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.
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
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!
Kal, age 13
Kal, far right, with his brother
was one of our speakers at our August 7, 2000 meeting. See who the
speakers are for our upcoming meeting.
about Kal's and his mom Cindy's trip to New York.
I'm Kal and I'm almost 14 years old.
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
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
I think that a big part of my life was in
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
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.
basketball, over the summer I got more low post moves and a better
range. Plus I now run faster, jump higher and shoot 3
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
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
~Author Edward Hale ~
Kal, age 3
" 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
What Our Sponsors Helped Kal and Cindy To Do!
"Talking Page", hear Kal
and his brother Jadd,
who also has apraxia, and read some of their story.
from Cindy (Kal's Mom)
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
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.
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
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!)
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
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.
she has always been behind her peers, which is often heartbreaking.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
luck to you and your group.
is a Special Ed teacher as well as Rachel's mom. You can email
Susan or Rachel
you have questions or comments.
was one of our speakers at our August 7, 2000 meeting. See who the
are for the upcoming meeting.