Jake's Journey with Apraxia

And the Friends We Met Along the Way

This week we got back to the hustle and bustle of our every day life again and I am proud to report that we regularly logged miles into our marathon training regimen. No, these legs of mine that actually enjoy running, didn’t hit the pavement, but Lil’ Man’s mouth has been moving at record speed this week.

On Monday morning before preschool, Jake returned back to our public school SLP for the first time in seven weeks. He did group therapy with one other boy and worked on the /w/ and /n/ Kaufman cards. Typically, he will be having one-on-one therapy, but our school district has winter break coming up so the SLP scheduled a make-up session with Jake. With that being said, now that we’ve finally gotten back into therapy with her, we are now on break.

He did pretty good in the session and although his focus was a little off by having another child present, she said he had made progress. No matter the quality of therapy, I’m glad he got an extra speech session in; that’s ultimately all I care about. The more practice he gets, the stronger his voice gets.

Also on Monday, my stepson came back after a week of being with his biological mom.  Jake always talks better when BC is home. Hmmm … I know it’s strange, but it’s a trend that has definitely been proven. BC makes Jake speak for everything. He’s a pro at breaking down sentences and words, and Jake does a great job of mimicking him.

Tuesday Jake had speech therapy with Ms. Kelly, his private SLP, and did great. I knew it was going to be a good day because we listened to the Kids’ Express Train CD during our thirty minute car drive to her office that morning and he sang perfectly, “Puppy, Puppy, Puppy!”

We listen to this particular song every day, but he always leaves the /p/ in the second syllable off. (i.e.- he says “pu-e”, not “pu-pe”.)  This is a common problem he has with most two-syllable words. However, this session, he got all the words in the two-syllable set correct. Examples of words that he is working on are: daddy, bubble, mommy, nana, and baby. This  breakthrough was huge and I hope it lasts.

Thursday was Jake’s second speech session with Ms. Kelly and again, he did well and did not regress. He was sleepy, however, and spent much of the time rubbing his eyes. One time he even laid his head down on the table while he said his words.  This was a busy week for us because LD had a basketball game on Tuesday night and then it was his eighth birthday on Wednesday, so we were up later than usual gift giving and eating cake.

Ms. Kelly told us to keep working on the /t/, /p/, and /h/ CV words over the weekend. We need to master these basic words and then we’ll work on adding the sound on the end. He has trouble with these “voiceless” sounds and tends to say the /d/ sound for /t/ and the /b/ sound for /p/. So, we need to practice, practice, practice.

I’m on the fence about whether or not to buy Kaufman cards or the Speech-EZ Apraxia iPad app for practice at home. I’m leaning towards the iPad app because I think it will keep his attention more. This weekend, Ms. Kelly is going to a SLP conference and said they will be discussing the latest and greatest iPad apps. I can’t wait to hear what she learns!

Jake went to school all three days this week and almost every night he did the Tiga Talk iPad app I bought last weekend. Even though this is basic speech app, I think it is very beneficial for him because it gives him practice repeating those /p/, /t/, and /h/ sounds that he’s having trouble with.

Overall, this week was so good because Jake communicated in some form or another each and every day. Are all of his words perfect? No. Is he saying full sentences? No. Is he saying “yes” yet? Nope. But, I’ve never witnessed him speaking so well on such a consistent basis before. He spoke a few three word sentences this week and said some two-syllable words. He even put the sound on the end to a few words. Goooo Jake! Keep up the good work!

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