Theron's speech therapist, Ms. DeDe, was a GODSEND and worked so very hard with our stubborn little guy. She never gave up on him and encouraged him to work hard, try his best, and make even the simplest of sounds. She was the one to diagnose him with Apraxia, something I had researched and assumed he had. By the end of their time together I was super emotional about her having to stop due to Illinois law. David and I are convinced that she is/was one of the most influential people in Theron Drake's life.
At 2.5 years old, Theron started daycare since my Maw Maw became ill (she's better now after they found and removed the colon cancer--thankfully!) and couldn't care for him anymore. He has done wonderful adjusting and I think the social interaction with peers his own age has also done amazing things for his speech development.
When Theron turned three he started Early Childhood and began his IEP for more speech therapy. During the school year he goes to "little school" in the morning and then the bus picks him up to take him to "big school" for a half day. We are fortunate that at three years old the school district is responsible for providing services if the need is present. Luckily, Theron liked his new speech teacher and classroom teacher and responded well to both of them. We have high hopes that he will like next year's teachers the same.
Fast forward to the present and Theron Drake has so many words we can't keep up! His pronunciation and sequencing is probably not at age level but he gets closer and closer every single day. Take today for instance, Theron usually substitutes the hard "c" sound for a "ch" or a "t" but totally nailed saying "cookie", "Connie", and "Carol" (both grandma's names) clear as day tonight! Also, he jabbers all of the time and speaks in long sentences.
David and I get so proud of him and then he smiles so big and it makes him proud of himself. I would be lying if I told you I didn't tear up every time this happens. I honestly did not know if he would ever talk. And that's not me being dramatic, some people with Apraxia don't ever talk. As a mom, I have normal fears of kids being mean to him for not speaking clearly or leaving him out if they can't understand him. I don't want anyone to be hurtful to my baby...you all can relate, I'm certain!
During one of our recent nighttime reading sessions David took this video and it amazes me to hear how far he's come.
He used to refuse to say almost anything and only point to words he recognized & now he says words with gusto! Parenting is such a rollercoaster of emotions and experiencing this hurdle has taught me so much about persistence, patience, faith, love, and empathy.
Anyone else know someone with Apraxia? I'd love to hear their story if so!