Posts

What 26.2 Miles Taught Me

Image
Eight months of training.
 10-40 Miles a Week of Running.
No Crazy Friday Nights.
Saturday mornings running at 5am for 32 Weeks.

And for some crazy reason, it was all worth it on that Sunday morning in Long Beach.

26.2 Miles, a full Marathon, beginning at 6am and ending whenever I finished.

This was my first full marathon.

It was about as emotionally draining, overwhelming, and rewarding as you can imagine. For someone like me, who never considered herself to be a runner, someone that started athletics in special-ed P.E for poor coordination; I never thought I'd find myself at a Marathon Starting Line yet alone the Finish Line.

Fun fact, only 0.5% of the U.S Population has ever done a Marathon. I'd be joining this elite group of athletes well knowing that I still trip once every 8 Miles.

I ran that Marathon for those that couldn't and for my 26th birthday. I ran for that little girl who was told she couldn't. I ran that distance for people that dream of doing so, but d…

Apraxia Has Given...

Apraxia has given me...Confidence. 

A twisted sense of humor. 

Appreciation. 

But, in turn, it's given me flaws.

Mistrust. 

Anxiety.

Self-Doubt.

Authority Problems.

I know what it's like to think you're doing something right, yet in practice it's wrong. 

We all focus on a child's mere ability to speak and function when they're older, we forget about the emotional implications. 

We forget about the emotional lessons these kids witness. 

1. You think you're speaking correctly, but you're not. No matter how hard you try, it feels like you're constantly      wrong. 

2. You go to therapy to do something everyone else has no issues with-speaking for goodness sake. 

3. People are different, some you can trust and rely on more than others. You're told to rely on and turn to other Adults-teachers for instance-but let's face it. Some teachers and supposed-to-help adults don't all empathize the same. Nor do they care the same. Some don't see your disorder a…

Confidence.

Image
Confidence is a choice. Confidence is my choice.

The Apraxia Conference and conversations with fellow attendees all lead to a common topic: Confidence. 
How are you so confident speaking? 
I wish I had an ounce of that confidence. 
So on and so forth. 
I am not downplaying these remarks, confidence on the apraxia journey-or life journeys without Apraxia-is perplexing. 
Confidence appears arrogant if expressed inappropriately. 
Confidence appears insecure if expressed without humility. 
Confidence is difficult.
People mistake confidence for being a characteristic, or a person's trait. It's just "how they are."
To that, I disagree. 
Confidence is a choice. It's a constant, almost daily choice that a person makes.
One doesn't wake up and say "I'm going to be confident from here on out." 
Um, no!
If I let you in on a little secret, my confidence was tested at that Apraxia Conference. It always is. 
Sure, I can present-but I nervous talk. Every time I ba…

Conference Realizations

Image
Just got back from the Apraxia Kids Conference in Pittsburgh. The information and expertise at your fingertips, every minute of the day, for two and a half days; it's empowering and overwhelming, in the best way possible.

I wish I could give a breakdown of each session for those reading this, but I cannot do them justice. The respective speakers covered a lot of material in so little of time; from techniques for fellow SLP's, the potential role of Genetics and the Brain on a child with CAS, other diagnoses that may play a role in this journey, firsthand experiences, and even Fathers' and Siblings' perspectives as well.

Simply put, there is something for everyone at this conference.

But, for me, this conference; I struggled with my own identity and what niche I related to. Sure I am a blogger and on the board, but even these are a small niche with a group of 500+ people.

You see, I am not an SLP.

I am not a Parent with a child diagnosed.

I am no longer an older child or…

Apraxia & Anxiety

Image
My heart pounding loudly, yet only I could hear it.  My hands were sweaty, could others see it too?
I'm trying to breathe, but each attempt at a breath is hardly productive.
My office space seemed to be getting smaller and smaller, simply because of one simple question on an email. Not even a bad question, but an unexpected one. What do I say?  I don't know the answer, let me freak out instead. I start quickly brainstorming responses, but my brain quickly turned to mush and fancy terms are bouncing around with no coherent sense. 
At least now as an adult, I recognize my Anxiety Attacks. I recognize when I need to step away, walk away, hide in a bathroom stall and take 10-30 deep breaths. As an adult, I have this luxury to know my limits and do what I need to do.
This anxiety I am all too familiar with. I felt it every single time I said "Here" during Attendance in School, every time someone asked about my voice, and every time a Speech Therapist corrected me that mad…

Hope & Apraxia

Image
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…

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. 
B…