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The Silver Linings of Apraxia

“Your child may have apraxia.”  I have needed to say that many times in my years as a speech therapist.  Those words may bring about feelings of apprehension and confusion to a parent, so I am always quick to add, “but we can take care of this!”  I also have to admit to being excited when I encounter a little one with suspected apraxia of speech.  Why?  It’s because I know we’re in for a fun and rewarding ride!

Here are just a few of the silver linings of apraxia that I’ve discovered:

The Relationships

As a therapist, it is such a pleasure and honor to know and work with children and their wonderful families.  I have also witnessed the stronger bonds that develop between parents and their children as they work together to build communication.  Imagine how frustrating it must be for a child with limited self-expression skills.  Now just think of the comfort and security in knowing that “Mommy and Daddy understand me.”  Even if that understanding comes in the form of knowing your child’s gestures, desires, and “words” that no one else can interpret before clear speech develops. 

The Achievements

No one really thinks about the complexities of learning to speak unless there is a problem.  So much needs to “go right” for a child to communicate effortlessly.  When a child has apraxia, making certain speech sounds and joining them together to say a particular word or even a syllable can be very difficult.  When the child’s efforts pay off and the challenges are overcome one by one, the joy is immeasurable.  Families and I often go down memory lane as we marvel at a child’s progress.  “Remember when she said ‘dee dee’ for ‘baby’?  Look at what she’s saying now!”  Every little bit of progress makes the child more confident and capable and allows the next steps to happen even faster!

The Transformation  

I’ve saved the best for last.  Watching a child transform from a scared, quiet, frustrated, dependent tot into a happy, vibrant, talkative individual is beyond rewarding.  It is such a joy to discover the wonderful little person who was hiding behind the confines of apraxia.  My little ones who have had apraxia tend to become little chatterboxes, and that is music to my ears! 

“It is such a joy to discover the wonderful little person who is hiding behind the confines of apraxia.”

I would like to close my thoughts with a link to an inspiring video of Jack, one of my former kids.  Jack’s mom, Diana, brought the yearly Apraxia Kids Walk to the Akron area.  In the video, you will see clips of Jack thanking people for supporting him in the walk over the course of three years.  Diana has graciously allowed me to freely share Jack’s video as an inspiration to all families on this journey.  

Thanks Diana and Jack!    

Donna M. Conti M.A., CCC-SLP


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Patient Reviews

LLA Therapy

Patient Reviews

Crystal Scheibe

Great place, glad we found them. Been going to Medina over 2 months now and he loves Lauryn and Kyler. Wish they had more ABA therapy places available... live in Wooster and long drive everyday.

Karrie Swan LaRock

My 11 year old son has dyslexia and has made noticeable gains in working At LLA THERAPY. Katie is strong in her approach toward him and also keeps him comfortable enough to perform well. We will continue visiting both the Fairlawn and Hudson offices and recommend them highly.

Ron Monroe

My 9 year old just completed about 9 months of weekly speech sessions (due to his stuttering) with Matt Hagge at LLA and we are thrilled with the experience and results. What I thought might be a negative (what kid really wants to go to speech class?) was made very positive by Matt, and my son never hesitated or complained when we talked about class. He really enjoyed it and really took what Matt taught him to heart. His speech has been greatly improved and we definitely recommend LLA. Thank you so much!

Heather Dougherty-Pantoja

My son’s Occupational Therapist, Jess, is an amazing OT! She gives practical tips on working with my son at home and school!

Terri Apgar

I cannot say enough good things about LLA Therapy. My daughter was a client of Teal Simmons’ for approximately 2 years and was just released from speech therapy! She was diagnosed with Apraxia in 2015 and worked with Teal twice a week. Through Teal’s application of PROMPT therapy, my daughter had age-appropriate speech after one year. All of the staff we interacted with at LLA were absolutely wonderful. They really care about what they do and making sure your child achieves their goals.

Kelli Geisler Davisson

LLA Therapy has been an excellent experience for my son as well as my family! My son always asks, "When can I go see Ms. Jeannine again, is it Monday??" He has also made huge gains in only 5 months! I would highly recommend LLA and have already shared my experience with friends looking for services!

Victoria Hansford-Price

We are so grateful for our Speech Therapist Ms.Teal. We have seen a great improvement with our sons confidence and communication abilities since we have started "Prompt" therapy. What we love the most about LLA and Ms. Teal is that Kohl feels comfortable and relaxed which has played a critical role in his progress. Thank you Ms. Teal for all you have done.

Laura Lee Hogsett

They have helped in numerous ways. Speech, OT and behavioral. I've had numerous compliments on my son's progress thanks in very large part to LLA. I would recommend LLA before I recommend our local children's hospitals, though they are good, they don't have the staff that LLA does.

Amy Furukawa

We had a great experience with Matt Hagge at LLA! Our Middle School age son was becoming very conscious of his voice, which is nasal due to a cleft palate. Matt helped him to better form his sounds and project his voice in a way that makes the unavoidable nasality less noticeable.Our son is more confident and outgoing & even took on a speaking role in the church play. Matt has the perfect personality to relate with our son, and we would recommend him to anyone needing speech therapy services!

Jessica Havalotti

LLA Therapy has been an excellent experience for our daughter. I would highly recommend LLA. Miss Grace was so amazing and I can't believe how quickly our daughter showed improvement. Thank you!
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