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Introduction

You may have recently been given the devastating news that your child has verbal apraxia. You have lots of questions and may be frustrated by the lack of help you are receiving from your medical doctor or school district. I want you to know there is help available. I and many others have traveled this journey before.

When my daughter was two, she didn’t talk at all. I was told by my doctor at her two year old well check that “some kids are just slower, she will eventually talk”. I brought her back to the doctor at two and a half and she still didn’t talk much. She said hi and a few partial words. We were then referred to the state’s early intervention program. There she had a developmental evaluation and her language ability was tested to be that of a nine month old. She began speech therapy, however, we did not see a lot of progress in her speech.

Just prior to her third birthday we took her to our local children’s hospital to a pediatric developmental clinic for a full day of testing to determine why she didn’t talk. She was checked for medical causes that would explain the inability to talk including autism and other speech disorders. She was diagnosed with verbal apraxia which was a diagnosis that I had never heard of before. We were told she would probably never speak normally, she would be in speech therapy at least ten years, and she would require “special services” all through school.

The severity of what the doctors predicted was in store for my daughter in the upcoming years was very frightening. It confirmed some of the fears that were starting to creep into the back of my mind concerning my daughter. While the diagnosis of verbal apraxia was a very disheartening blow, I at least felt that now their was finally a diagnosis and reason why my daughter was having difficulty with speech.

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