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SLP Mommy of Apraxia: The high of summer! The fear of "back to school."

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The high of summer! The fear of "back to school."

Oh summer, how I love thee. Filled with swimming lessons, play dates; visits to the park and zoo.

During summer, I get to see my children be children. Their carefree smiles light up a room, and the echoes of their laughter can be heard long after they lay down their head. Yes, therapy appointments are a way of life for Ashlynn, but even speech and occupational therapy bring positive updates from the session and we can quickly return to our days of play.

This summer I signed up to a few good facebook pages I found: MamaOT and Inspired Treehouse. I LOVE these pages! Instead of the packet of ideas I would get heaped upon my shoulders during the school year, these pages provide an idea a day to do with your child. Simple, easy, fun! When I just get one idea a day, the load seems MUCH more manageable. I was so inspired, I tried to do the same for speech and language on my SLP Mommy of Apraxia page, since I'm usually doing something related throughout my day with my kids since that at least, comes naturally to me. I really think they helped Ashlynn, and I felt good about incorporating some sort of speech, sensory, or occupational/physical therapy at home.

 My husband and I also saw HUGE improvements this summer in the motor realm. Ashlynn climbed a play structure that she had yet to conquer at our nearby park. Who knew how much core stability, bilateral hand coordination, and crossing midline play a part in climbing a simple play structure! Well, I'll tell you who know.

Parents of children who have dyspraxia!

At the local amusement park, she was riding the tea cups independently. My husband shot a video. During the first two go rounds she was just sitting there, but by the third go round she figured out how to spin the wheel to spin her teacup! You should hear my husband cheer. Who knew how much core strength, bilateral hand coordination, and crossing midline play a part in being able to operate a simple teacup ride.

 Oh yeah, parents of children who have dyspraxia.

 However, now summer is coming to an end. I see facebook posts ripe with updates along the lines of "I'm so happy school is coming up!" Or memes like this one:

Not me. School. Sigh. What can I say? I have a love/hate relationship with school.

 I firmly believe school helps children develop their social skills and gives them important language models, which is especially important for kids with speech and language delays. The first week my daughter went to school shortly after she turned three, she came home singing a tune I actually could decipher, and at that time she was nonverbal! That my friends, is the power of school!

 On the other hand, school brings new fears and new worries. I always thought, once she starts talking, I'll be okay.

 Not true.

Now I'm worried about her phonemic awareness skills, language lag, slow processing speed, and being able to write.

 My God how much do kids need to do and know now just to be ready for Kindergarten???

 I'm not looking forward to the IEP meeting, the parent/teacher conferences, the comparisons I try not to make when I'm visiting her classroom.

 Quite frankly.... It SUCKS. Apraxia STILL sucks!

 So no. I'm not ready for Ashlynn to go back to school. My SLP friend and mother to two young boys with apraxia who has a blog: Landon Journey just posted this song lyric the other day:

If I could make days last forever
If I could make wishes come true
I'd save every day like a treasure and then,
Again, I would spend them with you.

As my brother says though, "Life's not fair. Get used to it."

So farewell summer! I bid you adieu. You have been so kind to us this year. We have made castles in your warm sand, felt the glow of the sun upon our face, cooled off in your waters, and celebrated the milestones and successes at our pace. Though I'm anxious for the coming school year, I have faith you will be waiting on the other side.  Welcoming my children to your sunshine, casting light onto their beauty.

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