National Conference on Apraxia of Speech

I’ve been dreaming about attending this conference since the first time I heard about it months ago. Unfortunately financially it couldn’t be worked out this year considering it was across the country in San Diego.

So I gathered what bits of information I could from facebook and the apraxia-kids website. It made me even more bummed that I missed the conference. This apraxia journey can feel lonely sometimes… it’s not exactly a well known disorder so even when trying to share the struggles with the closest of friends or family, their understanding is somewhat limited. Imagine being in a room with hundreds of parents just like you who understand all of your ups and downs, and then to be surrounded by all of the experts in this disorder on top of it! Amazing!

One of the exciting things that came out of this conference in my opinion was the release of a new app for IPAD called Speech-ez. It’s part of the speech-ez program that already includes cards and various workshops.  Henry’s SLP had not heard of it so she is looking into further. I’m wondering how it differs from Kaufman and Prompt in its methodology. From what I could tell it almost sounded like a combination of the two, but I haven’t seen it first hand. I’m looking forward to reading more parent and SLP reviews when it’s been on the market longer.  We’ve been thinking about getting an IPad for Henry anyway, so it could be a good tool for when he starts school.

I’ve also heard about teens with apraxia being present at the conference. Four of them were part of a panel where there was a question and answer session and two read from one of the new children’s books presented at the conference. I think many parents of very young apraxic children have the same questions I have. We think about the future, maybe trying to look further down the road than we should, and yet we can’t help it. We wonder if our children will have reading and literacy difficulties, will they be accepted socially, and most of all, will they ever speak fully and clearly. You often hear about young children when reading about apraxia and about the parents and children after receiving a diagnosis. What I don’t hear enough of are the stories that share the outcome of years of therapy and hard work.  Aside from statistics, what is it like for these kids…these teenagers…these adults even?  Are they still in therapy five times a week? Do they have friends? Do they speak normally? Are they happy??  I can’t help but wonder. Maybe I’m looking just for the success stories and I know there are a lot.  I guess what I’m getting around to saying is, I think a teen panel at the conference was an outstanding idea and I wish I had been there. I’m sure it was very inspiring.

Next year the conference is in Boston… you can be sure I will be there!

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