Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Apraxia / Dyspraxia - Part 1

OK, this post has been a long time coming.  It might well explain why my craft blog has dwindled a bit as I've had a bit more on my plate.  We're a fair bit down the track though, so most of this is just summary.  I guess I feel better about talking about it now as I feel I finally "know" what is going on.

My son has Apraxia / Dyspraxia - two different words that are used to describe the same thing.  I do prefer to use Apraxia, its just slightly nicer to say. 

We first noticed a delay with J's crawling and sitting and it was quite clear that he did not talk very much, barely made any sounds at 18 months.  We had some testing done and found that J wasn't hearing very well because he had 'glue ear'.  We swiftly moved to having an operation and had grommets put in J's ears (21 months).  After the grommets were put in we saw improvements in J's balance and he started walking unaided about a month later (roughly 22 months).  The surgeon told me they got a LOT of gunk out of his teeny little ears.  However, his ability for speech and even sounds didn't improve.  The hearing test now came up fine and the ENT said that something else was going on which we needed to investigate.  Initially we were told he had a global developmental delay.  We started seeing a speech therapist to help with his talking.  He was quite young and we mainly worked on alternative communication (Makaton signing and PECS) and on extending his attention span (this little guy did not like to stop and sit still for very long!).  We were often told that it looked like Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS).  Eventually our speech therapist told us that she was a generalist speechie and that we needed someone specific for Apraxia (3 1/2 years).  She suggested that we try PROMPT speech therapy.  The PROMPT speech therapy is a very hands-on process where the jaw and mouth are moulded to help the child make the right shapes/sounds with their mouth.  Apparently there is some neurological feedback that the child gets from the touch on the face as well.  J really responded to this new therapy and he started to make bigger gains.  I'll explain more about where he's at in another post.

I intend to take a little diversion from the craft stuff and talk a little about the Apraxia for a little bit.. I'll be back with more.

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