Our story begins January 2011. After returning to school to pursue my teaching certification in Elementary Education, I was finally student teaching. I was so excited to begin this new experience and I wanted to prove myself as an effective teacher. A few weeks into the semester my student teaching experience grew a bit more challenging, I discovered I was pregnant with my first child.
My husband and I were thrilled, but now I had a full plate and at the time I thought this would be one of the most challenging times in my life. My pregnancy was textbook. Intense morning sickness during the first trimester, yummy cravings throughout the second, and anxiously waiting for the arrival of our baby during the third. On September 14, 2011 our beautiful baby girl was born.
Since she was born at the beginning of the school year, I decided to stay home with our daughter for her first year. She was a happy and healthy baby, but she had trouble latching when I tried to nurse. I decided to bottle feed. She was thriving and in those early days she was hitting each milestone and her inability to latch during nursing became an after thought.
As she grew, I would hear many wonderful compliments about our beautiful little girl. One compliment I would often hear was, “You are so lucky to have such a calm, quiet baby.” The word quiet was often used to describe my daughter. She did not baby babble, instead she would make noises. When she began to say words she did not say them often. She would use many gestures to communicate and by age one her vocabulary consisted of three words. Mom, Dad, dog (pronounced du). All animals were dogs, women were mom and men were dad. My husband and I did not worry too much because we realized every child was different and in time she would develop more vocabulary.
My daughter was one year old when I decide to return to work. As the school year progressed my daughter learned a few more words, NeNe (a name she called her grandmother) and Nanny (a name she used to call my sister). My mother began to comment about my daughter’s limited word use. I also noticed that children the same age as my daughter were attempting to sing Christmas carols and my little girl would just dance to the music.
By the end of the school year my daughter’s language had not improved and she demonstrated other odd behaviors. She would chipmunk cheek all of her food and scream every time we attempted to brush her teeth. We were very concerned and I decided to stop working again and figure out why our little girl was not speaking.
We contacted Early Intervention and two individuals came to our home to assess our daughter. After evaluating our daughter, Early Intervention determined that she was not eligible for services because cognitively she was on level for her age. Early Intervention could not give my husband and I an answer for why our daughter was not talking. We were told, “some children are late talkers.”
Frustrated, my husband and I decided to contact a SLP. This was the best decision we could have done for our daughter. Our daughter was 2.5 years old when her SLP diagnosed her with Childhood Apraxia of Speech. I had never heard of this condition, but I was relieved to have a name, an answer and so began our new journey with Childhood Apraxia of Speech.