Apraxia Monday: Getting to “Diagnosed with Apraxia”

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By Leslie Lindsay

This Just In:  I was recently asked by Pediatric Health Associates of Naperville/Plainfield, IL to be a guest blogger on their website/blog.  Here’s a brief run-down of how we got to the point of seeking out an SLP for our daughter’s suspected speech “problem.”  (at the time, we didn’t know it was apraxia).  All thanks to our pediatrician who suggested we get her speech evaluated.  Read the blog yourself here:  http://www.pedhealth.blogspot.com/

We all have a story to tell about when and how our child was ultimately diagnosed with CAS.  Do you remember the day well?  Was it a blur?  Do you wish you could forget it?

It is often these stories that shape our understanding–and often outcome–of our child’s diagnosis.  If you had a chance to recreate that story with exactly all of the details that made the story more “healing”/proactive would you?  Do you believe it unfolded just the way it was *meant* to?

I suppose I am of the camp that believes everything-happens-for-a-reason.  As I look back on my daughter’s early days of having received her CAS diagnosis, I am pretty comfortable with how everything worked out.  We were fortuante enough to have caring, astute medical professionals on-board at an early age who helped guide us in the right direction–that of the SLP.

However, I realize not all families are quite so lucky.  If you are suspecting your child has a speech-language delay/concern, please bring it to the attention of a trusted medical provider.  While it is true that M.D.s and Nurse Practioners cannot diagnose CAS, they can point you in the right direction.  If you are unable to connect with a medical professional, contact your local early intervention program, even a preschool would be able to give you some hints or tips on where to go if you are unsure.

Okay, that’s enough of my PSA for the day!  Please feel free to share your comments and experiences with learning your child’s diagnosis.  Who was it that ultimately got you on the right path to intervention?

Check out Speaking of Apraxia: A Parent’s Guide to Childhood Apraxia of Speech (Woodbine House, March 2012) from your local library, Amazon http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_0_19?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=speaking+of+apraxia&sprefix=Speaking+of+Apraxia%2Caps%2C479, Barnes & Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/speaking-of-apraxia-leslie-lindsay/1108043955?ean=9781606130612, or Woodbine House, www.woodbinehouse.com

One response »

  1. Congrats! You’ve been pinned. http://pinterest.com/pin/234961305529520934/ – let’s see if we can’t get your new book to make the rounds.

    As for me, my son is 5 and has Down syndrome. He had all the symptoms of apraxia and did not start talking until he was 5. The SLPs have been very hesitant to diagnose him with apraxia because there are so many cross-over symptoms, including motor planning, with Down syndrome and apraxia. But there are no other explanations for how speech delayed he is (even for a child with Down syndrome), and he has had wonderful success with the Kaufman cards and apraxia apps. There are so very few apraxia experts and even fewer that have worked with children with a dual diagnosis of Down syndrome and apraxia. We are thinking of traveling five hours away to get him a diagnostic session with an expert. For now, his SLP will not make a definitive diagnosis because she just isn’t sure, and she also feels like his receptive language delay is bad enough that we can’t afford to focus too much on apraxia to the determent of receptive language acquisition. She is willing to devote about 10-minutes of her sessions to an apraxia app based on Kaufmann, and then I work with him at home on repetitive drills and Kaufmann cards. I also catch her working on motor planning during the course of her regular activities with Noah, so I know she is trying. It is difficult because I think she is being adamantly discouraged by her superior to go with the apraxia diagnosis.

    Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as just going and getting another therapist as we love her and she is doing amazing things with Noah, plus she’s willing to work with us on the apraxia even though he hasn’t been officially diagnosed. Plus, we live in a very rural area – we would have to drive an hour to get to the next closest therapist, and I don’t even know if she’s an apraxia expert. Plus he has Down syndrome too, and what we really need is an expert on Down syndrome AND apraxia – yeah, one in a million.

    In summary :), I’m delighted to have found another resource for information to help my sweet boy.

    Blessings,
    Alyson

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