Apraxia

Parental Alienation, Malicious Mother Syndrome, dealing with the ex, and various other non-legal concerns throughout the process.

Apraxia

Unread postby Broken Machine » Thu Jan 11, 2018 11:13 am

Not sure if this is a topic for this forum but I have gotten so much good advice here. Anyhow, as some know I have 50/50 parenting time with my kids on a 7/7 schedule. S7 has been in speech therapy for a couple years now. During the marriage, STBX was the SAHM and handled affairs with the kids. Since this divorce started and is progressing I have of course started to handle these things on my end.

S7's speech has always been a concern so I took the initiative to get into contact with the speech therapist at their school. I wanted to meet with her to discuss how I can compliment his therapy because I want my son to start speaking better. He understands fine and he is very smart. He just cannot communicate well.

Speech therapist replied and I learned that he was diagnosed with Apraxia. I do not recall STBX ever telling me about this. I do remember we both feared Selective Mutism or something like that. I feared this because SM is anxiety related from what I understand (and I have GAD/OCD). But I am reading about Apraxia and it sounds exactly what S7 has an issue with.

I am going to continue to engage with the speech therapist to see what I can do at the home to help him more. Has anybody else here dealt with Apraxia or even any other speech issue with their kids? If so, what all did you do to help them? I am really open to any advice. S7 is smart and I want him to be able to express himself more. I can tell that inside he is frustrated (or even fearful) that he can't get out what is in his head. Thanks.
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Re: Apraxia

Unread postby massdad1234 » Thu Jan 11, 2018 11:20 am

First off, great job Broken Machine (you really need a new username) for taking charge! Look how far you have come and you serve as inspiration for dads that are empowered to do things they historically didn't as part of the marriage.
Broken Machine wrote:I am really open to any advice. S7 is smart and I want him to be able to express himself more. I can tell that inside he is frustrated (or even fearful) that he can't get out what is in his head. Thanks.

I suggest continue to do what you are doing, listen. My only advice would be to let him tell it in his words, express it the way he wants. If you create an environment, that he knows you will listen no matter, really listen, that he trusts you aren't just waiting to tell him what you think he should do, but deeply listening, he will feel understood. I think from there he will come to you.

Just my two cents.
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Re: Apraxia

Unread postby Broken Machine » Thu Jan 11, 2018 11:54 am

Thanks massdad1234. My username is in reference to my OCD/GAD and not the divorce. And also is a username that nobody will tie to me. I am open to listen, but my son does not communicate well. From what I am reading so far about apraxia is that the brain knows what it wants to communicate but getting the muscles to articulate it is where the breakdown is. It is not due to any sort of weakness in the muscle but having the muscles do what the brain signals are sending is the issue. I guess in layman's terms it would be a "kink in the line".

I know I will have to engage with the STBX. I had an issue with her having the kids do their nightly reading for school. Which I know they have not. She has never filled out their logbook and D9 (the oldest) has stated to me several times that they have not read while at STBX's place. I emailed STBX about it and she replied that they are reading but she "forgot to fill out their logbooks". I left it alone and I know she is lying but I did not confront. I started to see the logbooks filled out and when I ask D9 if they are reading, she has said "yes". I got what I truly wanted out of this and that is for the kids to read.

I know the above is kind of unrelated but it will tie into my confidence in STBX following along with any work at home for speech. But I will communicate and just leave it at that as I can only control what I do at my house and I have communicated with STBX. It's rough and frustrating but there it is. And hopefully STBX will compliment speech therapy as well.
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Re: Apraxia

Unread postby massdad1234 » Thu Jan 11, 2018 12:09 pm

I appreciate the explanation on the challenges your son has, it sounds like you have been very supportive. I think you simply continue to love him, to build trust and show him you are there to listen, which will inspire him.

I also think you need to process your feelings for your ex. It seems you are still in a highly alert and conflict state. You need to focus inward and reflect on how those emotions will affect your children, because you can't kid yourself that those emotions, those feelings are not projected on your children and that they are fleeting.

You need to spend the time learning to listen to how your kids see the world and you cannot control how their mother spends the time with them. They need to own their actions 100%, so it isn't about the mother. Teach them to follow through with things, teach them about integrity, how they handle themselves and how to listen. That will be the greatest thing you can do as a dad, not worrying about what their mother does, something (some one) you have zero control over.

Focus your energy on things you can control and influence. You should start that focus inward.
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Re: Apraxia

Unread postby Broken Machine » Thu Jan 11, 2018 12:25 pm

I agree that I still need work in the area with STBX. But I do know that I cannot control her and of course do not trust her. I was just explaining something that happened over a month ago where I affected change without being confrontational to the mom. In fact, with the reading thing I explained to D9 that she knows that she needs to read every night and if mom forgets to remind them that she (meaning D9) needs to make sure that she reads. I wasn't bad mouthing their mom (hell we all forget things) but I was also trying to teach her to be responsible and to do what she knows she needs to do. Hopefully it will help her develop initiative.

As far as STBX, my feelings are kind of numb to her. Yes I loathe to deal with her because I despise her grenading the family. But I have accepted it and I am working on myself. I am also there for the kids. I have also learned a lot on dealing with the bumps in life and anxiety. I have even improved my faith. I have learned to let go of things that I cannot control. I still need work on my reactions though, lol. But I can definitely say that since STBX dropped the bomb that I have improved a lot. It hurts like hell but I feel that I am becoming a better person and a better dad for my kids.
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Re: Apraxia

Unread postby massdad1234 » Thu Jan 11, 2018 12:39 pm

brother, I can sense the seething feelings from your writing a long distance away. If I can feel that, you need to realize it, whether you like it or not, you are projecting that energy on your children and those emotions stick with them longer than with you. You need to realize that you are in complete control of your emotions because you are complete control on how you respond to them. You cannot control anything, the only thing you have complete control over is how you respond to everything.

You can window dress it all you like, but these are just symptoms of how you feel about the mother, you shouldn't ignore them, you should embrace them. Let them tell you what it is they are, so you can understand and process them. Right now, you seem to be trying to dig the deepest hole to bury them in. You're doing a heck of a lot of work but getting absolutely nowhere fast.
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Re: Apraxia

Unread postby Broken Machine » Thu Jan 11, 2018 1:45 pm

Trust me, I have made a lot of progress. Not just my parenting, but inside my head. I did acknowledge that I still have a ways to go. It doesn't help that my divorce is still ongoing (should have been done months ago but STBX was playing games). I have realized that I am better off without my STBX and I am trying to change my outlook on life from negative to positive. Hell, being a single parent is tough. It stresses me and it takes me work to calm my anxiety but in the end, I handle things better and I find this single parenting VERY rewarding. And that sense ironically negates my anxiety attack.

But back on topic. It seems that I am going to have to watch for movements of S7's mouth, throat, etc. Things I never really paid attention to. It is a lot. For now if I can tell what S7 is saying, I speak a complete sentence of what he is trying to communicate and have him repeat after me. Which is something that his speech therapist has been working on with him as well. But she gave me an idea when she described a way to get to understanding what he is trying to say. She has him try to draw it out on paper. Man, why didn't I think of that?!?! So I will try to see if I can have him do that. Once I know what S7 is trying to say, it is easy for me to tell him the proper sentence and have him repeat after me. When he repeats after me, he usually speaks it well.

For now I am on hold for whatever home assignments she might have. I'm kind of surprised none were sent in the past along with his homework. But...here's to hoping that he can progress. Because in the past, his speech has kept me worrying in my sleep once or twice. And definitely often in my waking hours as well.
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Re: Apraxia

Unread postby massdad1234 » Thu Jan 11, 2018 1:50 pm

amazing isn't it? When you truly understand him (drawing on paper) you are able to help him. Great job Dad!

If you have the funds, have you thought about buying him a tablet that can be written on + onenote? Personally I love my surface devices because of the pen. Being able to save the writings might help you understand better, plus it might open up other forms of communication which would lead to better understanding.

Basically, I suggest using technology to substitute for pen and paper because it provides advantages.
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Re: Apraxia

Unread postby Broken Machine » Thu Jan 11, 2018 1:56 pm

Interesting. I remember in the past thinking about getting a tablet for myself just to see how it is (I also have had < feces-like > luck with laptops these past few years). Your idea might sway me into getting one.
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Re: Apraxia

Unread postby notsorewhat2do » Thu Jan 11, 2018 3:03 pm

i have a child who had (has?) apraxia of speech. T

https://www.apraxia-kids.org/ is a terrific organization. Apraxia isn't always diagnosed correctly -- 20 years ago, it was likely under diagnosed and now maybe over diagnosed.

What helped my kid the very most was the frequency of therapy. At some points, he had it daily. Some at school and some outside of school. I would check health insurance benefits and see if you can access some privately provided services. There was a year where he actually had it 6 times a week (three at school and three at home/or Therapist's office). To be honest, we spent a fortune, but we had crappy insurance.

School speech therapy is usually group -- if his is group, I would call an IEP meeting (and if he just has a 504 plan, I would advocate for an IEP) and push hard for individual therapy. (there is research that argues everything I am saying)
https://www.apraxia-kids.org/library/ap ... -services/ You can use this to advocate your position if needed.

So my kid is great now, wins science fairs, in plays, etc. But I won't lie, it was a lot of years of really hard work (and we started much earlier than you are) It is a very good sign that he understands everything. Is he reading yet?
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