May 13, 2013


My buddy was recently diagnosed with Childhood Apraxia of Speech.  It's really not a surprise.  I requested that he be tested because I had a feeling something more than just Down syndrome was going on.  Apraxia of Speech is a disorder where the child - for unknown reasons - has a really difficult time getting their mouth and voice coordinated for intelligible speech. 

Every diagnosis sends me into a special needs spiral.  He is going to have a hard enough time with intelligible speech without apraxia.  Will he ever talk?  How can he make meaningful friendships if he can't communicate?  How many years of frustration will this bring us?

Then I see my 10 month old who can mimic my sounds, switching from ma to da to ra without a problem.  She is a month or two away from passing him out in the speech department.  I knew the day would come, but I didn't imagine it would be here this soon. 

I'm not the only one stomping my foot at the unfairness of it all.  Monkey bear sees my buddy getting a new chair and wants a new chair for her.  What she can't see is an almost 5 year old who can't sit in a regular chair at the table.  Who has to be strapped in with a place to put his feet so they don't turn purple.

But once the foot stomping is done, there is always the light at the end of the tunnel.  He does have some words - one of which is Mama.  Maybe this diagnosis will help us find an alternative communication device that he loves and he will be able to tell us so many things he couldn't before, even if it won't be in his own voice, it will be his words.

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