Over the past weekend, Kate was riffling through some “old” mementos from last year’s Christmas festivities. She came across a tiny doll all dressed up to look like a gingerbread girl.
She held it out to me to inspect, “Who gave me this?” she asked (perfectly, I might add). I told her it was a little girl named Brooke who has/had apraxia.
“Oh, right. Well, I don’t have apraxia anymore,” she informed me.
I nodded and smiled, pleased with her aritiulation and insight. Kate continued to hop around the room and dig through the box of holiday-themed toys.
And I continued to muse how much life had changed in the past year. One tiny year. In a child’s life, that 365 days that have passed can seem to transform a kid from the “grunting and pointing” variety to one that can articulate thoughts, feelings, and memories. Of course, it all comes with a lot of hard work–theirs, yours, and the SLP’s–but one year can make a big difference.
As we were chatting with my family at the holiday table, it dawned on me just how consuming CAS (apraxia) can be for a family. While the “worst” of apraxia often hits kids at an early age (perhaps learning the diagnosis when the child is around 2.6 years- 3 years) and beginning to show signs of resolving around 4.6-5years, it is relatively short-lived. However, during that very intense period of about 3 years, apraxia is about all a parent thinks about–how to help, when and where to go to therapy, what caused it, what to do at home to help, etc.
By now–at nearly 6 years old–I am happy to say that apraxia is one of the lesser concerns for me, my family, and most of all–Kate. (Of course, Kate’s progress is not meant to be a representation of how all kids with CAS do. CAS is a part of a continuum with mild to profound cases. Every child resolves at different ages.)
I know we’re not totally of-ot-the-woods just yet. Sure, she’s still working on trying to read (phonics and rhyming are more challenging to kids who’ve had CAS) and her social world expands and academics get more challenging, we may see a resurgance of symptoms. But for now, I can safely say that we are in apraxia “remission.”
Take a minute and reflect just how far your child has come in the last year in regards to apraxia. Here are a few prompts to get you started:
- Who was your child’s therapist a year ago? What were some of the challenging words at the time?
- Was your child able to say “Merry Christmas,” “Happy Holidays,” “Santa,” “Snow,” or some other variation a year ago?
- What was your child’s primary mode of communication last year? Did he grunt and point? Single words? 2-3 word sentences? Where is he now?
It’s always fun to look back and see progress. Remind your child how proud you are of her accomplishments! Happy Monday.