It is strange to put joy and apraxia in the same sentence in the title of this post. One would think that there could be no joy in the fact that your daughter cannot talk very well and that she has to work so hard to communicate. With all the struggles that come with apraxia there are some moments of total joy.
Seeing and hearing her slowly but surely master new sounds is a joy. Spending time together practicing sounds while playing a game and enjoying a good laugh together is a joy. Being totally surprised when she says a new word or sound like “quack” is a joy. There are joys, joys that need to be celebrated. I certainly would wish that my daughter would not have to go through this, but at least we can have some joy.
Apraxia does come with its share of frustrations as well. In the beginning many of the frustrations were from problems communicating with her, but as time has gone by those frustrations become less. It is unfortunate that the biggest frustrations become with the institutions and people that are suppose to help your daughter learn to talk.
Speech language therapists I am sure all mean well, but they are not all created equal. School speech therapists that refuse to use PROMPT even though you you know your daughter responds best to it is frustrating. Private speech therapists who quit out of no where and blame us for substituting private speech therapy for daily practice is extremely frustrating. School systems that do not want teachers to attend apraxia conferences because it is not a priority for the school board makes you want to scream.
Thankfully many of those frustrations are in the past. We have an excellent private speech therapist that our daughter works well with. The new school speech therapist will use PROMPT to help our daughter. In the meantime I celebrate that my daughter has somehow “found her quack” along with “yes” and a list of other new sounds. She will talk and someday maybe, just maybe we can celebrate no more speech therapy.
For those that are wondering about the quack reference, at a recent kindergarten meeting the teacher read “The Duck that Lost It’s Quack”. My daughter surprised me by saying quack along with all the other kids. Ever since then she has been quacking, and trying out a number of other q words. Just in case you were wondering.