Childhood Apraxia of Speech

Teaching

Note to self: You can plan for the future, but the Dear Lord may have something else in mind. Keep faith and stay strong.

I remind myself of this several times a day, typically during those times when I allow my thoughts to get the best of me. 

Before CAS entered our lives I had plans. To many they may not seem exciting, but to me, my plans were special.  In 2008, (after I had already earned a 4 year degree) I finally figured out what I wanted to do with my life. I wanted to be a school teacher and by the fall semester of 2008 I was (again) a full time college student. 

Returning to school was one of the best decisions I ever made and I was (and still am) determined to have the career I’ve always dreamed about. However, I find myself in a life I never imagined. 

It isn’t a bad life at all, just one I’ve never imagined. “Stay at Home Mom” was a job title I never looked for, but one I absolutely love. Like many moms, I wear many hats. Chauffeur, cook, house cleaner, but most importantly I’m the mom of two beautiful children. 

On days when I allow my thoughts to wander and think of the many plans I had for myself, I remember I have a very important job. In my home I am a teacher. My plans have changed and I am currently not teaching in a classroom, but I teach all day long. I create lessons for my daughter. We work together to overcome the challenges she faces with CAS. I teach her techniques to communicate. Everyday we work together, learn from each other.

Yes, my plans have changed and it is my hope to one day teach in a classroom. For now, I have one important lesson to teach, I have to teach my daughter to talk. I have to teach her to find her voice. 

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Baby Brother

Our sweet little boy turns 5 months tomorrow and the last 5 months have been filled with so many new experiences. Mainly our biggest challenge has been adjusting from having one kid to having two kids. Any parent who has gone through this knows exactly what I’m talking about. To sum it up, less time for yourself and everything else while being more sleep deprived, but none of this matters. Our house is so filled with love, joy and laughter that at times I feel a slight twinge to add one more. (Emphasis on slight because I mean itty bitty, tiny, fleeting thought).

Of all the joy our little boy brings I hate to admit that there is some fear, some worry, some anxiety. Every parent feels this, we all worry about our children. But I worry that my little boy will end up with CAS.  At times I’m so worried that I find myself studying him. Staring at each of his actions, scrutinizing all of his movements. I constantly read milestone checklists to see if he reaches each one.

I compare his behaviors to my daughter’s infant behaviors. I find myself drawing attention to silly things, telling friends and family, “he always sucks on his fingers and he drools constantly.” I was estatic when he easily took to nursing. Every coo, every smile, every imitation of sound, everytime he makes raspberries with his lips or blows spit bubbles, I find myself rejoicing. I rejoice because these simple actions help alleviate some of my stress and worry.

When our daughter was an infant she rarely demonstrated many of the behaviors her brother does. I don’t remember her blowing spit bubbles or making raspberries. She had difficulties with nursing. She didn’t baby babble as frequently as her brother does now. Looking back there were many warning signs, but I was a first time mom and I missed noticing them. The warning signs didn’t make sense til she was diagnosed. 

Even now as our sweet boy demonstrates so many milestones, I still can’t get over my fears. Now that I’m aware, I worry I’ll miss a warning sign.  I am fearful that I’m creating false hope for myself each time I rejoice. No one prepares you for the amount of worrying you will experience as a mother.

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