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Apraxia Angels
Jenna's Page

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This page is about our daughter Jenna who has verbal dyspraxia.  Jenna is a very sweet, lovable little girl.  She loves to give kisses and hugs and she understands EVERYTHING....more then we think she does, as she is always amazing us! I am going to start with her birth and document any medical concerns we have had along the way. 

Jenna was born on December 10th, 1999.  During the delivery she had several heart decelerations and at one point we thought we may need a c-section.  However, she recovered from all of the decel's and was born vaginally.  She came out with the cord wrapped around her body and was holding on to it with her hand.  When they weighed her we were told she only weighed 5 lbs 3 oz, but their scale was broken and when they re-weighed her she was 6 lbs 5 oz.  Still pretty small, and she has continued to be that way.  

A few days later I noticed Jenna was doing this weird twitching.  She would twitch an arm, then a leg, then an arm.  This only happened while she was sleeping.  I started searching on the web because the doctor told me they were normal movements.  However, he hadn't seen them and I knew it was different than what my other kids had done.  I came across some info on Benign Neonatal Sleep Myoclonus.  It matched what she was doing perfectly!  The doctor had me video tape her and when he saw it, he said that was what she had.  I was told she would outgrow it by the time she was 6 months, and she did.  Again, she never made these movements while awake....I don't know if this has anything to do with her apraxia, but thought I would put this in here in the event someone else has experienced the same thing. 


I breastfed her for 4 months, but she just wasn't gaining very well.  We dicided to try formula and she would only take about 2 ounces at a time.  We thought it was just the adjustment to a new drink, but this continued to be the case for the next year.  She rarely drank as much as 4 ounces.  Even after sleeping all night, she would only drink 2 ounces. She also didn't like to eat.  We tried her on cereal, fruit, veggies......she would have one or two bites or didn't like the texture at all and would spit the food out.   

She continued to be small.  At one year she only weighed about 16 1/2 lbs.  I started getting concerned that she only said Mama and Dada, but figured she was just a late talker.  Her pediatrician wasn't concerned at all.  He said she will talk.  Well, a few months later when Jenna was about 15 months old I called our Early Intervention Program.  They asked me several questions and said she wasn't far enough behind and to call them at the end of the summer if she still didn't have any new words.  We waited the whole summer and still, no new words came.  


In September Jenna still only said mama and dada and she was getting very frustrated that we did not know what she wanted.  I called Early Start again and they came and evaluated her and started her in the program in September.  By December Jenna had about 13 basic signs (things like eat, drink, bottle, etc) and a few new words.  Life was easier and she was less frustrated because of the new found signs.  I figured the talking would come soon now.  At this time we also found out she had some sensory issues and they sent an OT (occupational therapist) to work with her.    

At her 2 year check up she only weighed 19 lbs 12.5 ounces.  The doctor was concerned because she fell below the charts.  He had had a complete metabolic done, as well as an anemia & thyroid check.  Turned out all was fine, except her protein level was low (due to her poor eating habits).  He still wasn't too concerned about her speech, but told me I may want to have her evaluated.  I told him she was already in the EI program.  He thought that was great.

I started to notice the words she had seemed to come and go.  I noticed she would say them some days, but not others and rarely did she say them if we asked her to. The words would come out on her own during spontaneous play.  Her Early Start Infant Specialist (Ann) came to work with her on January 10th, 2002.  Jenna was exactly 25 months old that day.  That was the first day I heard the word "apraxia".  Ann and I were talking and we were discussing how Jenna had great receptive skills and problem solving skills.....how she quickly picked up signs and was very happy to use them......yet when it came to saying words, even words she had said before......she couldn't do it.  Ann said it was almost like apraxia.  I kept that word in the back of my mind and thought I would get on the Internet later and look it up.  Well, later that day that is just what I did and my mouth dropped to the floor!  This was Jenna!  This was what she had.....I just knew it in my heart!  She had almost all of the characteristics. 

I called Ann and had a long converstation with her.  Gave her the web site addresses to check out.  The next week when Ann came she agreed.....that is Jenna!  Ann is wonderful.  Jenna has now been evaulated by a Speech Therapist and began therapy on March 20th.  She is also working with an OT (Occupational Therapist) as well.

While doing research on apraxia of speech, I read about the great progress children with apraxia are making by taking ProEFA (which is a mix of omega 3, omega 6 and borage oil).  We decided to try it with Jenna and see what type of progess she makes. Her progress will be noted below:
Words Jenna says or has said as of January 25th are:
Mama
Dada
No
Yum Yum's (this is what she calls it when her baby sister is nursing)
Bubble (bubbo)
Book (bu)
Ball (ba)
Dumbo (bumbo)
Banana (nana)
Jenna (nena)
Uh Huh (means yes)
Uh Uh (means no)
Uh Oh
Bottle (babo)
Ow
Baby
Pop (Bop - said after blowing bubbles, like bubble pop, pop, pop)
** Update ** New words as of February 7th
Bowl (bo)
More (mo)
Ewwww (like yuck, when she saw an ugly bug)
Blow (bo)
*also she put two words together for the first time Ma Babo (more bubbles)
* she has also started using all of her words more often then she ever has before :)
** Update ** New words as of February 20th
Nose (no)
Bird (ba)
Balloon (no, not sure why she calls it a no)
phone (known)
Towel (ow)
Dora (dodo)
**Update** New words as of March 10th
Toe (doe)
Shoe (do)
juice (do)
Toast (doe)
Dirty (do dee)
Thank you (da doo)
*she is putting two words together alot now! More Yum Yum, More Juice, More Banana.  :)
**Update** New words as of March 24th (up to 37 words)
Cheese (Tee)
Bless You (be bo)
Poo Poo (boo boo)
Yummy
*Jenna is making more and more sounds and is talking a lot now........she is even trying to say things when we ask her too.  She has said the T and the Sh sounds....these are new sounds that she said for her speech teacher.  Her speech teacher thinks she will be all caught up by Kindergarten....we hope she is right!