credits: Beautifully Blue by Connie Prince, the arrow is by Ponytail Designs
On May 11, 2005 Alex Augustus Ladd was born. Little did we know the challenges he would face. He was born with Hypoglycemia which is low blood sugar so we were pricking his little toes several times a day and testing his blood. Luckily he grew out of that. Then when he was about two years old we noticed that something just wasn’t right. He was not really talking, he did a lot of finger pointing and making grunting noises. We decided to get him evaluated and it was recommended that he start speech and occupational therapy ASAP. Soon after he started speech therapy he was diagnosed with Childhood Apraxia of Speech which is when the brain struggles to develop plans for speech movement. As a result, children with CAS don't learn accurate movements for speech with normal ease. In CAS, the speech muscles aren't weak, but they don't perform normally because the brain has difficulty directing or coordinating the movements. He continued to have very intensive speech therapy 5 days a week, as well as intensive occupational therapy for delayed fine and gross motor skills as well as sensory processing disorder. He attended a special pre-school where they were able to handle his special needs. He was frustrated beyond belief which led to behavior problems. We started an Applied Behavior Analysis program which are techniques and principles to bring about meaningful and positive changes in behavior. He learned sign language for the words that he would typically use the most. He has not been able to have a typical childhood, he has spent so much of his childhood having therapy, also we have had behavior health professionals come into the home to work with him on coping skills and life skills and how to be safe etc. etc. When he started Kindergarten he could not speak any words. He is now almost 9 years old and won’t stop talking and I never thought I would be able to say that. I can’t always understand what he is saying and he talks really fast but he has come so far and has worked so hard. He is still in speech and occupational therapy and will continue to be for several years to come but he will also continue to make progress. I love this little guy so much, he is truly my hero!!