I was fortunate to receive the opportunity this week to take part on Suzanne Radford's Eye of Health radio program for Dubai Eye (103.8 FM) on a disorder that is very near and dear to my heart, Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS). About five years ago, my life came to a crashing halt when my daughter, Veronica, was diagnosed with this severe speech disorder.
CAS is a motor speech disorder. Children with CAS have problems saying sounds, syllables, and words. This is not because of muscle weakness or paralysis. The brain has problems planning to move the body parts (e.g., lips, jaw, tongue) needed for speech. Essentially, Veronica knew what she wanted to say but had no idea how to move her mouth to form the sounds to make words. This was extremely frustrating to her and scary for us! She initially presented so severely, that we were not sure if she would ever be able to properly speak.
With a tremendous amount of effort both on the part of my husband and I, as well as her incredible speech therapist, coupled with early intervention (she was only 2 when she started speech therapy) and Makaton sign language, Veronica was able to resolve her speech disorder and today speaks at an age appropriate level.
I discuss our journey with CAS around the 8 minute mark. Please listen, especially if you have never heard of this disorder!