Sunday, April 10, 2016

Jason's Fight: Life's Detour, Apraxia

When my son was officially diagnosed with apraxia I was relieved.  Yes, you read that correctly, relieved.  I wasn't relieved my son was diagnosed with a lifelong speech disorder, I was relieved I finally had the answer to all my "why-s" regarding my son's inability to talk.  During the early stages of doctor appointments, Early Intervention evaluations, speech therapy, occupational therapy, ABA therapy, all anybody could say about my son was that he "possibly", "perhaps" "maybe" had one diagnosis or another. 
During one of my son's last speech therapy sessions through our state's EI program, his speech therapist said she thought he had verbal apraxia.  Eight months of more speech therapy in a special education pre-school, private speech therapy, lots of continued research and yet another visit to our neuro-developmental pediatrician brought us to my son's verbal apraxia diagnosis.
The ironic thing is, my son's apraxia diagnosis hasn't brought many changes.  What is different though is now I know what he is up against, what WE are up against as a family.  When I was initially told it was thought my son had verbal apraxia, I could count on my hand how many words my son could say (It was 4).  Today, through lots of hard work, many many hours of speech therapy in school, outside of school and at home, my son CAN communicate verbally, using small sentences and I hang on his every word. 

 I know this life detour of verbal apraxia is just that, a detour.  Detours don't mean you don't make it to the destination you are traveling towards, it just means you need to take different roads to get there.  I am proud of my son and all the other apraxia heroes out there who show us each and every day that hard work, determination and courage pave the way on their road to success.