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Anxiety and Apraxia

First thing's first:  There is hardly any scientific evidence to properly claim that kids with Apraxia are more likely to have anxiety.

There's still a long way in diagnosing each effectively and given that past generations were not properly diagnosing Apraxia nor Anxiety, it's an extremely difficult to study to put in place. Also, on a very basic analytical level, it is very difficult to say one causes the other. We can say that maybe Apraxia and Anxiety are correlated, meaning they are related somehow. But to say that Apraxia automatically causes Anxiety is an extremely bold statement.

With that in mind, my personal opinion on this concern is purely anecdotal.

I do strongly believe that there is a relationship between having Apraxia and anxiety. But, it's not the fact that you can't talk that gives you anxiety; it's the mentality that comes with it. When you're raised well-knowing that you are behind others intellectually, physically, and socially- It com…
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Finding Confidence

At first thought of a disability or a disorder, what do you think of?

Personally, like most, it's natural to associate it with a deformity, a fault, and generally a weakness. Right?
After the past National Conference with CASANA along with the popularity of this blog, others asked my parents and myself how I grew my confidence, especially with a speech disorder like Apraxia.

Note that this isn't my favorite topic, my confidence is just a part of who I am as a person and frankly, it's just life. To me it's not really "special," it just simply is present.

However, I can recognize the fact that my confidence is something that is hard to come by on an Apraxia Journey. When you can't speak until 7, it sets you on a certain, challenging path. Then, to make things better, speaking for the rest of your life with an accent you can't seem to get rid of...It's understandable to be shy, reserved, and specifically intimidated about public speaking and social i…

Called Out

There have even several posts lately about other children asking yours why they speak funny, why they have an accent, or-basically- why they speak the way that they do. The child is left humiliated and the parent bamboozled as to why anyone would ask such a thing.

This period is usually after the child is no longer nonverbal, but just before completely clear articulation. It's when, personally, I find other kids to be the harshest critics and they lack what we know as a 'filter.'

For instance, as adults, we know not to ask the guy in the wheelchair, why he's in a wheelchair. As children, we see a guy in a wheelchair and want to know why he needs it, how he uses it, and often proceed to ask him aloud, "Hey dude, why are you in that and why can't you walk?"

Kids say the darndest things, right?

Anyways, as far as your own children who may encounter this awkward situation, it's probably helpful for you to understand what it's like to be asked, "W…

Thanksgiving Time

Karen Peikert wrote this. It's beautiful, right? It honestly touches upon how every parent with a unique child feels. For me though, when I read this it shows me a perspective I am not familiar with-I am not a parent and this piece hits home even for an 'outsider' like myself.

However, I was a child and I did have 'special needs.' I vaguely recall awkward exchanges at the dinner table with, let's just say, not the most politically correct people. It's not only adults either, children can be terrible critics of other children and it can always arise at family gatherings.

Anyways I wanted to piggy-back on Karen Peikert's post and paraphrase it, but this time with an alternative perspective. That of a child with special needs:

Many of you will be sitting with me, someone considered different or ‘special’ on Thursday. Please do not point out my food choices in front of everyone, or make comments about my odd behavior. Even now, I am starting to be excited a…

The Word "Special" Doesn't Cut It

Graduation day at Emory University and my graduation cap referenced a childhood story that my mom would tell me every night when I was a kid, "Once upon a time, there was a beautiful little girl named Alyson Samantha Taylor..." The story would lead into a life lesson I learned that day, usually in reference to being smart, kind, or understanding.

Stories such as these reminded me that I was a special child. I was a special person and I could do great things if I worked hard and was kind. Special in this case referring to something positive; alluding to the beauty of my uniqueness and the fact that there's no other Alyson Samantha Taylor like me in the universe.

There's a beauty in being and FEELING special, until of course the connotation of "special" changes.

When I hear the word "special," I'm torn. I quickly recall the Alyson Samantha Taylor stories, but I just as quickly recall being classified as "Special Needs." No matter how m…

LA's Walk To Talk

My printed speech was in hand along with 150 business cards tucked in my small red purse. I had spoken earlier this past month at an Inland Empire Walk for Apraxia and, frankly, it wasn't my best work. I had stayed up late the night before arguing with a guy I had really liked and expected to perform the next day while emotionally exhausted. Thus, the last speech I gave wasn't terrible, it just wasn't the best I could do.

This time though-I knew I had to speak better. I had spent a week at least organizing my speech, timing myself, and emphasizing a message that I wanted people to walk away with. This walk was getting some celebrity attention between Gage Golightly and Ronda Rousey, and I could lie to you guys and say that I thought nothing of it. But I pride myself on honesty; the first time I heard the news that I was speaking with Ronda Rousey - I was on the phone with friends for 3 hours on my birthday night completely freaked out. 
Why do I need to speak if someone lik…

24 Years and 24 Pieces of Advice

Today is my 24th Birthday! I am one of those people that gets SUPER into my birthday; it doesn't matter how much older I seem to get-celebrating a birthday is a whole month ordeal. You could only imagine how annoying it is. But in honor of my 24th birthday, I wanted to provide 24 Pieces of Advice for your Apraxia Journeys, for both parents and children alike:

1. Enjoy the non-Apraxia moments

2. Apraxia is a diagnosis, it is not the only characteristic of a child

3. Speech therapy is a pain to drive to and to pay for, but for your child it's their biggest homework assignment and biggest task going on in their young life

4. The best of friends are those that don't see Apraxia

5. Family: You may not be able to pick them, but you can teach them (or at least try to open their eyes)

6. Bullies will always exist

7. Apraxia allows you to find the good eggs and the bad eggs

8. The greatest revenge against the doubters is being successful and working twice as hard, despite the setba…