Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Apraxia in Action

One of the interesting things about a child having Apraxia, is that he can repeat things as accurately as he may hear them each time, but rarely do they come out sounding the same way each time.
Also, since it is in reality, a neurological processing disorder, what he wants to say may differ completely from his ability to name an object presented to him for labeling.

To be able to understand a neurological disorder such as Apraxia (not exclusive to Bubbles'), one has to understand how the brain is capable of working independently (and, at times 'against itself') from its own desires.
Because If you want a spoon, you can ask for a spoon. If Bubbles wants a spoon, he can now ask for a spoon.
If you have a neuro-processing disorder (such as Apraxia), someone can hold up a picture of a spoon, or even worse, hold up a real spoon, and you might not be able to say that it was, in fact, a spoon. The part of your brain that can request a spoon and the part of your brain that can label a spoon are two completely different parts of your brain.

So, the other day, Bubbles wanted to go in the car. He yelled, "I go HOUSE! I go HOUSE!"
Until I totally bit the bait, "WHO'S HOUSE??? WHERE do you want to go??"

And he said, "I wan go Nina's house."
And I said, "I think Nina and Joe are coming over here soon. We don't have to go there."
And he seemed satisfied with that.

Of course, when Nina and Joe arrived, there was much a-flurry! Bubbles ran about and hugged his beloved Nina, whose home he had just begged to visit.
I asked him to say her name, "Who is here, Bubbs? Who is this?"
He looked right at her, looked back over at her husband (Joe), grinned his rabbit tooth grin, pointed straight at Nina, and said, "Thas JOE!"

That? That, is Apraxia in action.

Another funny thing about having a child with Apraxia is that you can hear them say something perfectly sometimes. So perfectly that you wonder if your older child is somehow home from school. And that perfect utterance may or may not be repeated.
We are starting to hear more of these 'perfect utterances' in Bubbles' speech, and this has caused a bit of stir.

Yesterday as we were driving home from the guru (his speech therapist), we narrowly missed a metal-bending crash with a car that blindly crossed over three lanes of traffic. It was closer than inches; it was centimeters. My hands were shaking in that 'OMG THAT WAS SO CLOSE' way, and I yelled out something like, "HOLY SHIT!" and Bubbles, from the back seat, piped up,
"What happen?"
Without regaining composure, I muttered, "DUMBASS!" and from the back seat, I heard,
"Dumbass!" echoed with just the right amount of disgust, and spoken with the most perfect articulation you ever did hear.

You would never have guessed it was spoken by a child with severe Apraxia. A child who, just three months ago, could barely say any two syllable words.

Which is why today is the day I stop swearing in front of Bubbles.

(will someone please motherfucking hold me?)


Lin said...

I'm impressed with Bubble's progress. Let me know how the language 'restraint' goes. If you have any tricks you'd like to pass on, I'll be waiting!

mamadaisy said...

HA! you are funny. good luck with the clean speech.

i didn't realize bubbles' problem was neurological -- somehow i thought that his brain could think of the words but he couldn't make his tongue to physically create the right sounds. the act of speaking is such a complicated process. congratulations on the continued progress!

MFA Mama said...

Awww...Bubbles and "TMA" are synched right up. I was on the phone with "HB#3" the other day and I forget the conversational context (wasn't dirty-talk, probably something like "he pulled a total boner") but the end result was an autistic four-year-old calling his brothers "boners." I would never have said "boner" in front of the seven-year-old with Asperger's or the creepy-smart three-year-old, but TMA was the SAFE one...I still avoided the network television no-nos but no more "boner" in my house (let the metaphors and snickering begin).

Anonymous said...

Awwww haha, he's awesome. I think that from how you describe his apraxia, as well as how strangers seem to act, people make a WAYYYYYY BIGGER DEAL about it than they should. I mean, clearly he's a very smart boy. And CUTE. I love the whiteblonde hair. (Did I actually make any sense there?)

That stupid "puppy treats" lady comes to mind.

Cindy said...

A huge hug to you. He is doing great. His "Where's mama" was so clear last weekend, it could have come out of any child. He is a happy, beautiful, shining little guy. Bask in his glow a little and know that you made this possible.

Mama Deb said...

It's a tough lesson to learn. You sort of take for granted the swearing in front of kids who don't speak at the same rate others do. My wake up call was when M was about 3.5 and started saying (over, and over, and over again) something that sounded like 'Double Dammit. Double Dammit.' Now B, on the other hand...he let me know quite early that he was paying close attention and could repeat any of my four letter words with great enunciation!

Anonymous said...

I love you, G and Bubbles and SG. happy thanksgiving, Joe, Lil, Lala and Nina. You are so strong.

MelD said...

So, I came across your blog today from Violence Unsilenced. I've been reading on and off all day. You seem to be living my life (abusive ex, child with apraxia (cause don't ya hate it when someone refers to your child as an apraxic kid?)

Figured I'd finally comment. My son (his blog is at www.pathsfrompookssoul.blogspot.com) couldn't utter a word that was clear......until the day he said "*sshole". Go figure.