This past Friday DS had a chance to go to Speech Therapy. Technically he is still on the wait list but an appointment came up so we took it. The speech therapist says she thinks he has apraxia, which is a motor control issue. In other words, he can understand language, form thoughts, but cannot get them out as sounds. He has been making progress lately, but her diagnosis is consistent with my own observations that he seems to be making an effort to make sounds, and the sounds he makes are not the usual sounds other children make when learning to talk.
I wasn’t upset by the diagnosis; in fact it felt good to have an explanation of what was going on. I suppose I worry too much about my kids getting some fatal illness or disease, because to me a speech issue is nothing to worry about. Sometimes I worry that maybe I should be more worried, lol.
I believe being a homelearning family, with an emphasis on unschooling, has played a major part in my lack of concern. I’m not concerned about him being made fun of or bullied. I’m not concerned about him getting the appropriate attention in school. I’m not concerned about him not learning to read or write on the State’s timetable. Even without a speech delay I could care less if he doesn’t start reading until he’s 7. I don’t define “success” as being able to get a PhD some day. Success is what fulfills him and makes him happy. Besides, it is obvious he is a very bright kid, so his options won’t be limited IMO. The best part of homelearning is I can gear his education to his exact needs and abilities, and I don’t have to follow someone else’s idea of when he should be doing a, b, or c. He may have difficulties with certain things, but we’ll take it slow and figure out what learning style works best for him, and I’m confident we will be just fine. With that said, however, it is still early on in the game: too soon to know how bad this will affect him, but early enough that therapy stands an excellent chance of success.
Finally, in reading about apraxia and viewing a few online discussions, it would seem that DS’s condition is not that severe. It appears that many such kids have other fine motor issues, and he definitely does not – he’s physically quite skilled. He also does not appear to have any (other) learning disabilities – he’s known his colours and alphabet for some time now, for example.
I’m confident that with speech therapy he will make great progress. If he isn’t talking perfectly one day, so what. We’ll deal with that. At least he is healthy and happy and to me, that’s all that matters. So maybe I should be worrying about this, but I’m not going to.