Friday, June 29, 2012

Social Skills and Apraxia

Yesterday was a good day.
Better yet, a great day!
I was able to briefly talk to our private SLP about the girl's apraxia and get her own professional opinion.
Two years ago, when we met Miss M, the girl was moderate-to-severe apraxia from an intelligibility point of view.
Two years later and from the same point of view, the girl is now mildly apraxic.

Holy cow!  OMG!  I am doing the happy dance over here!

But from the cognitive and social aspect of apraxia, two years ago she was classified as severe.
Really severe.
Yesterday, I was told she was moderate.
Just moderate.


And while this progress truly makes me happy, it also reminds me that we still have a lot of work to do ahead of us.
Kids with apraxia have problems with social skills:  that's a no-brainer.
My own kids with apraxia are afraid to talk with other children at times, but have no problem trying our their language with adults.
Why, you ask?
Well, quite simply....adults will stop and take the time to listen or to look to me for translation.
Kids at school or the park or a summer camp don't want to waste their time trying to figure out what your child just said or why they said what they said.
They want your child to cut to the chase and get to the point so they can continue to play or do whatever it is that they were doing.
So what you find is a child with apraxia who chooses not to interact with another child because they recall past events when the other child rushed them or didn't seem interested in what they had to say.
And because of this, you have a child with apraxia using words that are comfortable to them or repeating comfortable phrases and not expanding on a conversation.
And then you have a social skills issue.

Here's an example of what happens with my own child at the park:

     Kate:  "Hi!"
     Other child:  "Hi!"
     Kate:  "What's your name?"
     Other child:  (Says name)
     Kate (standing there, not knowing what to say next.)
     Me:  (Interjecting:  "Tell her your name, sweetie")
     Kate:  "I'm Kate"
     Other child:  standing there or walking away since they don't want to wait for Mom to continue to prompt child for social situation.

This is what we battle on a daily basis....wherever we go.
So this is our latest project:  Social Skills.

So while the apraxia in our house is s-l-o-w-l-y resolving, it is leaving behind a pretty big deficit in the social skills area.

So when I came across this link (which, by the way, is 82 pages long if you print it out!) for some of the best iPad, iPhone and iTouch apps out there to facilitate the work that we do on social skills, I was beyond excited!
I have been a quiet follower of Constantly Speaking lately and I find this site has a lot of new fresh ideas that are worth a try!
After all, home speech therapy gets boring and you have to up the ante every so often, right?

Click here to see what I am talking about and if any of these apps can work for you!

C'mon, little girl! 
Let's bring that social aspect from moderate to mild in the next year, OK?
Sounds like a pretty realistic SMART goal to me!

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1 comment:

  1. Thank you for posting this! I can relate 110%. Audey's speech is coming along very well. Well enough that it doesn't make me lose sleep anymore. The one huge thing that does is her social skills. I know her speech affects her willingness to interact with peers, exactly as you mentioned in your example. She will happily play along side a friend but when the friend asks a question Audrey will freeze...sometimes even on a yes or no question. She loves conversing with adults, though. I need to check out those iPad apps. We plan to enroll her in a social skills class this upcoming school year and she'll be attending a social skills 4 day camp later this month. Hoping for great things!