Childhood Apraxia of Speech

CJ Update

Our little boy has been working very hard at his speech therapy sessions.  He has been receiving speech therapy twice a week from two different therapist.  A private speech therapist and an Early Intervention therapist.  Both of CJ’s therapist notice continued growth in his speech and language development.

CJ works super hard at trying to communicate with us.  His apraxia is not as severe as Maya’s so we have an easier time understanding him when he is trying to communicate.  However, outside our home, we translate CJ’s speech for others.  I define CJ’s stage of speech development as the “My Mommy is my Translator” stage (See Below).

Side note: Having two kids with Childhood Apraxia of Speech has made me interpret the condition in my own way.  Disclaimer: I am not an expert, just a mom who is coping with the challenges of a rare neurological speech disorder.  To help me cope, I’ve come up with my own stages of CAS.

  1. Nonverbal: limited communication, challenging for everyone to understand, including mommy and daddy
  2. Verbal: Mommy/ Daddy translator stage
  3. Verbal: Let’s build your confidence so you can speak on your own stage
  4. Verbal: You can say your name and you don’t need so much help from your mommy and daddy = confident happy kid!
    • I’d say Maya is in-between stages 3 and 4 and CJ is in stage 2, but there are times we still have difficulty understanding him.  

Today, I was able to capture two videos of CJ attempting to communicate his wants and needs to me.  You will notice in the videos he is working very hard for me to understand what he is trying to say.  In the first video, CJ wants to eat his cereal out of a particular bowl.  Through process of elimination I was finally able to figure out what he was saying.  This happens frequently throughout our day. (Scroll below first video for the second video.)

 

Ironically, after capturing the first video, there was another moment where I had difficulty understanding CJ’s speech.  In this video, CJ is requesting something.  I could not figure out what he wanted.  Maya helped me interpret what he was saying.

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Childhood Apraxia of Speech

Update

As another Apraxia Awareness Day approaches, I thought it was only necessary to update you on the kids progress.  In this post, I’m going to update you on Maya’s progress.

Both kids continue to work hard at therapy.  Maya has entered the world of occupational therapy.  Once a week she takes aquatic therapy to help her overcome some anxieties she has been experiencing.  Over the past few months, Maya has been having “meltdowns,” not temper tantrums, but full blown meltdowns.  The meltdowns are rare, but when they do happen, the meltdowns tend to hinder her day.  She has trouble calming herself down.  Through occupational therapy, I’ve learned techniques to help calm Maya and get her back to her usual self.

The meltdowns tend to occur when she is overstimulated, and I have noticed a correlation between too much time on the iPad and not enough activity.  (Maya doesn’t know this, but mommy has hidden the iPad.)  She also has meltdowns when she is very anxious.  If she is unsure of something or unsure of her ability to do something, Maya becomes very anxious.  Maya’s OT has given me some coping mechanisms to help her overcome her anxieties and thankfully, the techniques are working.

Maya’s speech has significantly improved.  She still has trouble with some words and talking in complete sentences.  She tends to mix up her/she he/him and she will omit words from her sentences (is, are). One of her favorite sentences is, “I not know.”

Even though she still has errors in her language, I feel confident that she will love kindergarten.  She loves making friends, playing sports and going to school.  She loves art and visiting family.  She loves to learn and write letters to her friends.  She truly does not let her limitations define her.  She works through her challenges and she loves to play and have fun.

Here is a recent picture of Maya.  She was super excited to be the line leader at school!

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Here is a video of Maya playing soccer! She comes alive when playing sports.  She absolutely loves to play any sport. (Maya is wearing blue socks, yellow shirt, and has a long pony tail.)

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