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SLP Mommy of Apraxia: Ashlynn play boats with daddy.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Ashlynn play boats with daddy.

This past Fourth of July weekend we went on our annual trip to Glendo State Park in Wyoming. My husband and I have been going since before we had kids. Without getting into all the details, once you go to Glendo for the Fourth, you always go back if you can! Last year we couldn't go because I was having my son so we were very excited.

When we went to the beach, Ashlynn saw my husband pull up on the jetski. She looked at her grandpa and me and announced, "Ashlynn play boats with Daddy?" I teared up immediately. I know I sound like such a sap, but when you are the parent of someone with apraxia and they say things and put novel words together in context, it is just the best feeling! I asked her if she wanted to ride the jetski with daddy, to which she enthusiastically replied "yes." I of course then scripted the appropriate  way to ask the question and had her repeat, I want to ride the jetski with daddy.

We still have a ways to go. We've been working on her using the first person "I" since before school was out. It's just such a testament to how much repetition a child with apraxia needs, because I correct her and make her repeat her phrases and sentences using "I" every time she refers to herself as Ashlynn. We were so intent on getting her to learn her name that now it's hard to get her to use something else.  However, I do know that she will get that too, and that's a comforting feeling.

Two years ago we took her to Glendo when she was 21 months old. At that time she had just learned to start walking really well and she only had a handful of word approximations. Unfortunately, anything that wasn't a flat surface was difficult to walk on, so we still had to help her walk everywhere. She only had a handful of word approximations, and her favorite thing to say was "a dah." and "hi."  I've learned from my parent support group that most kids with apraxia have a go to sound that they use for everything, and a dah was Ashlynn's.

Fast forward though two years (and a lot of therapy and extracurricular activities to work on motor skills) and she was running on the beach and bending down on the sand. She is still unsteady in the waves and can't be trusted around the fire pit for fear she will lose her balance and fall, but that will be a progress report for another time. For now, we celebrate that in two short years, a dah was replaced with a complex sentence asking to play boats with daddy, and now she fearlessly got up on the jetski.

I look forward to coming years when she will be navigating around the campsite without fear of falling, swimming in the water, and maybe waterskiing or jetskiing on her own.  Also, I excitedly anticipate her talking our ear off around the campfire.

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