Another A Word

Another A Word. Not Autism but Apraxia.  We started with a new therapist for Cody’s speech 6 weeks ago.  I knew from the moment she and I spoke , this was going to be a great fit to Cody’s team.   It just felt right and she asked all the right questions and I personally felt her passion and drive to want to help Cody’s development.   Her first few weeks she completed an evaluation and then emailed and shared her goals for him.  They started working together for about a month and after a session, she asked me if I had heard of Apraxia?  She believes Cody could possibly  have this motor speech disorder as it first becomes more apparent as a young child is learning speech.  I am certain I looked at her with a blank expression and I have always been a processor and typically any big news  that comes my way, I never react right at first.  Then of course a few days later, I question WHY? Why another hurdle for Cody to overcome?  All our goals are geared around communication and now we are going to be challenged with a motor speech disorder too?


I have spent the last 3 weeks reading and speaking to several mom’s who are on similar journeys to gather a better understanding and resources so we can tackle this head on.  I feel very confident with his new speech therapist and believe she will help him and give us tools/homework on what we can also do to help Cody.  Last week, I was able to video a few of her trials so I could instill these practices at home and also share with his ABA therapists.   We have also increased his speech therapy sessions each week too.  Speaking about this openly with his other teachers and therapists, has been helpful in the collaboration with his goals as they have seen these same challenges too.

With Cody being nonverbal, it has been difficult to detect this disorder until now.  It has become more apparent as he is starting to learn speech and making more sounds and attempts to speak words.  This weekend he lost how to say, “pretzel!”  Keep in mind this is one of his favorite snacks!  Then he would suddenly say it a few times and then lose it again.  He started saying “chip-a” and then some how was swapping the syllables and saying “zel-pe” instead of pet-zel without the r sound!  Its times like these that make me so proud of him on how he handles these situations that can be so frustrating to most people.  He really does wear a cape and carries some type of special powers. I am convinced.

In case you are wondering what Apraxia is, here is a 4 minute video will give you a quick understanding.


CASANA (The Childhood Apraxia of Speech Association in North America) is the website that my dear friend and (also a fellow Callier Center Mom) recently shared with me.  They have a helpful family start guide that gave me a better understanding of my next steps and making sure we have a speech therapist that has preferably had previous experience and success in treating Apraxia.




Published by mamalamaneustupa

Bio My name is Shelley Neustupa. I am a mother of two cool boys and a wife of 22 years to my high school sweetheart. My oldest son attends the University of Oklahoma. Boomer! My youngest is in 2nd grade and was diagnosed with Autism and Mixed Receptive Expressive Disorder at age 2. Since his diagnosis, I promised him I would advocate and educate as hard as he works each day in therapy. I began writing and have been able to touch many parents that may be new to this journey providing them with actual experiences (not candy coated), support and resources through my entries. Writing is my therapy and my hope one day that my nonverbal son will be able to take these diaries and speak about his own journey and how autism relates to his own experiences. Who knows he and his older brother may become National Speaker’s one day? Come along on our journey to better understand our lives through the eyes of a boy with autism, his Skilled Companion dog Jude, his big brother (and best friend) and mom and dad. My raw vulnerability captures the everyday moments of our journey and will bring even more awareness. A week does not go by where we do not learn something new about ourselves and I want to share these chapters with you. My Sons Undeniable Strengths… Extremely smart and figures out things quickly. Has a memory that allows him to remember more things than I could ever hope for. Persuasive by his personality and sheepish looks. Overabundance of stamina and strength. Loves the outdoors. Enjoys life and always has fun with an unforgettable smile. You can find us here: Writer: Autism Through His Eyes Facebook Instagram YouTube Pinterest Canine Companions for Independence News Interview Cody and Skilled Companion Jude - Our Story

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