Thursday, 17 July 2014

Help!! Childhood Apraxia of Speech ~Our Journey

Hman has two words, well he actually has more than that (he is doing so very well), but two very clear words. These two words are his way of communicating and it is truly amazing what he is able to express with just these two simple words! 
I bet you are dying to know what the two words are, aren't you?? ;)
They are, non other than 'more' and 'help'
When you think about it, those two little words are very powerful and pretty handy to have in your vocabulary. 
Our SLP (speech and language pathologist) was explaining to me that when he verbalises 'more'; firstly how fantastic it is that he can put together the two movements of lips closed 'mmm' to open 'ore', however, at the moment it is not a smooth, unconscious  movement. He opens his mouth to big for the 'ore' creating a distortion so it comes out more like 'mmm ah', with time and practice he will learn the delicacies of these movements and control it better. Just one example of the intricate nature of CAS and how much these kids need to work for something the rest of us take for granted!
He uses 'more' a lot along with the sign.
Some examples include,
I want "more" milk, banana, porridge etc. 
I want you to push the toy car down the ramp again- "more".
Hey, that was fun, let's do it again- "more"
I want another story- "more"
I like that cuddle- "more"
I don't want to go home- "more"
I want to rest longer- "more"
You get the idea more more more!! 
It is so exciting that he is beginning to attempt (at times) to join a second word onto more. This is something we are focusing on with him so we are encouraging him to attempt "more ball" "more milk" etc.

Then we come to 'help!'
Which he usually shrieks loudly and consistently till we appear and rectify whatever it is he is wanting!
 Once again he uses this word in all sorts of situations
 We have  become used to hearing his screams for
"HEELP!" "Help!" "HELP!" 
Which to an untrained ear sounds like he requires some sort of urgent serious assistance, when in fact he just wants his ball that's rolled under the couch.
 Or he wants you to open something, reach something, turn something on or off. He wants to go outside "Help!", he wants that treat he is not allowed "HELP!", he doesn't want his nappy changed "Help!", he doesn't want a bath "HELP!!" 
...Or he doesn't want to leave the toy aisle at a major shopping centre no matter what you try... "HELP, HEEELP HELP!"  He is determined! Bribing him with snacks and drinks and exciting adventures is not enticing him to leave all the wonderfully brilliant trucks with their big shiny wheels and rows upon rows of every sort of vehicle. He is not going to willingly use his legs and walk out of the store nicely with us, which means we have to pick him up, he is kicking and still screaming "HELP" "HEEEEELP"!
We feel like we have to reassure all the concerned onlookers that we are, indeed, NOT kidnapping this child, he does belong to us REALLY and he really doesn't actually need HELP!
It's one of those times when that little word most parents despise, no, would actually come in handy!
But that's my boy and golly do we love him more!!