March 22, 2010


That's the unofficial diagnosis.

I say unofficial, because at 2 1/2 years old it's hard to diagnose. Is she having trouble forming words, or is she stubborn? (or, in Kalia's case, maybe a little of both)

Apraxia is a speech disorder in which a person has trouble what he/she wants to say. There are 2 types of apraxia - acquired & developmental. Acquired apraxia is caused by damage to the part of the brain that is involved with speech. This disorder may be caused by a stroke or other damage to the nervous system. Developmental apraxia occurs in children & is present at birth. Some scientists believe it is a neurological disorder that affects the brain's ability to send the proper signals to move the muscles involved in speech.

Kalia's speech therapist is hesitant to diagnose her as apraxic, but is treating her as such. It seems she exhibits a lot of the signs (able to say a sound 1 time, but not able to repeat it....understands much more that she can express....etc...), but's just real hard to diagnose a 2 year old.

To help Kalia express herself, and to alieviate some of the frustration she feels at not being able to communicate her feelings, we are working with her on sign language. We had taught her a few words since the very beginning (more, drink, milk, please, bite, thank-you, etc...), but are now getting a little more aggressive in teaching. I really think she needs to learn to "say" the words, even if she's not able to speak them.

The past couple weeks she is learning & soaking up EVERYTHING! We have learned the sign for cookie, let's go, corn, dance, music, sorry, you're welcome, on & off, night, mama, dada, sister, baby....and probably a few more that I'm forgetting. This is new to me, so I'm spending quite a bit of time learning & trying to keep up with everything she's soaking in. Dan has been warned that he needs to pick up the pace with memorizing these signs, as there are many times when she'll say (sign) something to him and he looks to me to see what she's saying.

Unless Kalia has the most severe form of apraxia, the odds are good that she'll be able to talk one day (with continued therapy). I seriously hope so, because when she babbles her voice is just the sweetest thing I've ever heard. I'd love to hear real words in that beautiful voice. But, if it's not to be, than we will make the most of it. She's perfect....whether she can talk or not.


  1. Kalia is just too cute. Our Mikaila is suffering from phonological disorder and we have been in speech since she was 2.5 yrs and she is now 5.5 years. She was just diagnosed with the phonological disorder this past summer. So much involved but know with continued language / speech therapy she should overcome with time. I know how you want to hear Kalia's sweet voice and just keep the confidence that you will one day. She is such a bright little girl.

  2. I have been following your blog - Kalia is ADORABLE! I had to comment today bc we are having speech challenges with Molly too. We have been working closely with our county Infants and Toddlers program and they have been a huge help. I know how hard it can be though so I wanted to touch base. Remind me - when is Kalia's bday and how old was she when she came home? Molly was 17-months and had a lot going on (rickets, wasn't walking properly, pneumonia...) - she is thriving and happy now, but speech is a bit delayed. We are doing testing again in April and will make a plan for the next steps. You aren't alone! I will be thinking of you and looking for updates.

  3. Love can conquer mountains. Kalia is blessed to have wonderful advocates. Love that little kissy face.