Dear Apraxia Mama:
It seems appropriate that Apraxia Awareness Day falls on Mother’s Day this year.
We’re not only our kids’ biggest advocates, we’re their voice.
We drive them countless miles to and from therapy.
We speak “their language” and understand them when others don’t.
To the mama who’s been doing the Apraxia song and dance for years – you rock!
You’ve fought the good fight – maybe you’ve even finished the race. I hope you are celebrating today!
But to the mama who just got the diagnosis…
I saw your Facebook post the other day and my heart ached for you. I wanted to reach through the screen and give you a hug. We’ve never met face-to-face, but our worlds are very much the same.
I wish I could take your hand in mine, look you in the eye and tell you you’re doing an amazing job. I know you don’t believe that, but you are.
I know you’re scared, sad, frustrated, overwhelmed and emotionally drained.
Our Apraxia Journey has been filled with joy and pain; fear and hope; laughter and tears.
I know you probably feel lonely; but you aren’t alone.
Wherever you find yourself today, I’m writing these words for you.
You are on my heart.
You are in my prayers.
It wasn’t that long ago when I dreaded (and grieved) the simplest of things. Taking Jackson to play at Chick-Fil-A. Attending birthday parties. School drop off and pick up.
Everything was so hard.
He couldn’t talk.
He had meltdowns.
I lost my patience.
There were days when it was easier to just stay home.
Home was safe.
That was still very much our reality when we celebrated Apraxia Awareness Day last year.
But a lot has changed in one short year.
Jackson found his voice.
The progress to get to this point was painfully slow, but His promise never changed: If it seems slow in coming, wait. It’s on the way. It will come at the right time. (Habakkuk 2:3)
That promise wasn’t just for my son; it’s for your child too.
Cling to it. Believe it. Proclaim it.
I have no doubt your child will find their voice.
It will take a lot of hard work.
It will take the right speech therapist.
Hold tight to those small moments – a new word here, a new word there.
When your child finds their voice, things will get easier.
They won’t be perfect. There will still be struggles. But having the ability to communicate is a game changer. It has been for us.
Last week my son was able to tell me what happened on the playground, which led to him accidentally scratching one of his friends.
Friend, no throw wood chips, he said.
A few days before that, he grabbed my cheeks, looked into my eyes and said, wuv you mom!
Last year he couldn’t do these things.
Last year we couldn’t have a conversation.
Last year we were still in that hard, hard spot.
But finally, all those moments – hours of therapy, thousands of tears, a million prayers – led to our miracle.
There’s no better gift than hearing your child’s voice.
It’s Mother’s Day and you’re probably yearning to hear “mama” or “I love you!”
Oh, sweet mama, don’t lose hope!
Hang on tight; your miracle is coming.
From a Mama Who Understands…
***For more information about Childhood Apraxia of Speech click here.
***To order a copy of my children’s book, “Jackson Finds His Voice” click here.