I speak Apraxia

Recently in our Armada, our little darling has been so very vocal. She is talking up a storm at home where she is comfortable. In public places and school she’s still very quiet but she is FINALLY coming out of her shell at home. We are hearing her yells from across the house, generally aimed at her “booby” (big brother who she has affectionately nicknamed “booby”) or at the cat who is bothering her in some way. Often she gets excited about a cartoon on TV and will come running to tell us.

This vocalization is AMAZING, thinking back to this time last year we were just mastering the /m/ and /b/ and /p/ sounds and barely getting those out correctly. Slowly she has mastered that and is now adding in approximations for many more words. The struggle comes when she puts more than three words together. It’s all a jumble. As excited as we are for the progress she is making the smack in the face reality when she really tries to talk to us is that she is still VERY unintelligible. In many ways it relates back to me marrying into a bilingual family and this little English speaking girl trying to piece together what they are talking about when the whole family is around. I listen for certain words that I know in spanish and put it together like a puzzle to figure out the conversation. I do pretty good now 8 years later *smile*.

This is how our conversations are trending now with A. She rattles on to me, seeking me to understand and I find myself resisting the automatic response of “what?” or “tell me again”,” can you repeat that?” to take MY time and LISTEN to her and LOOK at her. Often her face gives many clues. If she’s happy, sad, mad, or excited it shows right away. I can only imagine how much it must frustrate her to be asked to repeat herself 2-4 times for me to understand. So I try to hold back. I repeat it in my head instead and try to piece together the sounds she is producing. The intermittent words she gets correct or semi-correct I fit into the puzzle in my mind to make it work and attempt to re-ask her sentence in a question to see if I am right. She always tells me No if I’m wrong and then I ask her tell me again. Long process? YUP! Is it worth it? I like to think so. For one, I’m trying to keep her less frustrated and then modeling the words she is using back to her and I have begun asking her to repeat after me each word to get it right or close to right. Always rewarding her attempts and correct sounds with praise!

Last night my husband and I were watching a movie and relaxing and she came running in to see us from the living room. I asked her if she wanted to come snuggle in bed with us and she said “No, Bob Bob, beek, beek on” and smiled expectantly waiting for a response. I smiled, and responded “Oh… SpongeBob SquarePants is coming on?” “YEA!” she replied and took off down the hall back to “booby” and SpongeBob. My husband looked at me and said “How did you know that was what she said?” my reply……” I speak Apraxia “.

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