Showing posts from May, 2018

Day 30 of Apraxia Awareness Month - "Hope For The Future"

My hope for Apraxia Awareness and the future has not changed in the last 20 years.  My hope has always been to help every single child out there with a 'funny accent' to find their strengths, talents, and happiness. To bring them as much comfort as I possibly can so they are never ostracized for something beyond their natural control.   My hope is that one day Apraxia will not be a foreign concept. My hope is that others will respect a child finding their voice; that other family members will empathize with those on the Apraxia Journey. My hope is that the a child diagnosed will not be questioned by cynical doubters.  My hope is that each party involved can work together for the success of a child-between speech pathologists, teachers, parents, and the children themselves. My hope is that they all share a common goal of shaping a child's special talents and strengths rather than accentuating their 'special needs' and disorders.  My hope is

Day #29: Lessons Learned

Lessons learned on the Apraxia Journey; where exactly can one possibly begin? Frankly, this entire blog could constitute as 'lessons learned.' Between discussing bullies, friendships, teachers, and life-there's lessons everywhere. However, in sharing my stories and also meeting others I believe there is one, significant lesson that is applicable for all on the Apraxia Journey: Despite any obvious imperfections, including Apraxia or other disorders, that does not and should not define, take away, or inhibit anyone's potential for happiness. It is easy to doubt or question anyone's ability to find success and happiness, especially when they have a disorder that is not familiar. In the song, Colors of the Wind, Pocahontas sings, "You think the only people who are people, are the people who look and think like you." This line is applicable to our kids with Apraxia, they don't speak 'normally' and others definitely treat them differe

Day 21: Best Advice

My best advice for anyone on this Apraxia Journey is a simple one: Apraxia does not define the individual. Puzzle Bob & I At last years conference, I had a visual that I call "Puzzle Bob" to emphasize this point and I'll share it again... Now, walk with me here, we have a giant puzzle that is a whole person, right? Now some of us have this puzzle piece entitled 'Apraxia.' Granted, some of us may think this is the biggest piece out of the whole puzzle. Even if it were though, it is not the ONLY piece. What sort of boring puzzle would that be if it were only a single piece, right? Each child is made up of several different pieces: They love junk food. They like swimming. They enjoy meeting new people. They enjoy books. Each of these interests are a 'puzzle piece' of who they are. Their identity outside of their disorder. If we spend 100% of our efforts with only one puzzle piece, such as Apraxia, we miss out on the whole puzzle.

Day 11: What Awareness Means to Me

Awareness cannot stand alone. It is not it's own individual concept.  Awareness for me consists of the three A's: 1. Acknowledgement 2. Acceptance 3. Appreciation Acknowledgement is awareness. When we can acknowledge the existence of Apraxia, it's associated impairments on a child's growth, and acknowledge their journeys, then we further perpetuate Apraxia Awareness. We force others in our community to acknowledge it in simple conversations, such as, "Oh, he has speech therapy that day we can't make it." They begin to acknowledge the time commitment Apraxia creates, they see small glimpses of the work you all do, and they too (and hopefully) acknowledge Apraxia. [And if they don't acknowledge it, well that's just rude].  Acceptance is awareness. When a parent accepts the diagnosis as a thing that CAN BE defeated, that is awareness. When peers accept a child with apraxia and it's reminiscent effects, they join the Apraxi

Day 9 of Apraxia Awareness-Sweet Treats Day

Cinnamon rolls, cookies, and baked treats are the first thing to come to mind. But, these treats don't necessarily relate well to Apraxia. They do provide a rather tasty escape though. Frankly, my go-to sweet treat was McDonald's Vanilla Ice Cream after Summer School Days and Speech Therapy sessions. It always gave me something to look forward to! Anyways, I don't think my eating habits are truly a 'bloggable' subject. But the other metaphorical, sweet treat of 'patience' is. I love this quote from Aristotle, "Patience is bitter, but it's rewards are sweet." Who could deny this on the Apraxia Journey? It's constant patience and praying that it will just "be fixed." That the process of your child finding their rightful voice will ultimately quickly be resolved. I mean, let's face it. No parenting book told you that you'd have to be patient for this. It was all supposed to just 'naturally happen.' They

Day 8 Apraxia Awareness Month: Learn Something New

It's not 'new,' but it is "Relatively new." I've learned that I would not be who I am today if it wasn't for Apraxia. That's a tough one to admit. I recall being so frustrated as a child with all the obstacles- making friends, bullies, and literally fighting to be understood. But at the end of the day, as an adult, I can now come to terms with what I've learned on the Apraxia Journey made me the woman I am today. The one who works extremely hard and knows that doesn't guarantee success (but it gets me closer to it), the one who values socializing with anyone I bump into, and ensuring that all advocacy is meant to make future generations capable and strong in their own journeys. So, what have you guys learned recently?

May 2: Thank A Teacher Day

Today in Apraxia Awareness Month is "Thank A Teacher Day." Now teachers can make or break a child's academic experience and Apraxia Journey. Terrible teachers lead to children losing interest, losing passion, and a tumultuous relationship between teacher-parent-and child. But, the amazing teachers. The teachers that go above and beyond their basic responsibilities to ensure a child-regardless of ability-enjoys learning and remains interested... Now, these teachers deserve a lot more credit than just one blog post. Frankly, I had some quite amazing teachers that made the Apraxia Journey easier and I couldn't possibly narrow it down to only one. My parents could sigh a breath of relief when I was with any of them. I owe these amazing educators a lot more, but all I can say is Thank You. They saw the bright girl without a strong voice and they saw my passion to overcome any struggle in my way. Some of my Teacher Superstars I'd like to thank are: 1. Joe

Day #1: Share Your Story

In honor of Apraxia Awareness Month, I am here to share my story. Because, well, that's what the social media calendar says, today is "Share Your Story Day." Now for those of you who have followed my blog for a while know a lot about my story, so I'll try to be brief. First of all-Apraxia of Speech is a neurological disorder that prevents children from exercising correct motor function/control to produce intelligible sounds. Basically, the brain knows what it WANTS to say, but it doesn't have the ability to tell the mouth how to move to say it. It's a constant "cats got your tongue" in a very, oversimplified sense. I was diagnosed with Childhood Apraxia of Speech when I was 3 years old. Now, this diagnosis was HARD. You have to understand that there was no Wikipedia, no Apraxia Kids, no Facebook, no hashtags, and-frankly-no medical professional recognized it as a legitimate diagnosis. This was back in the Nineties, but thankfully progress w