Preschool/Daycare YARD SALE!!!
The Learning Center of Palo Alto
Presents a HUGE Preschool/Daycare Community YARD SALE!!!
Date: Friday, October 28, 2012
Time: 3:00PM - 6:00PM
ALL PROCEEDS go directly back to the school to improve it’s programs!
Location: The Learning Center of Palo Alto
459 Kingsley Avenue
Palo Alto, CA 94301
A Parent Doesn’t Want to Be Told…
… that their son has a speech issue. “What?!?!?!” “Not my child”. “He’s a 2nd child and a boy, he’ll come around.” “Einstein was a late talker”. At 18 months you can still make excuses, but there’s just something intuitive that a parent feels (especially us, moms), that you know… something’s wrong…
So now your child is going on 2 and you’re not the only one who notices he’s/she’s not talking. You know you need to see someone, but “Not now, I’ll call to make an appointment next week.” Next week turns into next month, and so on.
Then, one day, you’re reminded that this is a serious issue to tackle when a childcare provider starts telling you your child is getting bitten, or pushed around, or screaming loudly (without the use of words) to keep aggressors away from him. The guilt sets in, now. You have to do something, you have to face this now.
“Your child is likely to have Apraxia of Speech (aka, Speech Apraxia, global dyspraxia, dyspraxia, etc…)”, a speech therapist tells you.
What?!?!? What is that!?
When I first heard of Apraxia, it was a year ago. I met a child of age 9. He told me that it was really hard for him to enunciate where people will understand exactly what he’s saying. Because of this, he said he doesn’t talk much because he’s often misunderstood and then laughed at because of his impediment. He told me proudly, “I have friends, because I play sports really well, if I didn’t play sports, I don’t think I would have any friends.”
As soon as I heard that my 2.5 year old son is likely to have Apraxia of Speech (AS), all I could think about was that 9 year old boy expressing his struggle. My heart fell and a huge stone appeared in my throat. So what? So what do we need to do?
Well, the first therapist, who was recommended by a handful of reputable professionals took us on as clients. We were virgins to this. You could lead us off a cliff and we’d go, because we were clueless, afraid and desperate for someone to help us. Before I go further into our experience with the first therapist, I need to share my emotional state, working up to this point.
Like I said before, my intuition that something could be wrong with my son’s speech was when he was about 18 months. Before then, everyone just dismissed his speech delay as being due to the fact he is a second child to a very verbal older sister, and of course the other excuse was that he is a boy… But when he started to get bitten and pushed around, I started asking more questions and somehow those previous excuses were just not good enough explanations for me.
I avoided reading up on reasons for delay, well for two different reasons. The first reason is that I am a working parent of two and have a hard time making time to read. And secondly, I was afraid of what I might read and I did not want to mentally and emotionally begin to diagnose my son to a point I freak myself out more. I leave that up to the experts.
After I hear that my son is a candidate for this AS, all I could think about was… what did I do wrong? What could I have done differently while I was pregnant? Maybe I should’ve taken more fish oils. Maybe I should have avoided an occasional coffee. Maybe I should have avoided those late night trips to McD’s. Maybe I should have… I don’t know?!!? The list goes on and on. He was in my womb. It was my body that was supposed to be his “safe vessel” from outside contaminants. I feel responsible, defensive, angry, frustrated, hopeful, sad, and helpless. There are many times I just bust out and cry.
Given that my husband works a 9-5 job, and I work from home, I am the representation for my son. I am the happy and hopeful face the therapists, doctors, specialists, teachers, parents at playdates see. It’s so hard. Duh, no one said parenthood was easy, I’m not saying that. But damn, sometimes… I understand why the older us women get, the more frigid our bed gets… it’s because we need to stay tough as nails to get through a friggin’ day.
Well, I will blog more about our first speech therapist experience in my next post. Until then, if you need some resources. Some resources I recommend are:
The Late Talker, Dr. Claudia Morris and Dr. Marilyn Agin
Healing the New Childhood Epidemics: Autism, ADHD, ASTHMA, and ALLERGIES, The Groundbreaking Program for the 4-A Disorders, Dr. Kenneth Bock and Cameron Stauth
What’s Eating Your Child, by Kelly Dorfman