Jake's Journey with Apraxia

And the Friends We Met Along the Way

The last time I wrote I was mad, distraught, and discouraged because Jake’s latest skin-prick test that showed that his allergies had gotten worse instead of better. But, isn’t it just crazy that I am not in eternal thankful mode for his almost resolved apraxia?

I had overlooked this enormous detail until I went to Jake’s one year follow-up appointment with our integrative MD two days after his allergy test last month. His doctor was all smiles … our main objective this past year was to beat apraxia – and essentially, with the assistance of speech therapy, we did just that. If the food allergies also improved, that was just an added bonus.

And here’s yet another resolved symptom that had caused Jake and I much angst for two full years …


Despite an occasional flare-up when he cuts loose and runs through the grass barefoot, the eczema on his feet is a thousand times better. Thank goodness this hurt is off my heart now.

And I let that allergy test get my spirits down? How were these emotions possible when I’ve been so blessed? There was a time when the only thing that mattered was finding the voice that was trapped inside the little boy whose only form of communication was his big, sweet smile and his bright, kind eyes.

With this enlightenment at the doctor’s office came other things that I was reminded to be grateful for.

For example, Jake has successfully accomplished one year of GFCF eating. One year! One year of no pizza or ice cream. One year of politely declining the special goodies that surround us in all social situations. One year of Jake saying, “Dat make me sick?” to almost every single item that lines the isles in the grocery store. In the beginning, this mission in itself sounded impossible, but now we are cruising.

We also made it through the initial tough months of starting new supplements. It was hard. It was ugly. But we made it and now Jake will remind me if I forget to give him his vitamins and quite often, will even take care of it all by himself. I have read that children who are truly deficient eventually respond this way to their supplements, but one year ago, I never, ever thought Jake would fall into that category.


5 thoughts on “Paying Attention to Positives Instead of Dwelling on the Negative

  1. Maureen says:

    Hello! My son Trevor is also starting 4 year old preschool (part time at a church). He also did 3 year old last year. We attend a private church preschool like you but we have speech through the school system so have an IEP but I never gave the IEP to the teachers. We drove to the speech therapist so she didn’t come to the school so they had no contact. I do not think the teacher needs to know about your vaccine choices- I would just focus on explaining how she can best help Jake learn and cover the food allergies.

    Last year, I met with the teacher during the summer and educated her on Apraxia the best I could and last year was a great success. I feel like a teacher that works in a church preschool is certainly NOT in it for the money and does the job because she loves children. Last year’s teacher told me something like “I might not be the most qualified to teach a child with Apraxia but I promise to love your child” I just met with Trevor’s teacher for next year to talk about how she can best help Trevor and I think the meeting went well. Good luck next year! It is an exciting time.

    1. tstarmom says:

      Maureen – Thanks so much for your perspective. Great points! I think I will keep his speech goals out of the equation, but may share ways to correct him and the hand cues we’re doing. He didn’t go to school last year, so this is completely a new experience for me and I am scared to death. Can you tell? 🙂 I am looking forward to my meeting next week though. Thanks again and best of luck to you guys in Pre-K 4 as well.

  2. xmomof2 says:

    I have always done private preschool because in Florida the only free options are income restricted/ Ari will begin the VPK program this year in her current private preschool *Florida uses a voucher system with approved schools* She will still be full day since our work schedules deem it necessary. I always prepare the teacher with information and the director and I are very close and she is fully on board with educating her teachers on what Apraxia is all about.
    As for therapy we do 2x week private and she has a note to excuse her tardiness on those days. She also receives services through the school system and thus has an IEP. The school has a copy in her file but not the teacher I believe because the therapist comes and does pull out sessions thus her teacher isn’t the one following the IEP *it will be different when she enters the actual school system next year for kindergarten though I am sure*. It really depends on what is in the IEP which is individualized for each student. So she is receiving 4 sessions per week between private/school based. I do recommend asking your SLP for some ideas to tell the teacher to incorporate into his day to help him. He sounds fabulous though. GREAT/f/ and /s/ sounds. We are finally hearing some final /s/ but /f/ is just not getting anywhere with Ari. Her SLP is thinking of changing up her routine and doing a cyclical therapy with a few rotating sounds so that we do one she is good but not mastered on,a new sound, another not mastered but good enough and then back to /f/. She is also getting ready to get some serious dental work done in the next few months which I am hoping won’t hurt her progress *we are going to have to get a partial due to her sensory issues which have caused alot of decay on her front teeth – a whole other story 🙂 * GREAT progress Jake and Mom! Keep up the good work!

    1. tstarmom says:

      xmomof2 – Thanks for your input. It helps a lot! I knew there had to be people out there that do private preschool, but I never hear about them in the discussion groups online. Good idea to ask our SLP for some ideas to tell the teacher. Sorry your little one has to have dental work! Jake lost his front tooth the Saturday before our intensive session in AZ after months of it being loose due to trauma. (Scooter accident). I was so worried that stinking tooth was going to mess up his speech and was so relieved once it fell out. Have you tried a hand prompt for f?

      1. xmomof2 says:

        I know alot of the moms in the groups are SAHM and able to avoid the preschool setting in the early years. Since I am a “working” mom – we all work all the time I think but since I am out of the home both of mine have been in preschool settings since they were babies – not an easy thing at times and definitely costly. We don’t qualify for the free programs in our area so we have to do private. Since Ari gets both private and school based therapy I put them in contact with each other and also make sure to update as things change with each one of the SLPs – Ari’s teacher this year actually met with her SLP to get tips and such which I thought was really awesome.
        I haven’t tried any hand prompts for any sounds as I don’t know any and she isn’t in a PROMPT based therapy. I could ask her SLP if she thinks it might be helpful though.

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