On May 14th, we will celebrate the first annual Apraxia Awareness Day! The Childhood Apraxia of Speech Association worked hard to make this an official day recognized by the United States Congress. Several states have joined in to officially recognize this day as well. It's a very exciting event for those of us in the Apraxia community! Many people have never heard of Apraxia, and don't know about it, so it's a good chance to get the word out for these awesome kids. Many people made a meme for their child, and I joined in as well.
This week has been a bit emotional for me. I am so very proud of the hard work that Luke has put into speech. We started 2 months before his 3rd birthday, and we are right around 1.5 years into therapy. In those 1.5 years Luke has gone twice a week, pretty much every week other than the occasional day off or yearly vacation. And not once has he ever complained. Not once! He is proud to go and do his big boy work as he calls it. He knows Ms. Ginny helps him to talk, and he will tell you that.
It's amazing to think that this time two years ago Luke couldn't say "hi". Luke had been in speech through early intervention for four months at that point, and he had made very little progress. I stumbled across an Apraxia website late one night while desperately searching or what would help him. I can remember reading the description of Apraxia to my husband, and knowing in my heart I was describing Luke perfectly. I also knew then that I HAD to find him the right kind of therapist, or we would continue to go no where with therapy.
Today Luke has made amazing progress thanks to a wonderful therapist and PROMPT therapy. At one point I proudly posted Luke's newest words and phrases on Facebook. As we went on, the new words and phrases started coming so fast that I couldn't keep up. When we started with Ginny, Luke had 10 words and/or approximations. Meaning Luke had his own way of saying most of those words, but most people outside of our immediate family wouldn't understand them. Today, I couldn't tell you how many words he has. And the vast majority are words that strangers would understand.
Luke still struggles. He gropes for sounds sometimes. There are times where he's talking, will pause, and you can see/hear him working on that next word. But my boy is determined and has never gotten frustrated. He works on those words until he gets out what he wants. He patiently repeats himself if needed until we understand. Motor planning is still a bit of an issue, but we're all working hard at overcoming it. Luke may have Apraxia, but Apraxia does not have him.