If you are the parent of a child with Apraxia you NEED to click the link to the article below. If you are the parent or therapist of a child with Apraxia and wear mascara or makeup; be prepared to do some touch up work after you finish reading unless you are comfortable looking like Ranger Rick.
I don’t have a child, family member or personal friend who’s affected by Apraxia, but I do treat patients with Apraxia. Apraxia is an emotional subject for me because I genuinely admire and am inspired by individuals with Apraxia. I can’t describe what it feels like as a clinician to watch a client work so hard to accomplish something that most people completely take for granted.
Kids with Apraxia are AMAZING!!! Imagine what it’s like to be a child and work without knowing if you will ever succeed for 3 days a week for 2 years to achieve a consistent intelligible production of “Hi, Bye, or Help”. Then imagine spending a similar amount of time learning to produce every sound in isolation. Next, you’ll need to imagine spending a significant amount of time learning to produce the sounds you’ve already mastered in isolation in different word or phrase combinations; because when you learn something in isolation that doesn’t mean you’ll be able to accurately produce that sound in phrases or sentences with alternating or difficult sound combinations. Now imagine that after all of that work, on some days due to the fact you’re experiencing stress, tired or for some completely unknown reason; all of that work doesn’t seem to translate into intelligible speech even though yesterday your speech was great.
I forgot to mention that for the majority of this time you will be misunderstood, frustrated and have to go very long periods of time before someone figures out the wants and needs you observe others express without any noticeable effort. Now imagine after all of that still having the strength of character to meet each challenge with a kind spirit, unbelievable work ethic and a smile.
I know this doesn’t describe all kids with Apraxia, everyone is different; but I’m of the opinion that anyone who faces an extremely difficult set of circumstances in life and has the courage to risk failing greatly and consistently in an effort to succeed is worth admiring.
Former President Theodore Roosevelt wrote a great poem that describes the quality of character to which I am referring.
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.
In the speech community the Ronda Rousey story has been shared quite a bit. I’m not sure if people outside of the speech community are aware that Ronda Rousey battled a communication disorder (Apraxia) long before she took down her first opponent in the MMA ring. For the parents and children affected by Apraxia, to know there’s someone out there who’s fought a fight similar to your own and emerged victorious is nothing short of incredibly inspirational.
I could say a lot more about this, but the blog post below about a little girl with Apraxia meeting Ronda Rousey is too good for me to continue.