This is my grandson, Matthew. He is 4 1/2 and has been diagnosed with Child Apraxia of Speech. Matt attends a special education school and receives speech 4 times a week, for 30 minutes each, occupational therapy 2 times a week, for 30 minutes and cognative therapy, 2 times a week for 30 minutes. He has had home sessions during Early Intervention since he was 2 1/2. So far Matt can not speak. He calls me "Gaga", his great-grandfather "Poppa" and his grandfather "Ampa". This is a great accomplishment for Matt!!! He is learning to say "bad', which sounds like "baa" and "Octor" for doctor. He see's so many lately that he even opens his mouth to say awww and points to his ears!!!! Every sound is difficult for Matt as his brain doesn't tell him how to form words. I put a link up for you to read called "What is Apraxia". Apraxia is not well know and my goal is to help people understand what it is and why the children who have this can not speak. Apraxia seems to be more common now and I want everyone to understand and help make others aware.
Matt is a happy boy! He loves people and always has a smile for everyone. Since Apraxia is not understood, parents do not know why Matt is always drooling and overly friendly. If they were aware, then I believe they could teach their children about it and it would help them not to make fun of Matthew. Children understand more then we give them credit for. How much easier it would be for kids like Matt to go to a park and not feel like he has the "cooties" when a child is afraid to go near him because he drools and squeals when he is overly happy!!!
Matt comprehends everything. He is extremely smart. Other then his inabilty to speak, Matt is the same as every child who has no "issues". He blows me away with how much he understands, how he listens to everything we say even when he isn't meant to! If you show Matt how to do something, he can then do it himself, not perfectly, but what child can on their first turn?
If anything comes from my making this page I hope it is that children with Apraxia and other Special Needs, are just like the children who don't have these "needs". I would love a world where these differences don't separate our children but bring them together. The more children with Special Needs are included in everyday playing, the more they learn and the message they recieve is "they are not DIFFERENT" !!!!
Please take the time to read a little about Apraxia. It can make the world of difference for a child like Matt!