Today’s guest post is by my dear friend and fellow blogger, Alison of BeingAlison.com.
This is one of the faces of Speech Apraxia.
Most people have never heard of Speech Apraxia, heck I hadn’t when Landon was diagnosed with it. Here is a What Is Speech Apraxia by Apraxia-Kids:
Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS) is a motor speech disorder that first becomes apparent as a young child is learning speech. For reasons not yet fully understood, children with apraxia of speech have great difficulty planning and producing the precise, highly refined and specific series of movements of the tongue, lips, jaw and palate that are necessary for intelligible speech. Apraxia of speech is sometimes called verbal apraxia, developmental apraxia of speech, or verbal dyspraxia. No matter what name is used, the most important concept is the root word “praxis.” Praxis means planned movement. To some degree or another, a child with the diagnosis of apraxia of speech has difficulty programming and planning speech movements. Apraxia of speech is a specific speech disorder. This difficulty in planning speech movements is the hallmark or “signature” of childhood apraxia of speech.
That little boy above, my son Landon, is basically non-verbal. He has no words. He at times can say boo or moo. But he has worked since November to get to this point. It’s not spontaneous speech. We have to ask him to say it. He gets his point across on what he wants though and is super independent. As well as very smart and listens to me (sometimes, he is 3 after all) when I ask him to do something. He now quacks for ducks and birds and woofs for dogs. He has always had a love of trains, and can tell you what a steam and a diesel engine sound.
With Speech Apraxia you need to have intense speech therapy, and the progress is oh so slow. He has been going since November to speech therapy 3 times a week for 30 minutes. Starting this summer he’ll go to 5 times a week for 30 minutes a day and continuing with the 5 days a week in the fall, where he will start Pre-K.
I don’t feel like my son is a special needs kid. But he is. So I will do whatever I need to do to make sure one day I can hear his sweet voice. I yearn for him to say “I love you Mommy.” I know he does, but I just want that little voice to say it to me. I want to hear what is on his mind, what his grand plans are. It’s hard sometimes being a mom to an Apraxic kid… but he’s teaching me patience. I know one day he will talk. And one day I will hear that simple 4 letter phrase that most parents take for granted.