Jake's Journey with Apraxia

And the Friends We Met Along the Way

Sometimes I feel like we are in our own little apraxia bubble that takes the phrase “Home Sweet Home” to a whole new level. Jake is surrounded by a community that only wants the best for him; people who praise every word he says and those that love him unconditionally. Jake plays with his brother’s friends as if they are his own. Like us, they have become miniature SLPs in training, knowing how to help Jake communicate and typically understanding his garbled sentences.

bubble1

I am a stay-at-home mom and Jake goes to preschool Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings for three hours. I drop him off and pick him up in car pool line, and I’m never around the other children in his class to hear what they’re saying. Also, because his birthday is in September, he is in a two-year-old class, so he is the oldest and his speech problems are not drastically obvious.

Last Friday, Jake’s school had Muffins for Mom and I mixed up a batch of my best allergy-free muffins and strolled in preschool with Lil’ Man proudly on my arm. He loves going to school and loved it even more that his mama was hanging out with him sipping on some juice and eating a blueberry muffin. Thirty minutes later I was on my way and I hugged and kissed him goodbye, and he quickly got back to happily playing with his train set.

When I got to the parking lot, another mom stopped me and said, “You’re Jake’s mom! My son talks about his friend Jake all the time!” And there it was. Evidence staring me right in the face that other kids Jake’s age are having conversations. Words that make up real thoughts, real feelings, and real friends. And, I of course, had no clue that this other boy existed.

I know it was an innocent comment … sweet and friendly even. But, it made my heart literally ache and long for a day when my child can tell me average, everyday stories about what he did at school and who he played with on the playground. I thought I had accepted his apraxia, but the instant sadness that blanketed over me, tells me otherwise.

With that being said, once we got back to our bubble, life resumed as normal. I am beyond thankful to live in this safe haven where I’ve got a little boy who smiles more than he talks and signs “I love you” to everyone who brings meaning to his life. I also feel truly blessed that he has made such huge strides with his speech since December. His SLP said this week that he has made a lot of progress in a short amount of time and she thinks if he continues on with intense therapy that he should be caught up by the time he gets to kindergarten. Yay!!!

Encouragement  like that keeps me going and drives me forward more determined than ever to beat this thing.

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6 thoughts on “Living in the Apraxia Bubble

  1. Barbara says:

    I can really relate with the “Apraxia Bubble”. I go through the same thing with my son. Before he started speech preschool I had him in a private school. All the kids in his class just turned 3 at that time. My son was also turning 3 in a month and completely nonverbal. Every time I would pick him up the other children would tell me all these things, even some speaking in paragraphs! It was a hard pill to swallow.

    Now he’s with children that are between 4-5 years old. These children have different types of speech delays/disorders but he’s the only one in the class with apraxia and the youngest one there. My son at 3 1/2 is at the stage where he’s only saying 1 word at a time. He’s not putting 2 words together yet. He doesn’t use his words spontaneously- only repeats for now. In 5 months he’s turn 4 and I’m worried that he’ll just be stuck there. I read through kindergarden readiness lists online and although he can do most on those lists, but he’s no where near the language part. His teacher says he has a whole year to work on his language but I can’t help to think what will happen if he doesn’t progress till then.

    1. tstarmom says:

      Thanks so much for your comments and words of encouragement. Some days I need it more than others and today is one of those. 🙂

      1. Juli says:

        I am doing a case study for school on a 9 year old boy with apraxia from a low socio economic family. He can only say common words clearly the first time like ‘Good’ or ‘ok’. Everything else is delayed and distorted. His own single mother has a learning and speech disability as well, so he has no positive modeling at home. The public school district he is in has low funding and they only offer speech therapy once a week for him. For some odd reason, they placed him in a special ed class with all autistic children instead of the other special ed class down the hall with other apraxic children in it! I feel so bad for this child because he is 9 years old and still can not have an interactive conversation. My point is that this kid has NO or very weak resources and support in his life. The amazing effort, time, strength, and most importantly LOVE that you instill in your son’s life starting at this very young age makes it crystal clear that Jake will be speaking fluently in the near future. So please don’t be so hard on yourself all the time 🙂

  2. Juli says:

    YAY! I hope for the best for kindergarten! I just cried for you when I read the part about hearing everyday stories from other kids 😥 . You are such a great mother Jake will grow and flourish with your guidance!

  3. Nicole says:

    I just recently found your blog and im so happy that I did. Im a mom of a sweet 3 1/2 year old daughter with apraxia. I found ur blog last night and I swear im addicted!! iv just been reading reading!! You have great information and ideas and I can relate to many of your stories!!! Its so nice to know that other families are going through the same thing as me. This post really hit home for me. At my office there are 4 other employees that have kids the same age as my daughter. They are always talking about funny things there kids say and it just hurts my heart. I so wish and cant wait for the day my kid will be able to tell me funny stories!! Thanks again for all the time you have put into this blog!! Its awesome!!

    1. tstarmom says:

      Hi Nicole, Thanks for sharing your story. I’m glad you’re enjoying my blog and finding it useful/therapeutic. Writing it has definitely helped me and I’ve enjoyed “meeting” so many other nice apraxia mamas. We are not alone! 🙂 Ugh. How annoying that you work with 4 people that have kids your daughter’s age and have to deal with “stories” on a regular basis. That must be really difficult. I know people think nothing of it, but I know I would be more sensitive even if I hadn’t gone through this. Take care and thanks for stopping by!

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