One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

I'm not sure how else to describe the Apraxia Journey. I'm sure parents reading this would agree with the sentiments of this title.

I see it all the time, with a child learning how to say 1 new word perfectly and then reverting the next week to not being able to say it.

Frustrating, right?

Your child starts to make new friends at school and finds their words, perhaps not the best pronunciation, but that is alright! As soon as they start putting themselves out there, they find a new bully that challenges such happiness.

Annoying much!

I even see it with older children and young adults too. Even recently, with a post written by a concerned Mom of a college student. This college student has reminiscent effects of Apraxia and was ostracized in a school group project. Under the premise that the other kids didn't want "the special needs one to mess anything up."

Even more frustrating!

Here's a young man clearly qualified and studious to attend college, yet his work product is challenged on the mere judgment of others defining him as 'special?'

Completely messed up!

What's even worse, and I hate to be the bearer of bad news here, you won't only face these moments once on the journey. If it's not one challenge, it's another. The college student, other children, parents, and myself will witness such setbacks countless times on the journey. Setbacks being from our own capabilities or even from outside forces, like bullies. If we are not the victim of these setbacks, then we will most likely see someone we care about undergo them. Frankly, I'm not sure what's worse-being the victim or being the witness?

These setbacks are impossible to avoid, but possible to overcome. Anyone on this journey will tell you that. They occur in different ways, at different ages, and from different people, but all of which can be overcome.

We always hope that things like this will not happen to anyone. As parents, friends, and siblings the last thing we want is for our loved one to witness and be victim to such treatment. As much as we want to 'get back at the bullies,' our best revenge is not by being as 'bad' as them but fighting back with intellect, grace, hard work and respect.

It stinks being decent sometimes, right?

It's often said that children with Apraxia have an excellent work ethic and I fully agree. One of the qualities that makes these individuals so strong is they face the naysayers and learn, very young, that the only way to 'beat' them at their game is to play the game with grace. You learn nothing you say back in response can help. That your actions, your work, and your efforts are the only way to demonstrate competency and gain respect.

There are many people that never learn this lesson. They can just as easily talk or yell back and get their way.

People with Apraxia don't have such luxury.

Our path requires just a little extra action, a little extra work, and all to gain a little something called respect.