Thursday, January 19, 2012

Welcome To My World

In my world....

I get LOTS of attention!

I can go around naked all day if I want to.

In my world, I get to eat ice cream for dinner! (well, once or twice a year)

In my world, I get to express my emotions.

I get to lay around as much as I want.

I get to travel to exotic places, like Oklahoma!?

I get to be reunited with old friends (that's "Ivan", now Samuel from my groupa). If our friends could see us now! Pretty cool!!

I get to "push people around." Sorry, for the lousy quality, a videographer, my mom is not.

But mostly, I get to make Mom and Dad's day with smiles like this.  My life is good!

I also get to see lots of doctors. Lately, I've been to the cardiologist. My heart looks perfect! Yay for me!

And the ear/nose/throat doctor.  Looks like I'm gonna need tubes in my ears. Boo for me :(   But if it will help me to hear better, it will be worth it. 

I'm also getting evaluated to get ready for preschool. Lots of people are interested in helping me grow and be all I can be. I love this place! 

I still have trouble chewing my food, my mom is working on getting me some help with that. Maybe one of these days, Dad and I will get to have a burger together. He would love that.

I can't say any words yet, but I'm so smart I've already learned how to sign "more," "eat," "drink," "all done," and "good." I am a master imitator. I can play the "tickle game" with the best of 'em. I even know how to "shoot off my little-big toe." Don't ask, it's something my Daddy taught me, he's funny like that. 

I've been blessed with a family of my own, but so many children are still waiting.  Please visit  and consider being a family to a child listed there or helping another family bring their child home. Then you can help make another child's world a whole lot better.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

How Do You Solve a Problem Like.........


Well, maybe not a problem, really, more like a mystery.  Let me describe her for you:

Almost 3-and-a-half

Has verbal apraxia.  For more on this go here:

Sensory seeking. For an interesting blog post on this go here:

Extremely active; does not do well with boredom. She is the child that causes me to be always vigilant. If she's not into something she shouldn't be after I leave her for a few minutes to put away laundry or something else, well, that's unusual.


Am I leaving out anything?  Oh yes, has a newly-adopted sister, also 3, that she has a mostly-love/but sometimes hate relationship with.  She is still excited Vika is here, but she's definitely not too thrilled about sharing Mom and Dad with her most days.

I have yet to find the manual on raising this type of child.  You can find books on apraxia, books on sensory-seeking, you can find books on strong-willed, but all of them together, hmmm.... no.  The apraxia complicates everything else. 

 Her apraxia is, in this layman's opinion, severe.  The only sounds she can produce consistently, on purpose, are 'b', 'd', 'm', and 'p'. She can usually say 'momma' and something close to 'dada', often 'papaw.' That's it. Other approximations of words will sometimes come out, almost on accident, but she is unable to produce them again. Her speech is basically at the same place it was when she was 12-18 months old.  No progress, words spoken and then lost - signposts of apraxia.  And it's not for lack of desire. If there's one thing I'm sure of, it's that Millie wants to talk! I have had so many people tell me that she'll talk when she decides she wants to. Millie is one of the most social beings I've ever known. She wants to communicate.  Trust momma on this one.
She's been in speech therapy since last summer.  Has it helped?  Well, yes, and no.  Yes, it's helped me to know how to elicit some kind of communication from her, even only a sound or a sign. But has her speech improved?  not really. Hate to be so blunt, but it's the truth.

 As she gets older, it gets harder for us both to deal with.  I know she has more to say. She is very demanding, not really in a bad way, she's just always wanting something. I get so weary trying to guess what she's after or telling her 'Sorry, but Momma doesn't know what you want.'

I think, and I've read this too, that a lot of her behavior problems are the result of her apraxia. Because she can't express herself normally, she acts out just so she can communicate something. So, I struggle, how much to discipline, what kind of discipline. I told her yesterday in her bedroom, after I had taken her there because she was pushing and hitting her siblings, that I knew it was hard for her because she couldn't talk and one day she would be able to talk to us and tell us what she was thinking. She suddenly got quiet and looked at me and nodded her head in understanding. Oh my goodness, *tears*.  Just knowing your kid knows they're different is hard to take.

Still, lest you think that life with Millie is terribly bleak, let me mention a few things I left out: Millie has tons of personality; she makes friends and wins people over so easily; she has an incredible enthusiasm for life; she's a performer (future piano player? or maybe dancer).  Just see for yourself.

"Talent needs no words," said the proud mom.

People are always, understandably, asking us how Vika is doing. And really, she continues to do very well. Of course, there are problems. She is pretty moody, laughing one minute, crying the next. She gets stressed at times with all the activity in the house. She still doesn't chew. She grinds her teeth, a lot. But overall, we've been very fortunate with how well she's done.  Millie is the one who keeps me on my toes. Vika is a pleasure to parent most of the time. Millie is extremely loveable, as well, but oh my, is she a challenge.

If anyone reading this has experience with a kid like Millie, I would love to hear from you. I have read lately how fish oil has been reported to help kids with apraxia, so I plan to give that a try.  It's a little bit of hope.  The only other thing I can do is to go to the One who knows all about little Millie and cry out for help, because I for sure don't have any more answers.