Comparison Sucks on the Apraxia Journey

    The act of comparison is something learned over the years, as we get older and better able to rationalize who and what is going on around us. The act of comparing yourself to others, your kid to someone elses; well, it's natural for us as human beings to do this.

    The two or three year old child diagnosed though, does not have this capacity though. They are still kids and, frankly, thank goodness for that. Their ignorance allows them to still be a kid, to play pretend as if nothing is wrong with them. Most adults wouldn't even do that; we'd mope around and probably be depressed or aggressive towards others. But these kids? Too young to know anything is amiss? They just beat by their own drum. Why? Because they have not compared themselves to anything or anyone around them! It's beautiful.

   They do; however, understand that others around them do not understand what they are saying. For instance, and I am sure you as parents know this, your kid said the same unintelligible thing for 5 minutes and no matter how hard you try-you have no idea what they are talking about. The kid cries with frustration, and you are broken-hearted over the fact you can't understand your own child.

   The child though? The child firmly believes that they are speaking correctly, what they said was correct and YOU, the listener, are wrong. However, this child's belief is shattered as they age, they ultimately learn whether in talking to you or looking at their surroundings that something in fact is wrong with THEIR speech and not other's understanding of it.

    This realization though only occurs inwardly and through the act of comparison. The child ages, sees their surroundings, and other kids. They naturally start to rationalize how they speak and act to those around them. The act of comparison is inevitable and marked with troublesome rewards.

   Troublesome rewards? Yes, I really do mean 'Troublesome rewards.' With knowledge, a person even as young as 6 or 7 now has the motivation to fight, to join the 'other side' that had austerisized them or literally misunderstood them. That motivation is key and vital in any journey. Troublesome though, because when you spend your life comparing yourself and your abilities to be like everyone else...Well then, how do you find true happiness? Finding happiness and comfort in yourself, especially for kids that started their life with a disorder like Apraxia, is hard. It's hard for everybody regardless. But when are we going to realize that the act of comparison may be a motivator, but in it of itself, it provides no solace.

   Parents- I'm looking at you too. With social media and all these sites, I'm seeing some extremely defeated parents compare their child's journey to others who are deemed 'more successful.' Now, my parents raised me in a generation where there wasn't Facebook, Instagram, or parent-child comparisons done via the internet. To say they had it better or worse though is extremely subjective. They still had to go to the PTA Meetings where some mom said, " Oh, my daughter has straight A's and can do the splits." How the heck could they have responded? I could just see it now, "Oh, my daughter is 25% intelligible from her last IEP."

Splendid conversation, right?

Parents, look I get it. Comparison sucks. You see your kid who is still nonverbal after years of speech therapy, and Susie makes a post saying, "We just finished speech therapy forever, they are fully resolved! #apraxiasuccess"

Thank you very much Susie. You  comment, "Congratulations" and  start crying behind your laptop screen.

Rather than comparing your child to someone else's, perhaps rationalizing the fact that your child started in a completely different position on the race track of Apraxia. Or maybe, they were running a completely different race altogether that has a completely different prize at the end.

No Apraxia Journey is the same. That's what everyone says, right? That dumb cliche line to make you feel better, but is sadly the truth. Roll your eyes all you want, you know for a fact it's true.

No Apraxia Journey is the same.

Well, I hate to be the one to break this to you, but if there are different Apraxia Journeys...there will naturally be different Apraxia Endings.

That does not make any journey, or their endings, any better or worse than the other.

And if you fall into the trap of thinking it all ends the same, you may be rather disappointed.

Take it from me who sees "Resolved Apraxia" cases and they actually sound American and the fact I never had it written on a report that I am over 80% intelligible or even the word, "Resolved."

But, you know something. Sure, I could compare the fact that people can say "Taylor" or "Four" correctly and I can't. I could be bitter about not sounding like anyone else in my family. But, why would I? My Apraxia Journey's ending is what I make of it and best of all, it's my ending. It's an ending that no one else has in the world.

So, what do we do with this rather dark conclusion, the fact that your ending may never be the same as someone else's?

You find strength in it.

You try to see it as the most remarkable thing, the fact that thousands of kids may have been given the same diagnosed name but your kid is making this journey their own.

There is not a single Apraxia journey that is identical.

Thus, the ending of the journey is what you and your child make out of it.

I assure you, your ending will likely be different (in one way or another) to who you are comparing yourself to.