Recently diagnosed at age 6
My son was diagnosed this summer (2011) with verbal apraxia. He suffered from ear infections since the age of 4 months. Tubes were placed at 15 months. The tubes helped curb the infections, but didn't do much to improve his speech.
He didn't talk much, mostly grunted and pointed. His vocabulary didn't consist of many words at age 2 and he was referred by our pediatrician to early childhood intervention through our education service center.
When he turned 3, he recieved speech services through our school district and also attended pre-K for 2 years prior to kindergarten. Last summer (after his first kindergarten year) we attended speech classes (mostly individual and sometimes group) at a speech/language center. By this time, we had had 3 different speech pathologists all saying that his speech was delayed due to ear infections and mild hearing loss. They treated him for articulation errors.
Last summer, we also had a second set of tubes placed along with removing tonsils and adenoids. When the dr. went in to place the tubes, his ears were full of fluid. This confirmed what I had suspected--that fluid has been in his ears at least some of the time since the first set of tubes fell out around age 2.
After the surgery, we just knew his speech would soar.
It did not.
This summer, we returned to the same therapist at the speech/language center. She was surprised at his lack of progress since the surgery one year ago. I told her I have the same concerns, but our school speech therapist assured me his speech would come along. She asked if I minded her testing him for other speech disorders. She did and came back with the verbal apraxia diagnosis. I feel as though, after reading as much as I can get my hands on, that this diagnosis does fit him. She began doing a different type of therapy (more motor planning) and it has seemed to help.
I've also started him on Speech Nutrients, but after reading others feelings about the vitamins on here, I have decided to stop until I can discuss it with his pediatrician.
I've had people say that they can understand him better over the summer. I'm not sure it if is the new therapy, the vitamins, or a combination.
Upon his teacher's recommendations from last year, he is repeating kindergarten. I had misgivings about him doing K again, but they insisted he has some maturity issues. I work at the school as the counselor and had to frequently listen to how he seems "out to lunch" or "doesn't listen." We've been in school 10 days now and the teachers are already approaching me with the same thing--"he doesn't listen" or "he won't watch us." I gave them an information sheet before school started explaining his condition, strongly pointing out that apraxic kids sometimes do not make eye contact.
Whatever problems he is having doesn't affect him academically. He did well last year, and I really feel he may be somewhat bored this year. Not to say my child is brillant, I just think he's done it all last year and is not enjoying doing it again. The other day, his teacher sent home a page where he had made capital L's. He's done papers like this for two years!
His teacher wanted to have a conference the other day and basically told me what she wanted to discuss--same as last year--"not listening, not watching." I asked her if she has some suggestions and she said not really. I told her I really didn't know how conferencing would help if we already know the problem, but she has no suggestions. I also told her that, whether he appears to be listening or not, he apparently is since he learned all he needed to last year. He is reading and doing well with math.
Before the conversation was over, she eluded to the fact that medication for ADD may help. I'm just not willing to do that at this point if he's learning. She said he's not disruptive, just appears to be not be listening. In all I've read so far, I've not seen anything on ADD as it is related to apraxia. Does anyone know if it does?
He is a little "out to lunch", so to speak, but it's not affecting him academically at this point. I'm just so frustrated at this point! He's such a bright, loving little boy. He's been in speech since 2 and the apraxia diagnosis has come late.
Should I push him more to watch and pay closer attention or is he unable to due to the apraxia? I'm just learning and would love some advice from some more experienced people.
I'm sure working at the school (and this women being my co-workers) isn't helping. I think I may be too accessible to them! Anyway, any help would be appreciated.
I just want what is best for my child and I'm trying so hard to understand what all this apraxic stuff means.
Thanks and God bless~