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Many parents who have young children diagnosed with apraxia worry about their child's future.  You can help to inspire and raise hope by sharing your success story.  Please email your success stories.

The families on this page have generously offered to reach out to help others via email.  Because these parents and children all can help you from their unique "been there done that" perspective, you may wish to take advantage of their outreach offer.  We will be adding more families of children who "grew up" with apraxia soon.  

Both Rachel and Kal  presented, "What Happens To A Child With Apraxia When They Grow Up?' at our August, 2000 meeting.  Please watch for other exciting upcoming events!

"Beyond Hope"

Written by Kal, age 13

Kal, far right, with his brother and sister

Kal was one of our speakers at our August 7, 2000 meeting.  See who the speakers are for our upcoming meeting.

Read about Kal's and his mom Cindy's trip to New York.


    I'm Kal and I'm almost 14 years old. I was born with apraxia that affected my speech and limbs (motor planning). This is about my life, and how I have lived it to the fullest no matter what struggles I had. My most difficult years were grades K -6th.  I had moderate to severe apraxia when I was a child. I had to go through lots of therapy for ST and OT. I also had problems with kids understanding my speech and teasing me. I did and still have a hard time with  my writing and reading. What helped me through so much, was my parents helped me out a lot.

    I remember in kindergarten I would try to say something and people didn't understand me. I thought I was speaking right, thinking that other kids were the ones confused.  In 2nd grade I had the best teacher yet.  She showed me how to express my thoughts in different ways besides talking and writing. It's hard to explain how much she helped me.  That year I had lots of fun in that class. We learned and we had so much fun. That is very rare!  In third grade I became aware of how I talked. In speech, my therapist had me listened to a recording of my voice, and that's when I realized how different my speech was compared to other kids. I had a great therapist named Peter, which is really important. He was the one that discovered I had apraxia at age 8. We liked each other and worked hard together.  In 3rd, 4th and 5th grade I took teasing really seriously. But I kept my self-esteem by playing tether ball.  I always won! I always looked to other things I was good at.  Because of this it helped me,  I feel better about myself. In 5th grade I had a teacher, that helped me to be more confident in what I do. He was great with kids.

    Most of my friends in elementary had some kind of disability. This is fine for me because, I didn't care what they looked like. I always liked to play different things with them. I remember when I was in California  my first grade year I met a boy and we became friends.  His ears were uneven and had he wore a hearing aid. He was teased a lot before we became friends. I think it helped us out having each other.  I was devastated when we had to leave back to New Mexico.  This was a good friend I left behind. As I got older I went onto having other friends, who also had different disabilities.

    I think that a big part of my life was in sports. I played soccer since I was 5 to 11 years old. Sadly, I only had one good coach that was actually fun. He taught us how to play the game. We rarely scored a goal, but he taught us about teamwork and that wining is nice, but to finish with a good attitude was better. I think and wish more coaches could be more like him. All my other coaches said I was too slow to play soccer. So I sat out often. I did not understand till I was older, that in addition to verbal apraxia, I also had limb apraxia which affected my feet and hands.  That's why I was slow in sports all those years. In 5th grade I decided to play basketball. Because of the apraxia in my hands, I stunk with my shot so I stayed at the defense end of the court. I blocked every shot the other team would try to shoot. Until I was able to shoot the ball, this was the most I could do in skills.  Then in sixth grade I was better at my shots and I made it. My friends say it's a miracle but I think its skills and lots of practice.  I have continued to improve every year. In 7th grade I made the basketball team at my school. I even started the first two games of the season. This was tough for me to be responsible with my grades and my game! One of my grades I went down to a D+ and I had to get at least a C+ to stay on the team. That was my dad's and the school's rule to keep my grade up to stay on the team. I worked hard to bring my grade up to a B. As for basketball, over the summer I got more low post moves and a better range.  Plus I now run faster, jump higher and shoot 3 pointers. I feel it will be another great year on the team.

   Now that I'm going into 8th grade, I have hope that I will have another successful year.  I want to be an honor roll student like I was before.  I also want to win another award, proving that I can do it. This year I will have to attend therapy for my writing, I can't write that well because my hand's gets tired.  I'm thinking positive because I know this will help me write better. I will also do better in basketball, dribbling, shooting and scoring better.  But I know that if I'm on the basketball team and do occupational therapy it will be though.  Because I am older, I know I can do this. It will help me with all the things I want to do in the future. It going to be hard work and yet a successful challenge!

   This is a message for all the kids who have apraxia: Don't give up! Things have their way of looking up! Try to be the best at what you can do! Even if is hard, try not to be afraid.  When I was teased at school my self-esteem went down. Then one day I noticed that every person in the world has to deal with some kind of disability. Sadly, Apraxia is a more noticeable then other disabilities, but you can still work through it by being patient, work hard with lots of practice. I liked being around people, who believed in me. I did the best at what I can do. I knew if I tried, then I wouldn't miss the chance of wondering if I could have done it. Many times I did do it and so can you! Stay strong my friends, I will be thinking of you! 

                                       I am only one. But still,
                                                I am one. I cannot do
                                                Everything, but still
                                                I can do something. And
                                                because I cannot do
                                                 everything, I will not
                                                  refuse to do the
                                                 something that I can do.
                                                 ~Author Edward Hale ~
   

Kal, age 3

Kal also writes:
" I would like to promote Apraxia Awareness because: I want to tell these kids that they can still live a normal life.  They can still do the things they love, which helped me to forget my problems. Life is meant to be lived to the fullest, you must want that. I know I wanted this very much. I think kids with Limb Apraxia should play lots of sports, because it will help strengthen their limbs and their coordination. Sports also helped me face my fears. Just practice and you will get better at things, like I did.  Don't stay isolated.

Participating with events, helped me improve my Apraxia with time. For speech you should have a extremely dedicated therapist, whom I liked very much, but their were times I was frustrated with all the therapy we did together. My  speech therapist is the one who introduced me to basketball, we played to motivate me to use my words. I now love and play basketball everyday. Kids with Apraxia I know there is hope for you and for my little brother. I know this because there was hope for  me!"

Look What Our Sponsors Helped Kal and Cindy To Do!

At the "Talking Page", hear Kal and his brother Jadd, who also has apraxia, and read some of their story. 

Notes from Cindy (Kal's Mom)

Kal at age 3 was a child of few words and now he is a teenager that is fully intelligible in speech. Some of his accomplishments this past year have been impressive. Though Kal still has struggles in his written language, he has come far in many areas of academics. He was tested this past May and is now reading at an 8.3 year level. Kal works hard at keeping his grades up and does his best to stay on the honor roll. Kal won 2nd place in the Regional National History Day. Soon thereafter he participated in the State Competition in National History Day 2000. He participated in a stage performance, for both Regional and State. 

In the State Competition, Kal's long hours of dynamic work were recognized and he received 2 awards. Kal was awarded ”Honorable Mention" for best overall primary resources in written work for presentation, and also awarded 3rd place in the “Performance" category in the state competition. To end his seventh grade year, Kal won an outstanding leadership award throughout his school, for excellence in teamwork. We are and have always been so proud of Kal. He's an awesome kid! Kal is looking forward to his eighth grade year!  As far as socializing among his peers, Kal has many new friends. However among his favorites are still those from past years.

   

Just of few of Kal's many educational and sporting achievements! You can email Kal, or his mom Cindy, if you have questions or comments.

Rachel's Story

(Rachel's mom believes that the children diagnosed with apraxia today have a much better chance since there is so much more knowledge about apraxia and appropriate therapy.  For example, the first time Rachel had oral motor therapy, which is a therapy used for apraxia and other speech disorders, was in high school, and it wasn't comfortable to do at that age.  

Knowing how few people today know about apraxia, when Rachel was diagnosed 20 years ago, there obviously was much less information, and understanding.  Rachel's mom became such an advocate for Rachel that she became a special ed teacher!)

Ever since I saw the article in the Star Ledger about your son Tanner, I've been meaning to write.  I too have a child that was diagnosed with apraxia at an early age.  Rachel is now 21 and a second year college student.

I noticed early on that her language development was below that of her peers. She often seemed to be confused and would become terribly frustrated because she could not communicate her needs.   At the age of 2, Rachel had very little language and what she did say was pretty unintelligible.  She began  intensive speech therapy which continued all through high school. In addition to the apraxia, she has other learning disabilities, that always made school difficult.   Socially she has always been behind her peers, which is often heartbreaking.   Rachel still has difficulty with the pronunciation of many multi-syllabic words.  The quality of her speech is different, and still today I often have to ask her to repeat what she has said.

Academically she has worked hard and has always had a positive attitude.  She is an early childhood education major and wishes to work with children with learning disabilities. Two years ago she was honored by the ARC of Somerset County for her volunteer work with children with disabilities and this summer she is a camp counselor.

As you can see, we are extremely pleased with all that she has accomplished.  It hasn't been easy for any of us and many tears have been shed over the years.

There were never any support groups when she was growing up. It was hard to always feel alone.   I dealt with the issues by learning all that I could about language and learning disabilities, eventually becoming a special education teacher. 

The biggest advice  one can offer anyone in a situation like this is be an advocate for your child and teach them to be an advocate for themselves.  Also never give up.  Although your child may not learn things quickly, as long as they are learning  there is hope.

Good luck to you and your group.

Susan 

Susan is a Special Ed teacher as well as Rachel's mom.  You can email Susan or Rachel if you have questions or comments.  

  Rachel was one of our speakers at our August 7, 2000 meeting.  See who the speakers are for the upcoming meeting.

 

  Untitled Document

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Send mail to Support with technical questions or comments about this web site. 
Copyright © 1998 
Last modified: Friday, June 03, 2005

To find your way around the CHERAB part of this site please click here for the index.

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." -- Margaret Mead, anthropologist

Send mail to Support with technical questions or comments about this web site. 
Copyright © 1998 
Last modified: Friday, June 03, 2005

To find your way around the CHERAB part of this site please click here for the index.

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." -- Margaret Mead, anthropologist