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Hearing Oneself

"You're dropping off that last -R sound again, let's rewind and listen to how you're pronouncing," my Speech Therapist would say (a little too often for my liking). 
She'd proceed to rewind the audio cassette tape that held our recorded sessions and re-play it back to me. This was typically done when we were at the crossroads of my conviction that I was pronouncing something correctly, and her profession saying I wasn't. 
I've associated listening to my voice as this horrible exercise, forcing myself to admit I've done or pronounced something incorrectly.
It took years, literally, for me to tolerate hearing a recording of myself. I can actually recite back to you small moments in my life that comprised of me plugging my ears if I ever had to listen to myself speak on an audio or videotape. 
High School News Channel, I did one little segment less than a minute long-I went to the bathroom to avoid having to listen to myself. 
Spanish College Class-Our fi…

Small Actions Pave the Quest for Hope

We can't control what happens, but we can control our response.

In the midst of an Apraxia journey, comorbidities, and now the economic and emotional toll of COVID-19-finding a way to respond feels next to impossible when we're overwhelmed and emotionally drained.

We think about this 'response', and we just can't tangibly say what this response is.

Now more than ever, our response to crisis-mode is action.

It's a small action, it's setting up an alarm in the morning and knowing that you cannot hit snooze. It's getting up every day when you just really don't want to.

It's as simple as making your own schedule and sticking to it in this new normal, assuring yourself you will make breakfast and coffee at 8am every day.

On my Apraxia Journey, which has lasted the last twenty years, I learned I can't control everything.  I've had plenty of defeated moments of wondering why I have to deal with this and how on earth am I going to respond, but I…

Coronavirus Challenges for the Unique

We find ourselves working from home, suddenly being a homeschool teacher, and-for some-becoming home speech therapists or organizers of tele-therapy.

Due to Coronavirus, states and cities have tightened their regulations for face-mask wearing. In California, you can be refused service at grocery stores and any open essential business if you don't have a facial-covering. Some cities have taken it a step further, Beverly Hills and Glendale now give out $1,000 fines if you are outside of your private property without a mask on. Understandably, these regulations are in place for the safety and well-being of the public.

But the 'public' is diverse, there are kids, teenagers, and adults that are considered to have 'special needs.' These individuals are silently facing a new hurdle in this coronavirus pandemic-following mandates to ensure public safety, but personally fighting discomforts and confusion over new social norms.

Understandably, we all are adjusting to this ne…

Not Enough Credit

As advocates and supporters of those diagnosed with Apraxia of Speech, we seem to be well-versed in identifying an issue, admitting something is wrong, and finding a solution.

Those parents reading this practically do it every day. Those diagnosed also do this every day.

Even though this journey may be exhausting, emotionally trying, and draining. We see an issue, do our best to fix it, and go about our day.

Despite our tenacity, when was the last time you sincerely told yourself "Good Job?"

And I do mean a sincere, 'good job.'

There is a difference between complimenting yourself as such for your strength and tenacity, versus breathing a sigh of relief that this struggle is partly over.

I say this, because I can definitely improve on telling myself 'Good Job.'

I was checking-in for Line Dancing Lessons and I had to say my full name, "Alyson Taylor."

Despite the simple name, I absolutely get anxiety with that '-or' sound at the end of Taylor.

Blinded By The Lines: Apraxia & Dating

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"Honestly most guys wouldn't be open to dating a girl with a speech disorder, but I was open to it. You just ruined a potential[sic] good thing and probably will be miserable for the rest of your life."

I stared at this text message, in the middle of Grocery Shopping, wondering if I was in the wrong for telling a guy that I didn't want to go out with him.

We had a few text exchanges over the course of 5 days and a phone call after 'matching' on an online dating platform.

I did explain (and I deleted it before I screenshotted the image) that I didn't want to go out on a date as I felt we were looking for different things at the time. Also that the whole online dating scene was a bit overwhelming, so I was taking it down completely.

Now I wasn't expecting to read that response from him, but here I was wondering if I should cry, if I was crazy, or if I should be more productive. I chose productivity, hence I screenshotted and have this beautiful blog pos…

New Years

The end of 2019 and the anew of 2020.

The end of a decade and the start of a new one.

My posts usually revolve around the Apraxia Journey; however, this one I may digress. Understanding that for those reading, your past year was-I'm sure-impacted by Apraxia or perhaps a new diagnosis entirely.

Or perhaps it was a plateau year or one of exponential growth for the diagnosed child. Or even more daunting, it was a change for you- a change in career, a change in finances, or a relationship change.

At the end of this year, and whatever may have happened, you are exactly where you need to be for the coming year.

For myself included, this year was marked with harsh realities and finding the strength to be optimistic.

It was realizing that people have their secrets and truly only share what they want the world to know-in person and on social media.

It's learning that the concept of 'having control,' is an impossible one to uphold. Sure we can make the best decision for us at th…

Can You Hear Me Now?

On top of my Apraxia of Speech diagnosis, and this is something I don't speak about as often as I should, I was 90% deaf in both ears at the age of 2-3 years old.

No wonder I had speech delays, right? 
Our ears filter out wax, allowing our eardrums to vibrate and interpret the beautiful sense of'sound. However, my ears were not filtering out wax-actually there was such a buildup of wax behind my eardrums that they were hardly vibrating at all. 
My parents discovered this after some stubborn exchanges of me turning up the TV volume, them turning it back down, and me turning it back up again. 
I had about five sets of tubes in both ears to drain the wax. And I don't necessarily recall the procedure but I do recall the pressure and the discomfort. It was scary! It feels like a balloon about to pop and all of a sudden you hear this gushy, liquid noise whistling out of your ear. 
For my age, and what little I knew of the human anatomy, I was wondering why these adults were tryi…