It is a word that shook my foundations. Twice. A diagnosis that began our journey into special needs parenting. A neuro-motor planning disorder that I’ve had to try and explain so many times I think I could do it in my sleep.
Today, though? Today it is a platform. Today it is a victory. Today, Apraxia doesn’t win.
Today, Mr. T graduates to Apraxia: Resolved and moves on to articulation errors (still a long way to go, but look how far we’ve come!), I’m going to share some What If’s in honor of Mr. T’s favorite book, Jonathan James and the What If Monster.
What if Apraxia . . .
What if Apraxia keeps my child from communicating?
What if Apraxia keeps my child from making friends?
What if Apraxia is my fault?
What if I’m not strong enough to help my child through this?
What if we become tired of the fight?
What if my child never speaks?
What if my next child has Apraxia, too?
What if we can’t find a speech therapist who knows about Apraxia?
What if something else like SPD, APD, dyspraxia, ASD, comes up?
But what if . . .
What if my child is amazing anyway?
What if their resilience inspires me to be more like them?
What if having one child defeat Apraixa gives me the will to keep fighting for the other child who is still battling for the first victory?
What if my child learns to communicate with sign language or an alternative communication app?
What if I’ve forgotten that children are usually kind, seeing not the differences, but the similarities of just another wonderful child wanting to play?
What if I learn that becoming exhausted is just part of the journey and learn to embrace my limits before I tell them goodbye and keep moving forward?
What if I learn that there’s no one to blame and Apraxia is an excellent way to teach kindness, empathy, love, understanding, acceptance, and that hard work and perseverance pays off?
What if I learn that there are ways to do speech therapy at home and people who’ve already trod this road who are willing to lovingly share what worked for them?
What if I learn that I’m not alone?
What if knowing I’m not alone gives me hope?
What if that hope turns into a passion for helping all children find their voice?
What if find that this bittersweet journey has helped me become more of the mother I want to be?
What if this journey is a way for my child to learn the importance of giving a voice to those without one?
What if, rather than being a burden, the journey of Apraxia is a way to help make the world a better place one obstacle at a time?
Whatever your what if, know that there is hope. This hard road is not without rewards, and I’m so thankful that you, my friend, are journeying with us.