is a book about dyspraxia. But since reading isn't my strong point, my mum got me the audiotape. It's called Trapped in Turmoil. It's written by a girl with dyspraxia called Elizabeth Diggs. It's great for people with dyspraxia and people who know someone with it."
" Hey, this is really interesting. Let's listen to it together!"
There is such a book as Trapped In Turmoil, but keeping with the Arthur tradition, it's been parodied. If anyone wants to know more, please PM me for more information.