As I participate in Apraxia Awareness Month, I want to celebrate how hard my son has worked on his sounds, his speech, and his fine motor skills. He keeps a good attitude and works hard to overcome obstacles. He has just recently begun to realize he is “different” than his peers and only because they point it out. Another reason I want conversations about apraxia is that it is a chance to exchange ideas and promote discovery. There are many friends, family, and professionals who do not understand or recognize apraxia of speech, even speech therapists. Apraxia is an ongoing struggle and doesn’t just magically get cured or go away.
Our son’s apraxia was diagnosed when he was nearly four years old. He could have been diagnosed sooner if we would have known more about it and if we would have gotten him to professionals who knew what it was, recognized it and knew how to diagnose it. However, we had never heard of it either and had been told for years; it’s a speech delay. We never accepted the diagnosis of speech delay because he had words at one point and lost them. Thankfully I trusted my heart and instincts and pushed to keep finding professionals who would help. I had no idea what we were looking for, but I knew in my heart whatever was going on was not a speech delay. We are currently recommended intensive therapies with 5-10 times each week. The time commitment is challenging as everyone’s hours are 8a-5p and it seems everybody wants all of life to happen between those hours. Insurances also complain about that kind of frequency in treatment. The motor planning issues impact more than speech and sometimes require occupational therapy or physical therapy too.
Sharing during Apraxia Awareness Month also helps others on this journey know they aren’t alone. The kids also need to know they aren’t alone and other kids have to work hard to communicate too.
Apraxia Awareness Day is May 14th, and we’ll be creating a video for that day. We hope you’ll celebrate Apraxia Awareness Day with us by sharing our video, joining us as we walk or donating to Team Falcon – Walk For Apraxia.