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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…
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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…

Calling It Quits

I attended Speech Therapy privately at Cal State University Northridge (or, CSUN) and also through our public school system for almost 13-14 years total. Could you imagine? It was 1-3 times a week, for a half hour to an hour. Speech Therapy was practically a part-time job for me, on top of school, and other extracurriculars any child should participate in.

Around Middle and High School, many children with Apraxia discuss or mention quitting Speech Therapy, how they no longer want to attend, and how exhausted they are.

Sometimes, a little break here and there can help reset their attitudes.

However, what if it's an unfixable state?

Ever have a job you absolutely hated? Well, would a month vacation help you like that job? I doubt it, if you truly hated that job you would never want to return.

Between Freshman and Sophomore year in High School, my patience with Speech Therapy was severely low. I hated going, but it was so much more than that. I hated that I wasn't getting out of …

What Children With Apraxia Want You to Know

You all have been incredibly busy on your Apraxia Journeys!

Social media and Apraxia Journey updates are buzzing as the summer closes and back to school season begin.

I had several ideas all at once and I was excited to share ALL of them! I'm hoping at least 1 of them is relatable for you and your child. Perhaps some of them can be longer blog posts in the future!

So, here we go, Things Children With Apraxia Want You To Know:

1. We do not want to be our disorder. 
There is absolutely nothing worse than being known for the way you speak, or the fact you speak 'funny' or 'differently.' We definitely appreciate being called according to our awesome names and a hobby or interest of ours.

Imagine, would you like to be known as "Mary with a Toe Thumb?" Well, the last thing any child wants is to be known as "Susie with Apraxia."

Personally speaking, where do you think the title of "Girl With A Funny Accent" came from? Yes, that was my spoken i…