A Great Bubble Escape

You're standing in this clear, liquid bubble.

You walk around seeing others talking about the new Wonder Woman movie and the cool new toy. You even see your parents asking you what you want for dinner.

You see life going on around you.

Now what happens when you try to talk through this bubble.

Sounds different, doesn't it? Muffled almost. You're trying to talk through a liquid ball for goodness sake.

This is Apraxia. Physically and emotionally, you are stuck in a bubble. With frustration, you yell and talk loudly through this muffling bubble, but those around you misunderstand and even claim that "You talk funny."

Internally frustrated, you assure yourself, I'm saying everything correctly! These people don't get it!

With this mindset, you're further isolated in this bubble. You don't have connections to the people on the outside because you clearly can't talk to them.

You don't play with them.

You are your own best company in this bubble.

Now what makes an Apraxia journey so daunting for parents and children alike?

It's the fact they must work together to break this bubble with very limited interactions. The parents break the bubble from the outside, while the child breaks it from the inside. Parents expose activities, sports, and social opportunities from outside of the bubble. The child tries to engage in these more and more, while escaping the bubble.

Other than giving a child their voice, the main goal in any Apraxia journey is to break this bubble and KEEP it broken.

Now, you may think it's odd to say "keep" it broken. How in the world can the bubble re-form? Once your child has their voice-that's it, right?

If only it were that easy.

When the Apraxia bubble is broken, your child will verbally communicate. But there's still more work to be done-more annunciation and clearer pronunciation.

Even with this broken bubble, your child will interact with others that do not fully understand them still. Other kids will say impoliteness comments, not out of rudeness but these 'others' kids are also exploring a world outside of their own bubbles-such as speech disorders.

You will want to step in. You've seen your child finally physically break down this inhibiting bubble and merely navigate their way. The second you witness someone insult or insinuate that your child is different-you will want to shut that down quickly.

The second you do and the second your child notices you doing so. You've successfully built a new bubble. You've officially determined that your child is somehow different than the kid they're talking to. That the two should NOT interact. Worst of all, your child now sees that they ARE different from some other kid.

Now don't mistaken me, this does not mean to sit back if your child with Apraxia is being seriously bullied. If your kid is bullied (rather than a kid just saying something dumb due to ignorance) then go talk to the school and see what can be done.

When you try to shield your child from these social interactions even the most difficult ones, they are unintentionally being placed in a bubble yet again. Our goal is to break this bubble and keep it broken. The child will interact with, sadly, a lot of rude people as children and as adults. If you shield them, they are going to be deterred and lack the abilities to interact with difficult people. Bubbles are not only created from Apraxia, but they too can be created from our fear of awkward and rude social moments.

To truly break this Apraxia bubble, we must keep this bubble broken. This broken bubble, even with all of its bullies and awkward social interactions, is the only escape to the world these children so longed to participate in while nonverbal.