Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The One About Apraxia

In one of my previous updates on Paige, I mentioned that her speech therapist thinks she has something called Childhood Apraxia of Speech.  That speech therapist is one offered through DDI Vantage (which we love) & they don't test for it, so she recommended I get another opinion & tested as soon as possible.  As soon as Paige lost her second sound, I immediately knew that this was not normal & I needed to work harder to get some sort of diagnosis or more help for her (just like when she lost her first sound).  So, I followed the first speech therapist's advice & looked into someone who our insurance covers & would be well suited to help Paige.  I was so lucky to find Maria at Wasatch Speech & Language Center who specializes in neurological speech problems, which includes Apraxia (and even better, they are super close!).

My family did a fast for Paige last month, and ever since then she has been doing awesome.  She did lose her second sound, but overall, the other sounds were coming much more naturally to her & in the past week she's even added a few words (approximations, but we're thrilled).  I even felt silly taking her into the speech therapist because she was improving so much.  The only reason why I still did was because it just isn't normal for children to lose words & sounds & not get them back for months and then some.

We went for our appointment with Maria & she confirmed that it's not ideal to officially test for apraxia this young, but since she has worked with so many children with apraxia, she said that it is 'highly likely that Paige has apraxia'.  It was kind of comforting in a way, because every single weird thing about her speech & medical journey I would share, Maria had worked with other children who had gone through the same thing... this wasn't a 'weird' thing to her.

This & this website will both explain much better than I will, but basically apraxia is a neurological speech disorder where she understands without any problems, but her brain has a hard time connecting to her muscles (especially her mouth) and telling it how to move & make the correct sounds.  This is something that takes many years for the child to learn how to control with the help of intense speech therapy & constant practice at home.

Although, this diagnosis isn't ideal, I am so relieved to be as close as we are with a diagnosis (as far as I am concerned it may as well be our diagnosis).  I am relieved because now I finally feel we are on the right path on how to get her the best help possible.  We've spent over a year trying to find our answers, each time finding a tiny piece to the puzzle, but leaving us with more questions than answers.  This time, though, I feel like we've taken a giant leap in the right direction & boy, is it a relief.

I am so, extremely proud of Paige.  Through this whole process (doctor visits, having a hard time communicating, etc.), she has been the most patient & persistent person.  I would never be able to share in words how well she's done with this hard trial placed in her way.  She's been so amazing through this all, and it makes me so proud and humbled to be her mom.  She's a great example to me.  I'm one lucky lady!

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