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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…

On Paper, In Person

Special.

Slow.

Challenged.

Non-Verbal.

90% Unintelligible.

Uncoordinated.

These were the labels tied to my name, or at least written on my old IEP reports starting from Kindergarten.

I have the luxury now of re-reading these reports and smiling, but at the time they were written, there was nothing to smile about.

I smile now because everyone involved in these meetings-me included- had no idea what I'd amount to years later as an adult.

You read these terms, these labels, and we naturally assume the worst for the future ahead.

On paper I was destined to struggle.

In person, I was destined to be whatever my abilities allowed.

Paper can change. It's the person-and their hopes and hard work- that changes it.

These sheets of paper could easily have been a crutch. But why would I want that? If others can succeed without these sheets of paper, then why can't I?

Time and time again I'd take the harder route just for the satisfaction that I was doing something that the 'Nor…

What 26.2 Miles Taught Me

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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…