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SLP Mommy of Apraxia: The importance of touch

Friday, March 28, 2014

The importance of touch

"Touching helps us build relationships with one another."
This is a simple but profound quote from an article I read on the power of touch: Importance through touch.  It went on to say that babies first communicate through touch and crying, and that their needs are met mainly through touch. It got me thinking. Since Ashlynn took longer to talk, she could only continue to communicate with us through touch and crying.  She has pretty good functional communication now, but when she is tired she still resorts to crying or a tantrum to express her frustration. 

Other parents who have kids with apraxia frequently report their kiddos are the sweetest and most loving children.  Generous with their hugs and kisses, they are also sensitive and highly attuned to feelings and emotions.  This describes Ashlynn as well, now.

As a baby, she wasn't as cuddly.  She always wanted down, and would only cuddle with me long enough to breastfeed or fall asleep.  However, she did always need to be touching hands.  Daddy's hands, Grandma's hands, my hands.  When she started preschool this year, the teacher reported she was very loving, which was great; but they were having to teach her to ask for hugs first because not every child shared her enthusiasm for hugs (except the little boy with Down Syndrome.  It's a hug fest when those two get together!)  Holding hands, however,  she can usually get a way with!

Ashlynn holds everyone's hand.  If they hold it back, she immediately declares them a friend. If they resist, she moves onto the next kid.  When she plays with her cousins her age, she also wants to hold their hand.  I have so many pictures of her hand in hand with her cousins and various children.  Not to mention her little brother.  They hold hands in the car on the way to Grandma's house for daycare. 

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At March 31, 2014 at 10:47 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

This melted my heart. First because she is SO cute. Second, because she reminds me a lot of Cooper. Cooper loves holding hands. Especially with mom. It's kind of our thing. Cooper's daycare lady has let me know that Cooper likes to hug and touch a lot. I always say the same thing. "Was it inappropriate? Was it mean or aggressive?" She always say's no. Then I have to tell her that it's his only way to communicate. He doesn't have any other way of doing so. It's hard. And secretly, I am so thankful that his trying to communicate.


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