Guest Post: SLP Mommy of Apraxia

In the early days of an apraxia diagnosis, there is usually the report.  It might read, “Demonstrates characteristics of childhood apraxia of speech,” or something similar.  In that moment, your world comes crashing down along with the tears that drip onto the paper.

Slowly, very slowly, you will catch your breath. You will come up for air though feel you are still drowning.  You will probably spend hours on google until your eyes are red either from being so dry at staring at the screen or from nonstop crying.

This is the grief stage.

Out of the grief or in the midst of it will eventually come action.  Hopefully, you will have found Apraxia Kids in your journey and find research articles, webinars, print materials and evidence based information at your fingertips in which to arm yourself.  You will research, call, advocate, and spend hours on the phone in the quest to help your child.  You will find it and progress will start to come.  It will come, but come very slowly and sometimes the only strength you have left is the glimmer of hope you have for the future; because if you give up hope, all is lost.

If you’re lucky, you will have found Apraxia Kids support group online, or a Walk for Apraxia in your area and your journey will start to feel less isolating. You might attend an Apraxia Kids conference and feel like you are with your people, and for the first time in months not only come up for air, but stay up there a little longer.  The connections you build there will be lifelong.  There is an indescribable feeling when you meet others and words and explanations aren’t required for them to understand you.  You will listen to apraxia experts talk about apraxia and witness dedication to helping kids like your own that might move you to tears.

Finding others who understand is priceless and has invaluable worth.  These people become your hope, your strength, your rallying cry.

Your tribe.

This is the information and progress stage.

Your child will start to improve.  Words like “Mama” and “I love you” will be said and be music to your ears. Somewhere along the way you will be laughing and feeling the sunshine on your cheeks and almost forget that for a time you could barely come up for air.  Hopefully, in that moment you will be filled with gratitude and that gratitude will spur you to pay it forward.

This is the resolution and advocacy stage.

With intense, frequent, and appropriate therapy, kids with apraxia can and do resolve.  When they do, many drop out of the game.  Their child is better and they move on to other issues.  However, there are those, my heroes, who pay it forward. They are those who look back at that first report from so many years ago and remember the feelings of fear, anxiety, and helplessness.  They remember and reach out a hand to pull someone else out.  They point them to Apraxia Kids and the cycle of grief, hope, and joy continues.

This year is my 6th year post an apraxia diagnosis.  It is my 5th year as Denver Walk for Apraxia Coordinator and blogger.  As I reflect on the past six years, my resolve and gratitude toward Apraxia Kids is only stronger, as is my desire to make sure we are helping all kids in all corners of the globes and socioeconomic lines.  My daughter speaks. Her apraxia is resolved.  However, I’ll never forget those days of that first report and I never want anyone to feel alone that way again.  What the future brings I don’t know, except that even if all of us paid it forward to just one; together we can fulfill the mission:

Every Child Deserves a Voice.

 

Laura is a speech/language pathologist specializing in childhood apraxia of speech and mom to two amazing children, one neurotypical and one neurodiverse. Laura is a speaker, writer, Denver Walk Coordinator for Apraxia Kids, and is the voice behind the website SLPMommyofApraxia where she is passionate about raising apraxia awareness.    

In the early days of an apraxia diagnosis, there is usually the report.  It might read, “Demonstrates characteristics of childhood apraxia of speech,” or something similar.  In that moment, your world comes crashing down along with the tears that drip onto the paper.

Slowly, very slowly, you will catch your breath. You will come up for air though feel you are still drowning.  You will probably spend hours on google until your eyes are red either from being so dry at staring at the screen or from nonstop crying.

This is the grief stage.

Out of the grief or in the midst of it will eventually come action.  Hopefully, you will have found Apraxia Kids in your journey and find research articles, webinars, print materials and evidence based information at your fingertips in which to arm yourself.  You will research, call, advocate, and spend hours on the phone in the quest to help your child.  You will find it and progress will start to come.  It will come, but come very slowly and sometimes the only strength you have left is the glimmer of hope you have for the future; because if you give up hope, all is lost.

If you’re lucky, you will have found Apraxia Kids support group online, or a Walk for Apraxia in your area and your journey will start to feel less isolating. You might attend an Apraxia Kids conference and feel like you are with your people, and for the first time in months not only come up for air, but stay up there a little longer.  The connections you build there will be lifelong.  There is an indescribable feeling when you meet others and words and explanations aren’t required for them to understand you.  You will listen to apraxia experts talk about apraxia and witness dedication to helping kids like your own that might move you to tears.

Finding others who understand is priceless and has invaluable worth.  These people become your hope, your strength, your rallying cry.

Your tribe.

This is the information and progress stage.

Your child will start to improve.  Words like “Mama” and “I love you” will be said and be music to your ears. Somewhere along the way you will be laughing and feeling the sunshine on your cheeks and almost forget that for a time you could barely come up for air.  Hopefully, in that moment you will be filled with gratitude and that gratitude will spur you to pay it forward.

This is the resolution and advocacy stage.

With intense, frequent, and appropriate therapy, kids with apraxia can and do resolve.  When they do, many drop out of the game.  Their child is better and they move on to other issues.  However, there are those, my heroes, who pay it forward. They are those who look back at that first report from so many years ago and remember the feelings of fear, anxiety, and helplessness.  They remember and reach out a hand to pull someone else out.  They point them to Apraxia Kids and the cycle of grief, hope, and joy continues.

This year is my 6th year post an apraxia diagnosis.  It is my 5th year as Denver Walk for Apraxia Coordinator and blogger.  As I reflect on the past six years, my resolve and gratitude toward Apraxia Kids is only stronger, as is my desire to make sure we are helping all kids in all corners of the globes and socioeconomic lines.  My daughter speaks. Her apraxia is resolved.  However, I’ll never forget those days of that first report and I never want anyone to feel alone that way again.  What the future brings I don’t know, except that even if all of us paid it forward to just one; together we can fulfill the mission:

Every Child Deserves a Voice.

 

Laura is a speech/language pathologist specializing in childhood apraxia of speech and mom to two amazing children, one neurotypical and one neurodiverse. Laura is a speaker, writer, Denver Walk Coordinator for Apraxia Kids, and is the voice behind the website SLPMommyofApraxia where she is passionate about raising apraxia awareness.    



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