Thursday, October 22, 2009


Regarding yesterday's post about the Girl.

I had another conversation this morning with the Girl's OT. She is new to the Girl's case, brought in when the previous OT had left during the budget cuts. I asked her if she would describe the Girl's condition as possibly being apraxia. She said that Occupational Therapy uses the term dyspraxia and that apraxia is used by Speech therapists, though they refer to the same things. And then she got a quizzical look and added that she wouldn't say "possible" in the Girl's case; she would say definitive - she thought we knew that. I told her that no one had officially described it with that term though I had been asking about it for 8 months. She said that she didn't care what anyone else thought, it's classic dyspraxia.

The speech therapist has avoided the term, and though I have great respect for her and her work, I have wondered why. If the Girl is apraxic she is probably atypical. She can do things with speech that a typical apraxia case can not. Nonetheless, motor planning is involved in both movement and speech and if it is the problem with her body it is more than likely the cause for her speech problems.

What does this all mean?

It means in a classic good news/bad news scenario that she should qualify for services. It is a substantial learning disability so special education and instruction should be put in place when she turns three (just try to keep her out, just try and see what happens!).

However, dyspraxia is almost always life-long. Most dyspraxics have poor short-term memory making following instructions difficult (though ironically long-term memory tends to be better than average.) Most dyspraxics have trouble writing or even using writing utensils. Some dyspraxics also have dyslexia and dyscalculia (difficuty with mathematics), though some have excellent reading and mathematics skills. Some have ADHD. Many never learn to drive a car because of poor spacial perception and difficulty combining a series of physical motions. They have difficulty distinguishing right from left.

Combine that with her hypotonia and life isn't going to be easy for her.

It is ghastly to imagine that we are in a sense relieved that she has officially been pinned with this.

She should get services - Yay!

She will probably need them for her entire life - ...(there isn't even a word to describe it).