I was just beginning to understand this thing called apraxia when I was hit that my 18 month old may also have CAS. She’s a chatter-box now at 3.5 years, but at the time, I was really struggling with the idea of having two young kids who wouldn’t be talking at age-appropriate levels.
When Kelly was just 15 months old, I noticed that she wasn’t talking like I thought she should. Since I had just been through the whole CAS thing with Kate–just a few months prior, I was definitely on the look out for some of the “signs.” Our SLP (Ms. Jen), did a quick developmental screen on little Kelly and declared that yes, she did in fact have a delay. We decided to keep on eye on things for the next three months. Is this beginning to sound familiar? Yep–same ol’ song and dance we had with Kate. At 18 months, Kelly started speech therapy with Ms. Jen. Too young to receive the CAS diagnosis (that’s reserved for kids who are older than 3 years, typically), she was considered a “red-flag,” meaning she had “characteristics consistent with CAS.”
I remember chatting with a friend of mine over the phone shortly after hearing about Kelly’s suspected diagnosis. “I would be freaking out right now if I learned both of my kids had apraxia,” she told me in her non-chalant way. “Well, I’m not,” I told her. “I already know what to expect. I have one kid in speech therapy, what’s another?” Not that this was anything to downplay. Sure, having CAS is a big deal but what good would “freaking out” do?
I drew upon my coping skills that have been driven into me since well…forever. I don’t know how or why I got so good at coping with setbacks or disappointment. Maybe it’s because I have such high standards and things often don’t turn out to meet my grand plans, or maybe I’m just more innately able to cope with stuff. Whatever the case, I remembered that I needed to do some things to look out for me and my girls.
I called home. Home-home. I hashed it out with mom and dad, you know the people that always support you no matter what. “Well, we knew this might be a possibility. The good news is, you are doing just what she needs [taking her to speech therapy].” I nodded in agreement and took a few deep breaths. It’s never easy–hearing this diagnosis (or any, for that matter) about your child, but it gets a little easier once you know what you need to cope with it.
How do you cope? Share your ideas by posting your comments on today’s blog.