Diagnosing Apraxia

ApraxiaDue to the holiday and the insane deep freeze that Minnesota has been in for over a week, Cooper had his first speech appointment yesterday in 3 weeks. I have been like a new woman without speech. First, no running around. One thing that no one tells you when your child has needs is that you will spend most of your time driving your child to and from appointments.  I was really getting resentful of the running around so 3 weeks off was an amazing break. Secondly, and most important, we had no pressure in our lives. No expectations and no judgey eyes. We spent our days playing and having fun. I played more trains and did more puzzles than I ever thought possible. And you will hear no complaints from me. Cooper is so different at speech. I almost don’t recognize him. I usually cry after the appointments and tell my husband that I can’t do this anymore. As you can imagine none of that for 3 weeks was great.

Hubs took Cooper to his appointment yesterday and I stayed how with Sawyer. I gave him a list of updates to give his therapist and also a list of questions to ask. We have been feeling so lost lately and are ready for some answers.

Cooper did okay at his appointment. No meltdowns equals victory in my book. Hubs asked his therapist for some answers and she said that she can’t figure Cooper out. She sees some signs of Apraxia but not enough to diagnose. She sees a few signs of Sensory Processing Disorder and a few Autistic traits but not enough to say it’s one or the other. I felt sick to my stomach when Jamie told me this. Apraxia is scary and awful and will be a long, hard road but I’ll take it on if I have too. But the unknown is worse. The unknown is scary and dark and keeps me up at night. He also asked her if we should see a Developmental Pediatrician (they usually diagnose these types of disorders) and she said to hold off a little bit. She is going to set us up with the Child psychiatrist and go from there.

I did a lot of thinking and decided to head to the library and see what books they had on Apraxia. I wanted to read about signs of Apraxia as well as activities that can help. And as I’ve said in other posts I crave knowledge. I picked up a book called “The Late Talker: What to Do If Your Child Isn’t Talking Yet. I was kind of disappointed to find out that was the only book that the library had on Apraxia. I was also SUPER disappointed to find out then when you enter in ‘Apraxia’ into the search category at the library it brings up Autism. Ugh. Heart wrenching.

I was really happy with this book. It’s an easy read and has lots of real life stories. The author gives ideas for therapy type activities that you can do at home. Like put something on the childs lips (like chocolate) so they have to stick their tongue out and lick it off. Or have the child suck thicker textured foods (like jello) through a straw. I loved all of these ideas and am going to start them soon. The author also talks extensively about diagnosing Apraxia which I will get into in my next post. Another resource that has helped me is a blog called, Apraxia Adventures. Her post on Early Signs is wonderful.

Cooper newborn2Last night I gave Cooper a sucker and asked him to stick his tongue out and lick it. Which he did. I don’t get it. This child is going to put me in the loony bin. Here is a picture of Cooper at 7 days old with his stubborn face. I should have known.

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4 thoughts on “Diagnosing Apraxia

  1. Hi there, you just followed my blog so I thought I’d pop over and check yours out. I skimmed some of your posts and just wanted to say, “hang in there!” My son’s early interventionist very early on said that as moms, we always think the problem is worse than it is, and dad’s, they always think the problem is smaller than it really is. Grandparents and all, just like the dads. Sounds like your family fits that description (as does mine). Knowing that helps me not get so mad at people when they try to dismiss my son’s delays. Secondly, I wanted to tell you about Matthew. His first ST thought he had apraxia, but wasn’t sure. It seems now like it is more of a sensory processing issue. We are working with an OT now as well, which helps us with lip closure and getting his mouth to cooperate both for eating and speaking. We are getting so many new words I can not count. They are words that have been there, hidden in the grunting, but he just didn’t have the muscle control to form them properly. His words are very difficult to understand, but I can recognize the rhythm and shapes of the words, and sometimes when you watch his mouth, you can see him attempting to shape the word with his lips. Its progress. Its slow, but its progress. Hang in there!

    • Hi! Thank you for the comment. I am so interested in learning more about your son. Honestly, his therapists can’t seem to figure him out and he doesn’t fit into the apraxia mold. Your description of Matthew sounds a lot like Cooper. I am going to email you. Thanks again!

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