Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Hearing her Silence

My daughter B -has alot of errors in her speech. She has a little tiny bit of Apraxia. In other words, the signals from her brain that tell her mouth, tongue, and jaw what to do in order to make a sound get lost en route. It is a very confusing and frustrating condition. She is four and very difficult to understand. She has been in speech since age two. She'll be 5 this month and starts Kindgergarten next week. Throughout her therapy, my mental mantra was 'she'll be fine as long as by the time she's in Kindergarten, she just blends in with the others. Guess what? She ain't gonna blend in. I don't know why that was my ideal anyway. I guess it was my sugar coated rose colored look at an otherwise heartbreaking situation. I know there are far more heartbreaking situations to be in. There are children with far greater obstacles to overcome than hers. But when her big blue eyes are filled with tears and she says "I dont know", she means 'I dont know how to say what's wrong'. It is as if her spirit and hundreds of her thoughts are trapped. I would do anything to get them out. I found this poem today on the Apraxia Kids website....

We don't understand
when we hear your silence
We cant see behind your frustrated eyes
when you plead for our attention
We are unable to feel your awkwardness
when you try to speak and the wrong sounds emerge
We cannot be inside you to will your tongue to move
when it struggles to find the roof of your mouth
We don't understand the fear that consumes you
when you are on the playground when you should be having fun
We are not privy to your brain that creates a world of words
only to have your muscles stop their meaning
We do not hear your mind communicating freely
only to have us look quizzically and ask for repetition
We cannot sense your joy at moments of clarity
only to have it rapidly disappear again and again
We do know who you are
when you look into our eyes
We can hold you tightly
when your fists clench and tears fill your vision
We will struggle with you each day and night
when you practice your speech sounds with great deliberation
We are proud of your trying
when we might just give up
We share with you your pain
when your mouth is tired and slow
You know that we will love you
when you are little and when you grow
You know that we will be there for you
when all seems dark and cold
You know that you are special and what you want to say
You know you are our children and who you are each day
You know your world is full and how to find the way
You know we hear your silence
You know, we hear your silence
You know we hear your silence
(July, 2004 on the occasion of the First National Apraxia-KIDS Parent Conference)


At 10:32 AM, Blogger heidi said...

Hey, i just wanted to come say hi, and then I saw this entry. I work in a clinic for kids with a variety of developmental problems, and Apraxia's one of the things we treat. I'm just now learning about it, but I'm doing a lot of research for our website. I'll share this poem with the therapists. That must be frustrating for little B. Can she sign any? We're thinking of teaching Molly some baby sign as she gets older so she can communicate before she can talk.

At 1:35 PM, Blogger Heather said...

Oh, that must be hard watching her. My heart goes out to you and your daughter. Here's hoping she will find kind friends in school and a compassionate teacher.

At 2:19 PM, Blogger Toasty said...

Thank you Heidi, no we didnt choose to use any signs and it has worked for us. Her vocab is there it's just the articulation. She'll just drop off the last consonant or whatever. The whole baby sign movement is amazing. I tryed it with my little one and it wasnt our thing. But wow, I have seen some toddlers sign whole sentences.

At 2:21 PM, Blogger Toasty said...

Thank you and I think she'll be fine.I just needed a moment to freak out before the big day. You know the drill.
Pmsing too,


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