Young Adults with Apraxia – Natalie Yoder

It all started when my mom gave birth to me. I had a traumatic birth, which included meconium and an emergency c-section because I was transverse. I was a happy, healthy baby. At 23 months, I was diagnosed with a speech impairment and was verbalizing at 10 month old level. My parents enrolled me into First Steps and a speech-language pathologist (SLP) came to our house to help my family figure out how best to help me. I was a mischievous child and always found a way to get my point across. I would get into the fridge and take a gallon of milk out of the fridge and try to pour myself a cup of milk and my mom found me before I could make the mess, most of the time. I was sneaky and found a way to get into situations only I could. When I was two and half, I was finally diagnosed with mild-moderate Childhood Apraxia of Speech when I was assessed by graduate students at Fontbonne University. I continued to get speech services through preschool and at Fontbonne University. The first time my mom heard “I love you” was when I was four. I had speech therapy starting when I was 23 months, and was defined as resolved in second grade. First through third grade I went to a reading specialist. I struggled to read and even told my mom I hated reading and would never like to read. Little did I know, the beauty in books and reading. I learned to love to read eventually and wish I had more time to do so now that I am older.

I had an IEP through elementary but decided to drop in middle school because I wanted to be a “normal” kid. Then in high school in geometry class in the middle of a test, I had a panic attack. After that day, I was diagnosed with generalized anxiety and school avoidance anxiety. School avoidance anxiety was more testing anxiety and having anxiety if I missed school. I then received a 504 specifically for anxiety, not CAS. The school district did not understand that my anxiety stems from CAS. I was put on medication and went to a counselor throughout high school and college. I was in honor and AP classes throughout high school. During high school, I was the walk coordinator for the St. Louis Childhood Apraxia Walk for three years and raised over $27,000. I graduated high school in 2018. After graduation in May 2018, I started college at Fontbonne University that fall.

I decided to go to Fontbonne University because they taught me how to talk. I had some amazing professors that truly understood me and my accommodations. I had one professor in particular from the Communication Sciences and Disorders department that I fought with to receive my accommodations. I had an anxiety attack almost every time I stepped foot in the classroom with that professor. It was sad to think a person that works with individuals with different abilities everyday had an issue with a student that needed accommodations. I spoke at the Apraxia Kids conference in 2019 about CAS and anxiety. I stayed at Fontbonne University for two years before transferring to Augustana College. Augustana College has worked with me and my accommodations. The professors understand my needs and abide by the accommodations I have in place. There is almost always one professor that has an issue with me about accommodations but I have learned to fight for what I need and not back down. That is thanks to my parents and family that have supported me throughout my journey.

 

About me
I am 22 years old and a senior in college at Augustana College. I will be graduating in May 2022 from undergrad with majors in communication sciences and disorders and psychology and going to graduate school beginning in the summer. I hope one day I can make an impact on a family or child, like all of my SLPs have done for me. I have a golden doodle named Gus and he is my emotional support animal. I am passionate about advocating for CAS and raising awareness for mental health. In what free time I have, I like to talk with family and friends and go to the dog park with Gus.

 

How does apraxia still impact you today?
I have issues with words when I am tired. I will always have more of an issue with this because of CAS. I do not like to repeat myself and say “forget it” when someone asks me to repeat what I said.

 

How do you advocate for yourself as a teen/young adult?
I use my voice to tell my teachers/professors what I need in the classroom. I am not afraid to stand up for myself because I can stand up for myself now. Advocating is a part of my life because I had to do it from such a young age.

 

What would you tell your younger self about having apraxia?
Do not back down when something is not right. You might have to fight for what you need and do not feel sorry for that. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. There are ups and downs with having CAS.

 

What is something you wish people understood about living with apraxia?
When someone with CAS is called resolved, it does not mean they do not struggle with phonemes or certain sounds. I still struggle with certain words and sounds still to this day. Some days are better than others, but life keeps going.

It all started when my mom gave birth to me. I had a traumatic birth, which included meconium and an emergency c-section because I was transverse. I was a happy, healthy baby. At 23 months, I was diagnosed with a speech impairment and was verbalizing at 10 month old level. My parents enrolled me into First Steps and a speech-language pathologist (SLP) came to our house to help my family figure out how best to help me. I was a mischievous child and always found a way to get my point across. I would get into the fridge and take a gallon of milk out of the fridge and try to pour myself a cup of milk and my mom found me before I could make the mess, most of the time. I was sneaky and found a way to get into situations only I could. When I was two and half, I was finally diagnosed with mild-moderate Childhood Apraxia of Speech when I was assessed by graduate students at Fontbonne University. I continued to get speech services through preschool and at Fontbonne University. The first time my mom heard “I love you” was when I was four. I had speech therapy starting when I was 23 months, and was defined as resolved in second grade. First through third grade I went to a reading specialist. I struggled to read and even told my mom I hated reading and would never like to read. Little did I know, the beauty in books and reading. I learned to love to read eventually and wish I had more time to do so now that I am older.

I had an IEP through elementary but decided to drop in middle school because I wanted to be a “normal” kid. Then in high school in geometry class in the middle of a test, I had a panic attack. After that day, I was diagnosed with generalized anxiety and school avoidance anxiety. School avoidance anxiety was more testing anxiety and having anxiety if I missed school. I then received a 504 specifically for anxiety, not CAS. The school district did not understand that my anxiety stems from CAS. I was put on medication and went to a counselor throughout high school and college. I was in honor and AP classes throughout high school. During high school, I was the walk coordinator for the St. Louis Childhood Apraxia Walk for three years and raised over $27,000. I graduated high school in 2018. After graduation in May 2018, I started college at Fontbonne University that fall.

I decided to go to Fontbonne University because they taught me how to talk. I had some amazing professors that truly understood me and my accommodations. I had one professor in particular from the Communication Sciences and Disorders department that I fought with to receive my accommodations. I had an anxiety attack almost every time I stepped foot in the classroom with that professor. It was sad to think a person that works with individuals with different abilities everyday had an issue with a student that needed accommodations. I spoke at the Apraxia Kids conference in 2019 about CAS and anxiety. I stayed at Fontbonne University for two years before transferring to Augustana College. Augustana College has worked with me and my accommodations. The professors understand my needs and abide by the accommodations I have in place. There is almost always one professor that has an issue with me about accommodations but I have learned to fight for what I need and not back down. That is thanks to my parents and family that have supported me throughout my journey.

 

About me
I am 22 years old and a senior in college at Augustana College. I will be graduating in May 2022 from undergrad with majors in communication sciences and disorders and psychology and going to graduate school beginning in the summer. I hope one day I can make an impact on a family or child, like all of my SLPs have done for me. I have a golden doodle named Gus and he is my emotional support animal. I am passionate about advocating for CAS and raising awareness for mental health. In what free time I have, I like to talk with family and friends and go to the dog park with Gus.

 

How does apraxia still impact you today?
I have issues with words when I am tired. I will always have more of an issue with this because of CAS. I do not like to repeat myself and say “forget it” when someone asks me to repeat what I said.

 

How do you advocate for yourself as a teen/young adult?
I use my voice to tell my teachers/professors what I need in the classroom. I am not afraid to stand up for myself because I can stand up for myself now. Advocating is a part of my life because I had to do it from such a young age.

 

What would you tell your younger self about having apraxia?
Do not back down when something is not right. You might have to fight for what you need and do not feel sorry for that. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. There are ups and downs with having CAS.

 

What is something you wish people understood about living with apraxia?
When someone with CAS is called resolved, it does not mean they do not struggle with phonemes or certain sounds. I still struggle with certain words and sounds still to this day. Some days are better than others, but life keeps going.



Credentials:
Hours of Operation:
Treatment locations:
Address:

,
Phone:
Email:

Overall Treatment Approach:
   

Percent of CAS cases:

Parent Involvement:
   

Community Involvement:
   

Professional consultation/collaboration:

Min Age Treated:

Max Age Treated:

Insurance Accepted:


Register Now!
close-link