Self Image with Apraxia
The concept of one's self-image.
A guiding point for adult self-help books and even a psychological 'phenomenon.' Is it at all possible that how we introspectively view ourselves translates into our outward appearance?
When a child says, "I'm not good at Math." By failing a test in mathematics, it merely solidifies their self-image of being bad at math.
Personally, playing Volleyball, if I don't say aloud, "I can serve this ball." I will always miss the serve. I constantly envision missing my serve prior to saying my self-assuring phrase. If I believe I'll miss it, then I usually miss it. If I believe I'll make it, or even tell myself I can make the serve, I'll usually make it.
After reading, a bit too much during quarantine, I started to wonder how one's self-image as a child with apraxia is formed. Do children with Apraxia gain a stronger sense of their self-image at a younger age, than those that do not have Apraxia?
Do children with Apraxia grow to have a more confident self-image, a more critical self-image, or even a negative self-image as adults?
I wish I knew the answers to the above questions, but I can only attest to my experiences and those around me.
I would argue that children with Apraxia become more self-aware earlier than those without Apraxia. As a child with this speech disorder, you're aware at a young age that you're different. This is brought quickly to ones attention sometimes as young as 5 years old, especially when others say 'You talk funny,' or you notice you're pulled out of class to go to speech therapy while your peers get to stay in the respective classroom.
These slight interactions obviously cause a level of self-awareness. You at least realize your schedule or your voice for some reason is different than those around you.
Now whether or not that's a good thing or a bad thing, I suppose it's a little bit of both. As a kid, being self-aware that you're 'different' is equivalent to embarrasingly walking out of the bathroom with toilet paper on your shoe. Most kids don't want to be different. They want to fit in.
As an adult, however, the skills of being self-aware comes in handy more often than not. Many adults don't want to be self-aware, or introspective; it's an uncomfortable position to address one's weaknesses. Well, for those that grew up with Apraxia we've lived with our weaknesses and being self-aware about them isn't a bad thing, it just is what it is.
Now as far as growing into having a more self-confident image of oneself as a young adult or teenager with Apraxia? This, I'd argue, depends. It's variable on one's environment around them and their support system. The biggest strength is that these children with Apraxia as they get older have a great skill already established: Identifying and being comfortable with their weaknesses and making mistakes.
This skill, in it of itself, is something that the academia system doesn't teach. It can't, the system teaches these children for a minimum of 12 years-their entire life-that the best way to excel is by studying, getting A's, and never making a mistake.
Those with Apraxia have balanced that atmosphere with their obvious 'weakness,' their speech. They already witness, even if they don't fully comprehend it, that the realities of the world and society isn't wrapped around success or even passing a test.
It's marked with living and being aware of one's weaknesses, and even being okay with them.
I'd argue a person with Apraxia and their self image is fragile. It's based on multiple variables. But I'd also argue it has the most exponential room for growth. Children with Apraxia are already taught the realities of being self-aware. This opportunity merely translates to their potential for self-awareness as a successful adult.