It’s our pleasure to introduce Apraxia Mom and her voice, her journey with apraxia. This is a great story of a mother, an advocate, a friend and a warrior to help her daughter get whatever she needs to fight the ‘apraxia beast’!
Prognosis: the likelihood or prediction of the probable course and outcome.
This is something that I always wondered for my daughter and her struggles with apraxia.
How much longer will we be in speech therapy?
Will she become intelligible to the general public or random stranger walking past her?
How much longer will I be translating for her to others?
Will she be able to go to school in a general education setting, or are we looking at special education for the rest of her life?
Because of the fact that I started speech therapy for her at the age of 18 months and we increased the intensity up to four times per week of private therapy for one year at one point, I have high hopes that she will succeed.
Rewind 7 years: my daughter is one year old and a quiet, happy baby. People tell me that I am lucky, but my gut is starting to talk to me and I am not liking what it is saying so far. She may not be able to speak, but this babe can sign 25 words already! Go, baby, go!
Rewind 6 years: my daughter is two years old now and is still quiet. She possesses over 50 signs by now, but no words. Lots of sounds and squeaks and squeals, but no words. No Mama. No DaDa. Nothing. Everything is “Gah”.
But I do have a diagnosis: apraxia A-PRAX-HUH? I am a researching fanatic right now. I bring it to the attention of our SLP. She shrugs it off, because she has NO CLUE what I am a talking about. Sadly, I have a SLP who tells me “Oh, she’ll be talking by Christmas!” Really? In my best Donald Trump voice…”You’re Fired!”.
And this is when my journey takes off full steam.
Rewind 5 years: my daughter is now three years old and she is aging out of our state’s Early Intervention” program and into the Early Childhood Education program at our local preschool. I am scared, but hopeful. We are in speech therapy 5 days a week now.Rewind 4 years: my daughter is now four years old and is doing so-so in ECE, but has a full IEP. I am oblivious to the terms and lingo, and believe everything they tell me. Then I get wise. I learn the in’s and out’s of IEPs and state law. I know what tests to ask for and what to question. I know when they are painting a pretty picture for me. And I now know when someone is lying to me. Private therapy continues 4-5 days a week now.Rewind 3 years: my daughter is now five years old. Private speech therapy continues and she is making progress. I am elated! Finally, my little girl’s voice is coming out. But she has big issues with articulation and phonemics and social skills. It’s all part of the apraxia game I guess.Rewind 2 years: my daughter is now six years old, and the school tells me that they recommend a self-contained classroom with special education. I am mortified. Have they no faith in her? Don’t they see what I see? Reluctantly, I agree. But that is not after some heated IEP Meetings and throwing many team members under the bus. This is MY daughter and I am in charge here.Rewind 1 year: my daughter is now seven years old. Words are flowing nonstop, but articulation remains a problem and that makes some of her speech unintelligible. I am still translating. She is still in a self-contained special education setting and I will admit that this was probably one of the best decisions that I (reluctantly) agreed to. She is thriving.Today: my daughter is 8.4 years old. Sassy. Clear speech about 85% of the time. Attitude of a teenager, angst and all. She still has articulation issues and her social skills need continued work. She is still in private therapy two days per week on top of the 120 minutes of speech that she receives in school. But we remain one step ahead of this apraxia beast, and I have no intention of slowing down.So what is our prognosis?Good. While I am not a physician or SLP, I am Mom. I have seen my daughter at her lowest and have watched her climb and succeed. And with our determination paired, I see nothing ahead of us but a good prognosis.We want to thank Apraxia Mom for her guest post! Please take the time to show support and check out her blog http://TheirWordsTheirWay.blogspot.com/ and her Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Apraxia-Mom/130221217001367