Apraxia and Learning Difficulties

I am sharing our experience in hopes of helping someone else dealing with Apraxia or other struggle.  In no way is this how I view my son, but it is something that is a part of him and we CAN NOT ignore it if he has any hopes of learning.  So, while I am sharing a part of his life where he struggles, there are others in which he excels.  And for the record, George loved Kindergarten.  When asked, he would not mention any of the following issues, so we do not point them out to him.  We emphasis the good parts, hoping to aide in the love of learning.

container of fun pencils

We are entering 1st grade at the local public school with George.  I have my hesitations but feel a bit more prepared for the year.  This year, I will go in armed with a plan and not wait till the problem gets too big.  It was more than a week before school started that I initialed contact with the new teacher requesting an idea of what they will be learning, hoping to know before he comes home with it.  Seems she has come up with a plan which we will discuss during the Open House a few days after school starts.

stack of children's books

Kindergarten was a huge struggle as his previous pattern of inconsistent learning reappeared. (Add in a large class and the recipe was set.)  This was also a problem all through Early Childhood (education).  While it was not a surprise, it did have bigger implications.

One of George’s patterns is this:

  • Not remembering/understanding – review and review and review, etc.
  • Starting to get it.  Still not quiet there – practice, practice, practice.
  • Get it!!!
  • Completely forget it. {sigh}
  • Learn again and again and again.
  • Start to get it, again.
  • Think we got it.
  • We got it?!

Once he got something, his other pattern would appear:

  • Get it on Monday
  • Forget it on Tuesday and Wednesday
  • Totally get it Thursday and Friday and Monday and Tuesday
  • Forget it for the next 1/2/3/? days.

Out of frustration one night, I searched for a video for him to listen to so we could count it as doing his homework.  That was the beginning of a new stage for us.  He loved it.  I am not sure if it was the music or the colors, but it worked.  He begged for that video.  His brain definitely leans towards the artistic, right-brain side of things.  Not exactly good for long term memory, see above, but it is what it is.

Now if I am wanting to teach him something new, I first look for a video or song.  This goes for school work, Bible Time stories, new memory verses, etc.

The jury is out on how exactly Apraxia affects learning and whether it does at all.  It really does change from one kid to the next.  There seems to not be a lot of concrete evidence, but there are a lot of similarities between kids.  If you are where I was a few years ago, looking up information on Apraxia, that statement can seem so frustrating.  Don’t give up, keep reading and researching.  Most of all, become an expert on your kid.

Here are a few articles I have found recently while looking up information to tackle what he may face in 1st grade this year.


Addressing Apraxia of Speech in the IEP – This article describes so many other struggles George deals with.  I wish I would have had this before his last IEP meeting to share with the teachers and such.  His IEP addresses several of these areas, but I never could point out that they were actually related to his Apraxia.  He is not severely Apraxic, his is very understandable now, yet he still struggles with some of the other things like focusing and often complains of headaches.  After reading this, I wish I would have asked the eye doctor to do additional testing on his eyes.

Seventy Five Percent Of Apraxia Cases Wrongly Diagnosed

The Connection Between Memory and Learning

General Links About Reading:

Use Both Sides of Your Brain by Dianne Craft – this would have been so helpful last year when I was trying to use flashcards to teach sight words.

Literacy and Children with Apraxia of Speech by Sharon Gretz, M.Ed.

Childhood Apraxia of Speech And Reading Help

General Links About Math:

Apraxia Kids Learning Activities and Support – Parent Led Group – This link is a bit different, it is a Pinterest board, but full of idea. I could have really used some of these ideas last year.


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