Kindergarten and Apraxia
Whew, here we are two weeks into kindergarten with Thatcher, and the world is not over. Shockingly enough we are all still alive, and dare I say, even happy. (I really hope I am not jinxing myself here.)
Thatcher is loving school and “knock on wood” things are going really well. Granted, he hasn’t started into the nitty gritty of kindergarten yet, but he is so happy to be a kindergartner and to ride the bus. He is trying so hard to communicate with his teacher and even though she doesn’t understand everything she is doing her best to make it work.
There is a possibility that we will need to send in his iPad with an app that helps him construct sentences. We are giving it a few weeks before we decide to send it or not. He is very motivated by school and we want to use that to our advantage right now to get him to work harder to volunteer his words without prompts.
If you would have told me two years ago, heck even one year ago….who am I kidding, if you would have told me three weeks ago that I would have such a great report of Thatcher’s first two weeks of kindergarten, I would have laughed in your face and called you a liar.
Two years ago I couldn’t imagine Thatcher ever being able to put two words together, and I definitely couldn’t imagine sending him somewhere with people he didn’t know and couldn’t communicate with. Kindergarten was a terrifying thought.
Two years ago we had just found out how Severe Thatcher’s Apraxia was.
It was a scary, overwhelming and desperate time for us. We were scared of what this meant for our little boys future, overwhelmed by the gravity of the diagnosis and desperate for any information on therapy approaches that were helping other children.
Many tears, sleepless nights and internet searches only had us feeling more uncertain and overwhelmed. There are so many varying degrees of Apraxia. All we knew was that on a scale of 1-16 Thatcher was a 16 in severity. That’s BAD!
Children with severe apraxia need 7-13 speech therapy sessions a week to see results.
Our state was offering us 5 a month. Five a month!
I had to fight to get that number up to 7.
It was then that I realized it was up to me. I was the only one who cared enough about my son to make sure he really got what he needed.
It has been a very long road to get to where we are now, but I can honestly say I am much less afraid of Apraxia today then I was two years ago. I am watching my amazing son, kick it’s butt everyday!
I wish I could be a bird on every parents shoulder as they get that initial diagnosis. I would tell them that as hard as the road is, it will be okay, just keep going. Walking, crawling, whatever it takes to keep moving forward. As slow as the progress seems at times, it is still progress.
For us, so far, that road has consisted of:
- Speech therapy (with his therapist twice a week and with mom 5 times a week)
- A special preschool in our home with friends he was familiar with at age three
- Finding a preschool that was a good fit for him as a 4 year old (that was a pain in the hinny)
- Coordination activities like gymnastics, sports and bike riding (coordination and speech are in the same area of the brain)
- A supplement cocktail everyday consisting of Phoscol, vitamin e and Omega 3 fatty acids (dha and epa)
- Music Therapy, Thatcher loves music and is very motivated by it.
- IEP plans
- Counseling with therapists and teachers
- Fighting a few fights with the system, no one else will fight for your child except you
- Casana Seminars
- Developmental Pediatricians
-We started seeing amazing results when we added the supplements along with the music therapy and gymnastics lessons last winter.
There have been many times when we felt like we couldn’t crawl any further and that all of our efforts were making NO difference.
BUT THEY WERE! We can see that now! Keep moving! Don’t Give Up! Pray for help! We do, we know we can’t do this alone!
God knows you and he knows your child and he will help you. I know that because I have experienced it first hand. I could go on for hours about experiences that have solidified my belief that God knows and loves each of his Children. He has strengthened us and lifted our hearts in our most difficult moments as we have worked to give our son every chance at a normal life.
Two years ago Thatcher was three. He had just started saying Ma. Up to that point he had called me Da because forming the m sound was too difficult. Now just two years later, my heart skips a beat when I hear him tell me, “Night mom, love you mom,” every night, in a beautiful clear voice……. And then he wakes up and goes to kindergarten.
It’s going to be okay…………
I know there are many more hills to climb in our future, but right now, just for a minute, I am going to sit right here and enjoy the view of how far we have come!
Thanks for listening to this mama’s heart.
Keep it Real!