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:
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 Apraxia Awareness clan. Accepting the difference, rather than ignoring or disregarding it-now that's awareness.
Appreciation is awareness. It's not enough to only acknowledge and accept Apraxia, it's a whole other to APPRECIATE it. To truly appreciate that the diagnosis, albeit difficult, leads to growth, leads to working hard, leads to never taking anything 'simple' for granted. It leads to the child learning a lot about themselves and you learning a lot about who you are too. Accepting that the child is different, but different isn't bad.
For me, awareness is nothing without Acknowledgement, Acceptance, and Appreciation. I've personally made it a priority to practice all three on my journey and, despite even the bad days, it's a slow process of growth. It's acknowledging that I had a speech disorder, it's accepting I have and will always have an accent, and it's appreciating everything this journey has taught me and what I hope to teach others.
Awareness: Acknowledgement, Acceptance, Appreciation.