Thursday, April 16, 2009


What is Dyspraxia? It is a developmental disorder that can affect one or all motor skills. In my son's case, it affects his speech skills (at least from what we can tell right now. There are many more symptoms related to Dyspraxia. There is a link at the bottom of this post leading to more information).

My daughter could talk clearly by the time she was two years old. My son, on the other hand couldn't. He couldn't even say "mama." I asked our family doctor about it and she told me that boys develop slower than girls and that his sister probably did the talking for him. So, I didn't worry about it.

His limited speech skills affected his self-esteem, though. He didn't like to play with children his age (except for his sister). He would watch our mouths intently when we would speak. He would try to mimic what we were saying, but when he couldn't, he would lower his head down and sadly say "oh." He would also get frustrated and start crying. My heart broke. I decided to take him to a speech therapist. She diagnosed him with Dyspraxia. Her diagnosis was confirmed by another evaluation through the county.

His speech therapist explained that it is harder for him to speak than those who do not have Dyspraxia. He at times doesn't know what to do with his tongue or which way to move his mouth when he speaks.

After months of intense speech therapy and practice at home, my son can now talk in complete sentences (not perfectly, but he's come a long way. His therapist said she could tell he really wanted to speak. I told her it was so he could stick up for himself against his sister). He no longer hangs his head or cries out of frustration. He even has a friend he likes to play with. Just tonight, as I was tucking him in bed, I told him "I love you." He said "Not me." When I gave him a look, he said "I just teasing. I wove you." Warmed my heart.

Please click here to learn more about Dyspraxia.


Jan Parrish said...

Joanne, I had no idea. Your children are both adorable. My heart goes out to your son. What a blessing that this was caught relatively early and that he can now communicate.

Thanks for sharing this. I know it will help other mom's who are dealing with the same issue.

Joanna said...

Jan - thank you for your kind words.

denise said...

I'm so glad he's improving. I remember when you first took him to the therapist and how we rejoiced that it was something that could be fixed. Hard work, but do-able. I got misty-eyed when I read your last paragraph.

Joanna said...

Denise: I want to thank you, Kay, and Robbie for your prayers as well.

Rebeca said...

Your kiddos are adorable and I am so glad he is feeling so much better about it. My son had to have minor surgery to help loosen his tongue since it was attached to the bottom of his mouth more than normal. He couldn't lick an ice cream cone. The docs told me it was because of the pacifier, his teeth, etc. until a dentist finally told me about the surgery. We've worked on speech therapy also and now it is almost undetectable :).

Joanna said...

Thank you for sharing your son's story, Rebeca! I'm glad he's doing well, also.