Finally updated video footage

Just wanted to post that I’ve finally added a few more recent videos of Ryan’s progress.  The last two videos on the “Before/After” page are ready for viewing!  The most recent footage was taken last night.  Ryan is now 6 years old, in first grade and doing wonderful.  We haven’t had speech therapy in almost 2 years, although we’ll probably need to go back this summer to work on his “r” sound.  Fortunately, many kids in his class still don’t have that sound fully, so it’s nothing that sets him apart.

I want to be clear that although we feel great about where Ryan is at and have no real worries for his future, there are still some small issues that we wonder about.  Motor skills in sports – he plays soccer and other various sports, but it doesn’t seem natural for him.  Is it just a kid whose not athletic? Or a motor planning issue? We’re not sure and we often wonder.  But for now, he’s participating and having fun.  As well, we often wonder about ADHD.  Again, is it a sensory processing situation or just ADHD or just a quirky, busy little boy.  Things have never been 100% clear with Ryan and part of that is what makes his personality so special and wonderful.  I think as this year goes on we’ll learn a lot more about where he fits regarding those questions.  He’s still a picky picky eater, but we’ve made progress and he’s learned to trust that I typically know the kinds of things he will like.  So, when I encourage him to try a new food, although 90% of the time he doesn’t try it, sometimes he does and it’s one step further.

All in all Ryan is a normal 6 year old little boy and we are so proud of how far he has come.  Our kids (apraxia kids) have a work ethic that I think is unparalleled.  They have to work harder at everything and I have to believe it will pay off in many ways later in life.  Go Ryan! And “Go!” to all of the parents reading this now – your children are lucky to have you🙂

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New Video Footage

I wanted to post an update letting you know I’ve got new footage of Ryan posted in the before/after section.  I just watched the footage taken a few weeks ago compared to the footage from when he was 27mos (the first entry) . WOW – what a difference a year makes.  He is now, I’d say, 90% – 95% intelligible to strangers, which is SO wonderful.  To be able to say “where is my mommy” in a public setting, if something were to happen, was always a fear of mine.  Gone.

I am so very proud of Ryan’s accomplishments.  This process is not an easy one, and daily he works so hard to communicate and improve.  What a tough little cookie – and only 3 yrs old.  My sweet love.

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Bittersweet

I keep waiting to add posts because I wanted to update all the archives from my previous blog, but I just can’t seem to get around to it.  So…someday I’ll pull over the other posts.  For now, I’m gonna keep on postin’ in the present.

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Things these days have been good.  Really good.  Ryan is progressing and seems to be at a stable place.  We started NAET treatments a few months ago and I think those, combined with the NutriiVeda have really worked well together in healing his stomach and body.  I’ll do a big post on NAET, but today I just wanted to vent.  Not in a negative way though.

I have a daughter, Emma, who’s 15 months old.  Unfortunately, since I’ve learned so much through our experiences with Ryan, I watch her grow through the lens of developmental observation.  Does that make any sense? 

Instead of just enjoying the fact that she is a doll.  Or noticing how stinkin’ cute it is when she carries her little giraffe around by the tail, I watch her every developmental move.  Wondering…worrying.  Will she have apraxia too?  Since she is just 15 months old, you can imagine the focus I’ve had over the last few months – when she’s “supposed” to start talking.  Thankfully, she is.  And watching her effortlessly spit out word after word is so very bittersweet. 

Sweet in that is it probably the cutest thing I’ve ever heard.  That tiny little girl copying words in her sweet little baby voice.  The effortless “S” “T” and “CH” sounds.  The way she says “Cheerio” or “doggie” or, most especially, “Mommy” and “Daddy.”  It’s all just wonderful and I am thankful in a way most parents probably are not – appreciative at a whole new level.

Bitter.  The bitterness is not meant to be negative, but with each easy, natural utterance Emma has, it puts Ryan’s challenges in a whole new perspective.   To hear Emma makes me realize just how hard he had/has it.  Just how difficult it is for him to form simple words.  The level of focus he must exert to do simple tasks.  I even see Emma playing with cars in a way Ryan didn’t until he was well past 2 yrs old.  I almost hate to even write this as I don’t want Ryan to ever read this someday and feel bad.  But the thoughts are there. 

The pride I feel for Ryan’s accomplishments (for himself!) is indescribable.  He’s doing so well I almost forget that it’s still a big deal, this stupid apraxia.  It’s a big deal that HE is dealing with daily.  Just because he finally got his “D” sound, doesn’t mean it’s not a feat for him to get the rest of his sounds out every day. 

No point to this post – just a random thought.  A rambling mom gaining new perspective.

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A Child’s (Hilarious) Prayer

————————-ARCHIVE  MARCH 2010——————————–

This was the scene 2 nights ago . Ryan and I were lying in his bed, face to face saying prayers:

Mommy: Thank you Lord for all the blessings…etc etc…and thanks for Mommy, Daddy, Ryan, Emma (grandparents, aunts/uncles) etc.

Ryan: Yep. Khanks.

Mommy: And we have so many special people coming to visit this week. Lord, we pray Nana has a safe trip, and Paw-Paw has a safe trip, and Gigi & Bopa have a…

Ryan (places hand on my arm to accentuate seriousness): Mommy. Hey mommy. Gon’t porget ghe Easker Buggy (don’t forget the Easter Bunny).

Mommy (trying not to laugh): Oh yes – and Lord please let the Easter Bunny have safe travels too.

Ryan (again w/the hand & seriousness): And Mommy. Gon’t porget ghe Eaker candy and ghe Eaker eggs.

Mommy: Of course – Lord please let the Easter eggs and Easter candy arrive safely also.

Mommy: And please Lord, help Ryan to be kind to his sister and Mommy and Daddy. And help Mommy and Daddy be kind to Ryan and Emma, and…

Ryan (again w/hand & seriousness): Mommy. Mommy gon’t porget ghe baby Jesus.

Mommy (finally breaking into laughter under my breath): Okay. And let us all be kind to the baby Jesus.

Mommy & Ryan (in unison): Amen.
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My prayer:  Dear Lord, thank you so much for allowing Paul and I to experience this honest, sincere, hysterical time in Ryan’s life. We were terrified that, due to his apraxia, we might miss out on this special stage.  But, we’re finally getting to hear what goes on in his beautiful, funny little head. What a blessing. Thank you will never be enough…

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The Journey Begins

I have several old entries of Ryan’s apraxia journey captured in a personal family blog.  Therefore, I’m moving them over to this site, so our experiences/information is all in one place.  The first few posts will be labeled “ARCHIVES” until I can catch up to present day.

——————-ARCHIVED ENTRY from JUNE 2009————————

Many of you know we’ve currently been working through some potentially long term speech issues with Ryan. Therapists suggest he may have verbal apraxia, which is a neurological disorder that essentially confuses your brain when it comes to speech. Your brain knows what it wants to say, but can’t send the signals correctly to the muscles in the tongue/lips/mouth to generate the word. Therefore, much of what you hear is grunting and the tone of the word without any movement in the lips. This has nothing to do with what he can understand…it just affects his ability to easily communicate verbally. Instead of picking up language naturally, we’ll basically have to teach him how to talk word by word. Unfortunately, this can be a very long road and a potentially very frustrating one for Ryan.

We are in the early stages of this journey and are praying for the best possible outcome. They usually don’t diagnose it in this young of a child, so I am always keeping a small glimmer of hope that he doesn’t actually have it. However, we are proceeding as if he does and are working with him daily to help him overcome this hurdle.

I started thinking of Ryan today and the progress he’s made so far, and I wanted to post a few pics of my sweet, smart, funny little man. He is so full of life, personality and charm – I just can’t wait to hear what all he has to say someday…

Pretending to be Daddy sleeping in our bed.

Pretending to be Daddy sleeping in our bed - 25mos old

Ryan playing with Mommy's make-up - 25 mos

Paul was not too thrilled about the make-up situation🙂

My sweet angel saying his prayers before dinner

And one of my favorites…I look over while making dinner – Ryan is standing at the table “talking on the phone.” The phone just happens to be a slice of canteloupe!

We love you little man. You are such a joy every single day.

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