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Quest for Perfection

My parents were told by three ultrasounds I would be a boy. My mom had visions of having a football quarterback star and my Dad envisioned extra mechanical help.

    These daydreams were silenced when they head, "It's a Girl!"

    Ok, a girl. Not really what they perfectly envisioned, but acceptable. New 'perfect' visions were created-she'd be a lawyer, she'll go to college, and she'll be famous.

    These visions were silenced when they heard, "She has Apraxia."

  With years of hard work from my parents and myself as well as our supporters, we were able to re-gain hope that we'd make it through. We were able to re-find those 'perfect daydreams' of the future. Sure, we've realized I have to do it with an 'accent,' but we still fought hard for those 'perfect daydreams.'

   Ah, the 'perfect daydreams.'

   I may not be a mother, so my experience is based on conversations with the women in my life and t…
Recent posts

Happy Father's Day!

Shout out and kudos to all the Dads out there doing the best they can do.

Raising a child is hard, fatherhood does not come with instructions, and throw in Apraxia well there's definitely not a parenting handbook for that!

Now, I know I haven't blogged about this yet, but my father played a pretty significant role in my journey and made challenging sacrifices. 
As you guys know, I was diagnosed with Apraxia at the age of 3. From Day 1 of my diagnosis, I recall my Dad driving 30+ minutes each way to get me to speech therapy, three times a week until I was 16 years old. 
Being an only child, two parents that worked full-time, driving between therapy sessions, and attending after-school daycare. It was hard, even typing it out the schedule confuses me. 
I don't even know how they did it. 
Now, also throw in the fact that my academics in elementary school were not spectacular. Homework took me hours to complete and I could never finish it all at daycare, so I'd go home and…

The Dangers of Assuming

During a softball game, just a couple days actually, a few of my throws back to pitcher were not the best. The umpire standing beside me said snarkily, "Your throwing is pretty bad."

To which, I retorted, "After Special-Ed P.E, that 'bad' throw is a blessing."

Defensively, he backed off saying, "Okay, okay, okay sorry."

For some strange reason, people change their tune when I make any mere reference to my 'special' background. The fact that I look like a 'normal' adult must mean I have no issues, right?

Frankly, if we knew back in the nineties what we know now, I would 100% be diagnosed with dyspraxia. Physical coordination struggles were just terrible; I couldn't throw a ball more than 5ft until I was a much older child. My coordination has improved as an adult, but I still get my 'hiccups.' One of them being; I can't walk and drink at the same time. Not even from a straw! I even feel my mind doing cartwheels when …

Mental Health, Anxiety, and The Apraxia Journey

As a lifeguard, I was trained to see if a swimmer, even a bad swimmer, was making forward movements. If they were, then they did not need to be rescued. 
But if they were vertical and quit making forward progress, then they could potentially be drowning and we must prepare to save them. 
I can't help but to think that is what life is. As long as there's forward progress, no matter how slowly, a person will be alright. But sometimes, there's a complete stop in forward movement. When that happens we all must recognize the signs to jump in and save them, perhaps even from themselves.

Day 30 of Apraxia Awareness Month - "Hope For The Future"

My hope for Apraxia Awareness and the future has not changed in the last 20 years.  My hope has always been to help every single child out there with a 'funny accent' to find their strengths, talents, and happiness. To bring them as much comfort as I possibly can so they are never ostracized for something beyond their natural control.
My hope is that one day Apraxia will not be a foreign concept.
My hope is that others will respect a child finding their voice; that other family members will empathize with those on the Apraxia Journey.
My hope is that the a child diagnosed will not be questioned by cynical doubters. 
My hope is that each party involved can work together for the success of a child-between speech pathologists, teachers, parents, and the children themselves.
My hope is that they all share a common goal of shaping a child's special talents and strengths rather than accentuating their 'special needs' and disorders. 
My hope is for understanding.
My hope…

Day #29: Lessons Learned

Lessons learned on the Apraxia Journey; where exactly can one possibly begin?

Frankly, this entire blog could constitute as 'lessons learned.' Between discussing bullies, friendships, teachers, and life-there's lessons everywhere.
However, in sharing my stories and also meeting others I believe there is one, significant lesson that is applicable for all on the Apraxia Journey:
Despite any obvious imperfections, including Apraxia or other disorders, that does not and should not define, take away, or inhibit anyone's potential for happiness.
It is easy to doubt or question anyone's ability to find success and happiness, especially when they have a disorder that is not familiar. In the song, Colors of the Wind, Pocahontas sings, "You think the only people who are people, are the people who look and think like you." This line is applicable to our kids with Apraxia, they don't speak 'normally' and others definitely treat them differently because of …

Day 21: Best Advice

My best advice for anyone on this Apraxia Journey is a simple one: Apraxia does not define the individual.

At last years conference, I had a visual that I call "Puzzle Bob" to emphasize this point and I'll share it again...

Now, walk with me here, we have a giant puzzle that is a whole person, right? Now some of us have this puzzle piece entitled 'Apraxia.'

Granted, some of us may think this is the biggest piece out of the whole puzzle. Even if it were though, it is not the ONLY piece. What sort of boring puzzle would that be if it were only a single piece, right?

Each child is made up of several different pieces:

They love junk food.

They like swimming.

They enjoy meeting new people.

They enjoy books.

Each of these interests are a 'puzzle piece' of who they are. Their identity outside of their disorder.

If we spend 100% of our efforts with only one puzzle piece, such as Apraxia, we miss out on the whole puzzle. We forget to pay attention to natural hobb…