When meeting a little boy this past summer, something inside me clicked. I had an "aha" moment about my firstborn. This little boy had something called, apraxia. As his mother explained this disorder and how it related to him, I couldn't but feel an instinctive, gut feeling my daughter shared the same characteristics.
I told my daughter's therapists, doctors, anyone who was taking care of her of my suspicions. We even went to another hospital to get a second opinion to confirm these suspicions. They all agreed, my little ladybug showed some signs and most likely had apraxia.
When ladybug speaks, it is hard to make out what she is saying. She has a hard time getting words out. When she first learned to speak, it sounded like "ba ba ba ba..." Mama sounded like, "Aba" and so on. Her speech is slowly progressing and we are so excited. She still struggles to sound out all of the correct vowel sounds. And she also has a hard time saying multiple syllables. Her "go" sounds british, and her no sounds like, "mo." Her "oh no" is the cutest thing in the world. It sounds like her favorite character, "elmo." So if your around her and she were to drop something, you may hear her referring to that little red guy with googly eyes. But really, she is saying, "oh no."
A great website I found helpful when learning about apraxia.
What is apraxia?
Apraxia of Speech is considered a motor speech disorder. For unknown reasons, children with apraxia have great difficulty planning and producing the precise, highly refined and specific series of movements of the tongue, lips, jaw and palate that are necessary for intelligible speech. Apraxia of speech may also be called verbal apraxia, developmental apraxia of speech, or verbal dyspraxia. No matter what it is called the most important concept is the root word "praxis." Praxis means planned movement. So to some degree or another, a child with the diagnosis of apraxia of speech has difficulty programming and planning speech movements. Apraxia of speech is a specific speech disorder.