After my bad day last week I took a much needed time out. I spoke with my husband and my dear friend. And I also spoke with Cooper’s speech therapist. As I suspected they would be, all 3 conversations were very different. I also joined an amazing group on Facebook about Apraxia. If you suspect that your child might have Apraxia JOIN THIS GROUP! It’s called Apraxia–Every Child Deserves A Voice. I am so thankful I found it. The moms are just like me. Scared and sad and exhausted. But there is also more than that. There is hope. I have read stories about kids that don’t talk at age 4 or even 5 and years later are talking up a storm.
My conversation with my husband about Cooper was very typical. I pointed out all of my fears. I talked about Cooper never talking because yes, it’s possible. We also discussed how it seems like Cooper’s speech has regressed even more. A few short weeks ago he would attempt to mimic and sound would come out of his mouth. Now, when he attempts to mimic, just air comes out. Think of an ‘h’ sound but more from the throat.
Something has changed with our conversations about Cooper. Jamie used to not really participate. I would get the feeling he thought I was overreacting or being dramatic or even ‘picking’ on Cooper. He would always say one of two things: “Kate, he’s only two. We still have time” or “I can’t worry about tomorrow or kindergarten or him getting teased or etc., I can only worry about today.” But now he sees that his is really, really serious. Cooper is 3 and has no words. And no words in sight.
I also spoke with my dear friend about Cooper. She is one of the few friends I really let in. She pointed out something so true that I haven’t been seeing. I have no separation in my life. Everything is Cooper. I go to work and I research speech disorders and apraxia. I go home and work with Cooper on speech. I go to appointment after appointment. It never ends. It’s constant. And then add in seeing normal developing children. Even seeing Sawyer start to talk. I never knew hearing my 11 month old say mama and dada could hurt so much.
Lastly, I spoke with Cooper’s speech therapist. I actually sent her a pretty sad email that mimicked my last blog post. I realize now that it was a bit doom and gloom. Eek. But anyhoo, she called me and we spoke for a long time. She told me that our expectations were too high. We need to take a step back. When Cooper is playing and having fun he vocalizes. When he is forced to do something he acts really naughty and doesn’t try. This was very true but hard to hear. How can we step back from no language?
She also recommended that we have a child psychologist come to our house and spend some time with us. A psychologist will watch Cooper and our interactions and help us a make a plan to hopefully make the day-to-day easier. I was so happy with this recommendation. I will take all of the help I can get.
I’ll leave you with a positive post about a little boy finding his voice! These stories get me through the day. I only pray that I can post this same thing one day. Read “Reflections.”