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Hope & Apraxia

Hope. Is it a naive cliché to help us sleep better at night? 
Or is it actually helpful? 
Is hope powerful enough to overcome our obsession with the technical; our obsession with science, facts, studies, and research? 
Can hope exist in a society obsessed with specifics?
We cling to hope when we need or feel like it, yet we label it a cliché in the face of despair and hopelessness. 
In the Apraxia Community, we know these hopeless moments as the 'Kitchen Floor Moments.' 
When you're crying on the floor, in fear of the future and your child. In these moments, the last thing we can swallow is hope. 
Yet, this is when we need it most. 
We cling to hope when we have our waves of optimism, yet in our waves of depression, hope taunts us, we detest it, and we push it away. 
How can we be hopeful for a child or ourselves when everyone says to be hopeless? When there's actual, physical evidence proving we have a right to be hopeless. 
Hope, the concept of it, has been haunting me for a w…
Recent posts

The Unforeseen Variable

In evaluating a child's potential for success, we take into account certain variables. We measure, test, and evaluate these variables to 'predict' how they'll grow up and sometimes even what they'll grow up to be. 
We account for their ability to behave in a classroom, their ability to read, spell, do basic math calculations, history, science, etc. 
We even give each variable a grade- A's are excellent, F's are failing, 5's are excellent, 1's are poor.
With these graded and perfectly-measured variables, we characterize an entire human being within the confines of a few sheets of paper. 
Papers from IEP's, Progress Reports, Report Cards, and even Doctor's Reports- we somehow measure a person's potential future and success before they're even 10 years old!
Look, I get it. These reports are drowning, consuming, and overwhelming. These reports dictate services, how your child is growing, and how they're improving or not improving. 

Poor Phone Signal: An Apraxia Struggle

I promised this blog post awhile ago, as a grandparent is struggling with their 6-year old grandchild with Apraxia who gets upset when not understood:
Why am I talking, yet no one can hear me? No one can understand me?
Am I not talking loud enough? Or are others just not able to get me?
At Six Years Old, I was 95% unintelligible. One year later, I'd finally be able to say my name 'Alyson' clear enough that others would understand me. So, when it comes to understanding a child's frustration with the inability to communicate, I may be able to shed some light. 
The frustration is unreal, indescribable, and unnerving. Of constantly talking-or trying to talk-yet not being understood. 
Ever call someone on the phone with poor phone signal? There's brief frustration, right? You give up, yell that you'll call them back, sigh, and hang up. 
Luckily for you that frustration is brief. 
For a young child with Apraxia, that frustration is constantly felt. 
To them-they are ta…

A Siblings Perspective

My name is Sara Taylor, Alyson’s younger sister. I am 18 years old, which makes a 6-year difference between my sister and I. Unlike my sister, I do not have Apraxia. Our parents were fair between my sister and I, despite our clear differences, but it’s still not easy balancing between two children yet alone two children of different capabilities. My parents did a fair job keeping my sister and me as equals. But, also my sister and I grew up in slightly different times. Alyson grew up in the nineties and Apraxia was not a medically recognized speech disorder. There were no blogs, nor walks to connect to other families, and there were no Facebook pages either. No sense of community or thoughts that anyone else was dealing with this same problem. Even though these deficiencies may have been harder on my parents, it actually worked to my benefit (in a weird sort of way). I was oblivious to my sister's disorder until probably I was about 13 years old. By then I knew the word ‘Apraxia,’ …

Mi Historia con Apraxia [Español]

Siempre estoy escribiendo en ingles sobre mi experiencia con un trastorno del habla, "Apraxia." Por supuesto, esta acción es importante y valiosa, pero solo estoy escribiendo y hablando a una comunidad de anglohablantes.
Apraxia puede afectar a personas de todos los orígenes, personas que hablan inglés y español. Y como puedo escribir y hablar en los dos idiomas, me siento que tengo compartir mi historia única con el trastorno en español también. 
Apraxia es un trastorno del habla que afecta la boca y el cerebro en los niños. En general, en los niños típicos, la persona sabe que quiere decir, el cerebro habla a la boca y le dice cómo moverse. La boca se mueve y las palabras se forman.
Sin embargo, este no es el mismo para los niños con Apraxia. Con Apraxia, el cerebro trata de hablar a la boca pero no puede hacerlo; la comunicación entre el cerebro y la boca no está funcionando. Una persona con Apraxia necesita aprender a hablar primera con su boca y segunda con su  cerebro-La …

The Least Expected-Self Sufficiency & Independence

There they go again. Your child with Apraxia is crawling or stumbling their way to a cool toy, without even asking or trying to ask for it. Or you're picking up your child from that after-school program and realize they are playing alone. They do not seem phased by this: by the extra effort in stumbling to their toy or even playing by themselves, yet this is crushing you.

We live in a social, communicative world. We only exist when others acknowledge us.

So how exactly is your child with Apraxia seemingly content with self-sufficiency, this level of independence that most Adults lack? Obviously they will need to learn how to engage in this overly social world, but for now-why are they incredibly independent?

Kids adjust to their environment in order to satisfy their desires. When a child with Apraxia learns that no one understands them, it doesn't take away their desire to play with the cool Toy Truck or Barbie Doll in the corner.

In the beginning they may cry and babble, tryi…

Voice, Beauty and Brains

Summer before high school and my close friend and I were shopping at Forever 21 or Wet Seal, or some sort of pre-teen shop. There were a couple cute guys making eye contact through the store's glass windows and waving at us. We, of course, were also making googly eyes and flirtatiously waving back. What's a girl to do, right?

Eventually, these two cute boys joined us at the store. They started talking to us and my friend responded with some sort of joke, and we all laughed.

They asked us what school we went to and I responded, "We are going to John Burroughs High School next year."

Except, out of my mouth, I did not say 'Burroughs.' I most likely said, 'Buhwoughs.'

Their eyes of admiration and interest changed suddenly. If you've ever seen your first impression shatter before your eyes, that's what I saw.

Their interest turned to, "Oh, you looked cool but you didn't look like you had a problem."

Out they left.

My friend cheered m…