The first speech therapist that we saw brought up Apraxia as a possible diagnosis. Huh? What is that? I turned to the internet to find out.
"Apraxia of speech, also known as verbal apraxia or dyspraxia, is a speech disorder in which a person has trouble saying what he or she wants to say correctly and consistently. It is not due to weakness or paralysis of the speech muscles (the muscles of the face, tongue, and lips). The severity of apraxia of speech can range from mild to severe."
More good information at:
I ran across another very good website focusing specifically about Apraxia with kids:
I did a lot of reading and worrying, then more reading and more worrying. The diagnosis seemed to fit. When we modeled for him sounds or asked him to mimic, he would delay or just sort of stare at us. I kept thinking, "Can't he do it or won't he even try?" He seemed to be able to make sounds on his own terms but when asked to perform he pulled up short. Was it performance anxiety?
Later our wonderful private speech therapist that has been so supportive and helpful to Shea and our family, told me that Apraxia in children is a relatively new focus perhaps 10 or 15 years old or so. She talked about how Apraxia or Dispraxia was originally studied in stroke victims who had lost speech. The words are there in the brain but won't come out as speech.
Wow, I thought, how frustrating. If this is really the problem, how the heck am I going to help my kid?
Communication is crucial for human contact. How is my kid going to have a productive life without being able to talk? Those were dark days. But, we got to work and started signing.