Apraxia Awareness Day – May 14th – the first of many in our journey with Aprxia

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So tomorrow May 14th is no longer just an ordinary day for our household anymore.  Tomorrow is National Apraxia Awareness Day!  If reading this first sentence has you asking just what the heck Apraxia is, I will start with a little info on what it is and how it affects my family.

Childhood apraxia of speech (CAS) is a neurological motor speech disorder in which a child has difficulty rapidly, accurately, and consistently producing and timing the movement sequences needed to produce speech. CAS is not due to having weak muscles for speech. There are several characteristics that are generally accepted to distinguish CAS from other types of speech delays and disorders. (excerpt taken from the CASANA website)

So our journey with Apraxia started long before I even knew what Apraxia was. My son was a happy, healthy baby, but he did not babble or coo, he would constantly over stuff his mouth with food, grope with his mouth and tongue and he had little to no words when it came time for him to “talk”.  Before I even realized something wasn’t quite right we had started with sign language just for fun like I had done with my daughter – but he didn’t catch on nor seem interested, but we continued to push on and eventually he picked up a few signs like please, thank you, more, all done, milk and a few others – he began to make high pitched shrills and lots of grunts when he wanted something – so I would sign with him and say things like “oh you want more milk” and he would shake his head yes or no.  Everyone said to me oh he is just a late talker – “it’s a boy thing”, or his big sister talks for him, or he doesn’t talk because you just give him what he wants and he doesn’t have to work for it….all of these were far from the truth – we worked so hard to get words – he started saying ma for mama and “A” for our dog Ace, he even said “Nana” a few times before completely loosing the word. When he was almost 20 months I contacted our local Early Intervention program and asked for him to be evaluated for speech – they came out to our house and he passed his first evaluation (which is an overall evaluation for cognitive abilities, fine and gross motor, expressive and receptive language)  they said while he did have expressive language delays that he scored high enough in the other areas that he did not qualify for intervention and that they could come back in a few months to reevaluate that the scoring changes once they are a few months older – so we waited those few agonizing months and when they came back low and behold he now qualified to speech therapy.

We began in home therapy for the next several months under Early Intervention and when he turned 3 that December he would transition to the IU13 for continued therapy – the transition was tough -he was not interested in sitting for 45 minutes working hard on something that he knew was hard and he would throw epic fits to get out of working – it was quite the battle – eventually he gave in and we switched to 2 – 30 minute sessions a week which seemed to go a little better – we began to see very slow (i’m talking like a snail’s pace) improvement, but I knew in my heart that something was quite right and this was just not a “typical speech delay” that he would grow out of.

I began to research and turned to our local Children’s Hospital to have him further evaluated by someone who specializes in Apraxia.  When we went for our testing I told the therapist my son’s history (he was 33 months old) and she went through a battery of test and at the end told us with out a doubt that our son has Apraxia. While I was heartbroken to know that there was something truly wrong and I happy to know I had a starting point of what we needed to do and so our journey was taking a little bit of a left turn but at least we were headed in the right direction.

We are now in intensive speech therapy 3-4 times per week and work constantly at home.  We incorporate PROMPT therapy as well as the Kauffman approach and of course play into our sessions.  He has made amazing strides since his diagnosis in October 2014, while strangers still may not understand all of what he says, it is easier for our family to understand and communicate with him, not to say we don’t have days of complete and utter frustration – those days happen, as he is completely aware of his Apraxia and that it makes it difficult for him to talk and communicate with others.  Apraxia has not stopped my little boy from being a silly, smiling, caring, rambunctious little boy.  He is a cuddle bug, and always looks out for his big sister, he loves working with his PaPa in the garage and helping to take care of his dog Ace, and he is anxiously awaiting the arrival of his new cousin this summer.

We are participating in our first Walk for Apraxia on June 6th, 2015 and are so excited to help raise funds for research and treatment for kiddos with Apraxia.  If you would like to donate to our team you can click the link to make a donation 2015 Hershey Walk for Apraxia – Apraxia-Kids and to learn more about Apraxia please check out CASANA.

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A life and sanity saver…

10703_10206013380352758_8466428538291906225_nIf you are a busy mom then have I got a life saver for you!  One of the things I dislike most is grocery shopping, especially with my kiddos…don’t get me wrong they are very good shoppers, but when I shop with them I feel like I have ADD. Our area grocery store, Giant Food Stores (central PA area) is now offering delivery through Peapod!  Yep – you can stop right from your computer (in your comfy sweatpants and a glass of wine) use coupons, earn gas rewards and more all from the comfort of your home!  I actually save more by using Peapod than going to the actual store and purchasing items we really don’t need!  The first time the trucked pulled up – it was a like a group of Heavenly Angels singing – they even bring everything into your kitchen for you and take any grocery bags you don’t need or want to be recycled.

Peapod has more than 12,000 popular-and house-brand products for shoppers to choose from, Peapod’s virtual shelves are brimming with all of your grocery essentials plus farm-fresh produce; restaurant-quality meats and seafood; deli meats and cheeses, sliced to order; Kosher, organic and specialty foods and much more! Peapod currently delivers to the following areas: Chicagoland, Milwaukee, S.E. Wisconsin, Indianapolis, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Southern New Hampshire, Maryland, Virginia, Washington, DC, Philadelphia, S.E. Pennsylvania and continues to expand.

I think you will love Peapod  as much as I do so I have a included a coupon for you!  Click the picture below and you can save $15 off of your first order!  Offer expires 4/30/2015.

Free Design – He has Risen!

So in my spare time I love to create and design.  Here is a new printable just in time for Easter Sunday.  Hope you enjoy.  Simply right click and save the image as.  It is a high resolution file suitable for printing.  The size is 12×12 but can be scaled down.  Thank you and Happy Easter!

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Free summer activity for your kids!

The weather may not seem like it, but summer will be here before you know it, and that means the kiddos will be out of school and ready to be entertained.  For those rainy days or the days that it is just too plain hot to be outside, you can check out your local bowling center!  That’s right BOWLING!  A few years ago a neighbor told me about a website called Kids Bowl Free so I decided to check it out.  I was excited to find out that our located bowling center was a participant and that my kids could bowl 2-free games every day all summer long.  They even offer a family pass for up to 4 other family members (think… grandpa, babysitter, etc) for only $26.95 and a $3.00 off coupon code good until 4/2/2015 with the code NoJoke3

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