Gunner has what?

Friday, August 7, 2015


My mind is overwhelm with information as of last night. I stayed up way too late researching and not only do I feel empowered but I am also a tiny bit well, a lot of bit scared of what the future holds for Gunner.

As some of you know Gunner has been seeing a speech therapist. It has be going wellish. At one appointment he is thriving and saying more words and using sign language and then at the next appointment he is not moving forward and fails to use words and refuses to use signs.

We’ve been on this rollercoaster.

Tuesday we had his appointment and I explained to Sue his therapist that Gunner randomly will say a word and then when asked to say it again later he wont repeat it. For example, while we were out to eat the other day as Cody and I were enjoying our conversation Gunner blurted out “dinosaur”  clear as day. Stunned we looked at him and cheered! So in my mind he should be able to repeat that word again. So later, I would ask for him to say it and he would look like he was thinking about saying it but then when he couldn’t muster up the word he moved on and didn’t say it.

I told her that he seems to do that with a lot of words that he has said but wont say again. (which is what led us to search out early intervention.) Concerned she started to do more work with him. She pulled out a bag full of farm animals and proceeded to play with him. Watching as each time I’d encourage him (as per instruction) as to what each animal was. “Oooh Gunner, look at this! What animals is this Gunner? Can you say Cooooow  Gunner?

You could see that each time I would ask that he’d shy away and avoid talking with us. That concerned Sue. So we stopped asking what each animal was and just proceed to keep playing and saying “here is a cow, hello cow!” “Here is a chicken Hi, chicken!” using the sign for each animal. When we did this he opened up more and began to try and make the sound of each animal.

But as he tried to make the sound of each animal (that he didn’t already know) you could see that he had to concentrate more. Like he was trying to force his mouth to say the sound his brain knew. This concerned Sue even more.

She did more activities with him and at the end of the session she said. “It could very well be that Gunner has Childhood Apraxia Of Speech.” She explained that his brain knows what he wants to say but its mixing up the signals that go to his mouth muscles which causes delays in saying the word. Which is why when he is asked to say a word he gets frustrated and chooses not too. Because he wants too but physically cant.

She told me that if this is what it is. It will be a hard road. That it will take time and effort. And all that we can do now is continue to sign and continue to work with him but instead of asking questions like we were, instead we tell him what things are. So we’d say (as Gunner points to an animal in a book.) “Yes, Gunner that is a COOW. The COOW says MOOO” Instead of saying as his points to the picture of a cow. “What Gunner? What is it? What do you see. A ___”  wait to see if he says it.

She told me that hopefully it is not what she thinks and that by 2 1/2 a magic light will turn on and his brain will click with his mouth and he will start saying words. But more than likely once he is 3 we can start working more on the Apraxia. That they wait until 3 to start working because it is intense therapy and that the child needs to be able to handle the work that needs to be done.

We ended the session with tips on what I need to do more on with him. And that was it.

She left and I felt scared.

What will happen if it is that? So I Googled it. Read about how it effects children, how it could delay not only speech but reading, writing, school etc. How kids struggle and how its hard to diagnose.

I cried.

No one wants there son or child to have to suffer on any points in their life. Ever. And here is my son, whose sweet, funny, outgoing, a pistol. Who could possible live in a hard quite world struggling daily to communicate with us, with anyone. That he will have to work hard to just be able to say what he needs, to have a voice.

So I called my mom. Who listened and reassured me. I facebooked it and had people tell me their stories about how it will all be fine. So I started to feel good about it. That it will be fine. Then a cousin sent me this post. Which led me to blogs and websites and Facebook groups. Where I stayed up late reading more on apraxia.

I went to bed overwhelm, worried, hopeful, concerned and I woke up today empowered to be my son’s voice. Although he is still “too young” to be fully diagnosed. I am now convinced that he indeed has it.

So instead of waiting I am going to be doing.

I joined the groups and got the apps they recommend. I will read the books they suggest and I will work hard with Sue to make sure that my son has a chance.

I know that when we see Sue again in a couple of weeks that she will be on the same page with me to work with Gunner until he can be included in the 3 year old intense classes. And that she and I will be able to get him where he needs to be. Because of how much she repeated over and over on how it could be this, how hard it will be and how we need to be ready.

And even if that magic light comes on at 2 1/2 doesn’t mean that I won’t stop being that voice for my son but until then I will enjoy the little words he does have and love him with the same force I have. Because he deserves the world and more.

1 comment :

  1. you`re totally right. even if the light bulb does turn on, there`s no reason not to start now just in case!
    good luck to you and your beautiful family!