Sunday, May 6, 2012

"They make my words happy"

Things have been going along lately.  Cha-cha has been plugging along with school and therapy and doing a great job.  His words are trying to come out as best as they can.  Sometimes, it sounds like a combination of being drunk, marbles in his mouth and a nasal blockage when his words come out.  I've read and been told that as a child with CAS grows up, their speech becomes more intelligible and it often sounds like they have an accent.  I can see him working on will make him distinct and unique. ;)

It's Better Speech and Hearing Month, and every day on FB, I'm putting up a fact about CAS to help promote awareness - I got my facts from Apraxia Mom - a great blog I follow who gives a lot of great advice for parents of children with CAS.  I'm not doing it to be annoying, but to help others understand about what Apraxia is and how it effects the kiddos who have it and the families who raise them. 

I feel fortunate that we started this whole process early - I pushed for EI at 7 months when I knew in my heart something wasn't right.  I pushed for having an outside eval at 2 1/2 months, and I pushed for our school referral to put Cha-cha in the right placement.  I recently picked up this book, and I felt relieved that I could pretty much skim through the first 4 chapters or so because we've already lived the figuring out and diagnosing process.

Despite hitting walls from time to time, we've seen glimpses of hope lately.  Cha-cha wants to communicate with us, and at times, he will push and go on and on with his words.  Hearing him say, "Et me teh oo a sor-rey.  Unse a-pon a tie..." (Let me tell you a story.  Once upon a time...) makes me laugh and my heart soar that he even knows how to stall at bedtime.  We've had some ups and downs with this new school and the adjustment hasn't been easy.  It hurts to hear him say that he doesn't play with anyone or hear his random thoughts of, "Big problem at Pre-school" and not have any idea what he's talking about (or a teacher who can't recall what the "problem" is).  He does enjoy his new school and he loves his daycare afterwards.  I've seen him be more assertive with others when I pick him up at daycare and I have seen his softer side of coddling the younger children and being gentle with them.  The change has been good for him.

Tonight, after not understanding something that he said, I just came out and asked him, "Cha-cha, does it bother you that your words don't come out?"  He just looked at me and gave me a smile.  I asked him, "Does Miss Emily help you with your words?  Does she make them easier?"  He looked at me and said, "Miss Debbie, Miss Su-sun, Miss Ta-ra, an Miss Em-lee, dey may my wirds ha-pee."  Hearing that makes all the sadness and driving around worth it all to know that he knows that we're all here to help him.