Today is Apraxia Awareness Day. My son is twelve and has completely recovered from childhood apraxia of speech. This blog ran with the help of contributing writers from 2012 to 2016, and when I wrote that last post when he started kindergarten, I promised myself I’d write a follow-up on his story at some point in the future.
When Jake was 5.8 years old, he was dismissed from speech therapy and began to live a life free of apraxia. We are each on our own unique journey, but these are the things that pushed him into recovery:
• Speech therapy – Early intervention that began at 27 months – 1x/week in the beginning and then 2x/week age 3+. I also worked with him a little most days at home.
• Kaufman cards – Age 3 to 4 – Picture flash cards with an emphasis on the first simple sounds a baby makes, and then building upon those.
• Prayer – My spirituality and intuition deepened during this time. I prayed for the right doors to open and the wrong doors to close. I vowed to take all paths that were naturally laid out for me.
• Speech-EZ – Age 4 to 5.8 – Hand cues – Pairing a hand cue with a sound allows speech to take an alternate pathway in the brain.
• Supplements – When Jake was 4, I took him to an integrative/holistic doctor. Although we ran many tests, the NutrEval by Genova Diagnostics was like gold! It revealed the vitamins, minerals, etc. that he was deficient in, so a supplement and diet plan could be customized to his needs. After he recovered from apraxia, but was still suffering from food allergies, I continued to get follow-ups of this test every year or so. It was interesting to see how the body changed as interventions were made.
• Gluten/Dairy free + Clean diet – Jake began a clean diet and supplements at 4 years old, and 3 months later, he began talking. He went from completely unintelligible to speaking clear words. His demeanor and ability to learn also improved tremendously. Today, Jake can have 1-2 servings of dairy per day. If he exceeds that, he usually gets congested. He eats about 3 servings of gluten a week and if he exceeds this, his speech is affected. He will say words incorrectly and doesn’t catch his errors. However now, after a day of no gluten, his speech returns to normal. Digestive enzymes and energy work have been key to calming his immune response to food.
• Acupuncture – Age 4 to 6 – Energy blockages in our bodies can cause all sorts of problems. Acupuncture is a form of energy medicine that encourages the body to function at its energetic best.
Today, Jake is now speaking without errors. He makes good grades, enjoys playing sports, is a good friend, and kind. He has fully recovered from eczema, asthma, and his food allergies went from 8+ down to 1 (fish). I question whether or not he even still has this allergy since his tolerance has improved so dramatically. I am now studying to be a holistic health practitioner.
As I was going through old blog posts trying to figure out what to write, I stumbled upon this post from 2014 – If you were cured today. After Jake improved, it took me a while to adjust to normal life. I had to do a lot of work on myself to address my fear and anxiety issues. Reading this post today, makes me emotional. Me and my boy have certainly came a long way since then.
Sending apraxia moms out there a big hug. I’m sure you have faced many additional challenges in 2020-2021 that I was fortunate enough to never think about. May you have perseverance, wisdom, strength, courage, and peace. Don’t give up. Keep the faith. If you’d like to learn more about any of the things mentioned above, look in the search bar or the menu at the top. As always, comments are welcome. I’d love to keep your story here as a parent/SLP resource on the blog.
p.s. – If you enjoy reading women’s fiction, I invite you to check out my debut novel, Crazy Free. This was a labor of love that I wrote off and on over the past decade. It is a family saga with a touch of hope and southern grace. It released April 20, 2021.
p.p.s – If you are a parent of a child with apraxia or an SLP who wants to learn more, Leslie Lindsay’s book Speaking of Apraxia is a great resource! The second edition has recently been released and she’s been in the recording studio the past week working on the audio book.