Saturday, May 1, 2010

From Signs of Love to Words.... Our Journey Part 9

Ahhh... So where did I leave off... Oh that's right Disneyland... Well we came home from Disneyland and for the first two weeks I really couldn't figure out what to do... I felt as though I had a thousand things to do and I had no idea how to do them.

I originally started to take this night course offered by the city which helps parents whose children are on the wait list for speech therapy with simple speech practices. I always stayed after and asked questions because I had been doing all of the exercises and yet Joshua was showing no improvement. This course runs for about 6 weeks so after 6 weeks of discussion with the SLP she had started to understand that this was not just a late talker... something was wrong.

I expressed that he had on more than one occasion been placed in the Autism box and that I have fought that one. I also said that Joshua simply says "ahhahhahha hhahhhaahha" but that he really is, in his mind talking. As well as we filmed him speaking to us and showed the tape to him and he became very upset, almost as though he was surprised that he sounded like that. This SLP, lets call her Lily, after many conversations looked at me and said, " have you looked into Apraxia of Speech?", I replied with a "no, I have never heard of that", she went on to explain that children with Apraxia seem to get labeled with Autism, however they are far from it. Lily asked me to go home and look it up online and see if I felt that it was a possibility. If so I could try and find some SLP's that specialized in helping children with Apraxia and we could get the ball rolling. One very important note about Apraxia is that early intervention is HIGHLY important. So I went home and looked up Apraxia. This is the definition that I found:

Childhood apraxia of speech (CAS) is a communication disorder in which a child can understand language and formulate words to say, but the brain is unable to move or coordinate the muscles of the mouth to speak those words. It is not a problem with the muscles but with the brain's ability to control them. CAS can improve with intensive speech therapy, and children with apraxia also often use sign language or communication devices to help them communicate while they struggle with speech.

Wow, someone actually just wrote out my son and his issues. I called my mom in tears, I was so happy to see it in writing, there is a name for what is happening. I went back to the class and talked to Lily, she said if that is what I thought the issue was I would need to have a SLP do an assessment of him. After the last SLP I wasn't not too happy but I gave it another shot, just this time I was going to interview each and every person.

I went onto the BCSLP website and through that website you can sift through individuals who have experience and knowledge of specific impediments. I found quite a few people and called all for interviews. While I was in the process of finding a SLP for Joshua, one of my friends had a boyfriend whose cousin (follow that one... sorry) was an SLP in a near by city; so this woman came out and did her own assessment, of Joshua. After an hour or so she said that with what she saw he did seem to fall in the guidelines of Apraxia, now this is in no way a diagnosis, but it did give hope and the ability to look more closely at that specific impediment instead of the whole spectrum.

I would be lying if I said that I wasn't happy that we were finally starting to look at a diagnosis. I finally was going to be able to make myself a knowledgeable person and when those busy bodies came near my house with those Autism comments I could correct them and explain why they were wrong and educate them... When it comes to speech issues the variety is as extensive as the variety of gums out there. Not all gum is bubblegum flavor and not all kids that are late talkers are instantly Autistic.

I finally after a month... I DO MEAN A MONTH of interviews found the worlds most wonderful SLP, lets call her Calli, and Joshua immediately loved her. She was on the floor playing with him and using pictures and different objects and games to get sounds out of him. By about the 3 week in he made a sound... "ha"!!!

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