Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Ian's Fight: Communication. The Ultimate Challenge.

At two and a half when it was clear my son was heading down the road of Childhood Apraxia of Speech we found support for his lack of communication through sign language to help us get over the rough patches from having no verbal speech. Our SLP recommended we learn sign and our local school for the deaf set us up with trainings, play dates, and tutors. While he continued working very hard on speech we researched and embraced the support of a communication device called Speak for Yourself on the IPad so that he could communicate with those who didn't know sign language.
Around three when we finally accepted that he may never speak and that our lives would still be beautiful we found support through CASANA and their list of trained specialists and webinars. We learned that there was a CASANA trained specialist near us that could see our son 5 times a week starting as soon as possible. She officially diagnosed him with Childhood Apraxia of Speech and not only did she know exactly how to effectively treat apraxia, she was a perfect match for our son's personality. Within months he started saying sounds and then started pairing a couple sounds together. After that we continued to find even more knowledgable and compassionate therapists who were perfect for my son. Years of prayers, hours of therapy, lots of tears (from all of us) and even more humbling moments later Ian finally said his first word verbally...cookie.
He was three and a half when he slowly and carefully said that first word and now at four and a half he is speaking in sentences. Still slowly and still carefully, but because of CASANA, our amazing therapists, Speak for Yourself, and sign language he is finally communicating in a way I always hoped he would...with his own beautiful and unique voice. Everyday he finds more and more strength and confidence to win this challenge. I know now that he WILL win and the scars from this fight will hopefully fade from all of us until all that is left is the power to overcome any battle.