Micah's lack of verbal skills baffled us for years. We sought help from this therapist and that looking for any answers that they could give us. The general consensus in the world of Downs is that if kids aren't talking by their 8th birthday, their chances of ever talking are slim. I didn't want to find myself standing at the base of that wall looking up into futility, wondering how we got there and how we'd get over the wall then.
Right around Micah's 7th birthday we finally received the diagnosis of severe verbal apraxia and a lack of sensory at the front of his mouth. Coupled with his Down syndrome, it was predicted that he'd never talk clearly enough to be well understood. I'd come to the same conclusions on my own prior to this (including the apraxia diagnosis) so it was actually a relief to have my suspicions confirmed. We knew what we faced and I had answers.
You'd think I'd be super concerned about this, but you'd be wrong. I know that Micah was created on purpose to be just like he is. God has a reason for making nonverbal kids just like He has a reason for making kids with Down syndrome. I cannot do anything about the situation by worrying, but as a mom it's my job to be sure that I'm doing everything in my powers to help him.
The year that Micah was 5, I determined that if he couldn't use his own words to speak, I'd help him get words to use. After a long and involved struggle, we secured a speaking device for our son. Micah now has a Vantage Lite from Prentke-Romich that enables him to speak for himself.
The story of his Voice follows.
He Needs A Voice
Getting No Help
Frustration and Roadblocks
Prentke-Romich Found Me!
The First Day With a Voice
Two Weeks With a Voice
Evaluated, and Moving Up
Choosing His Voice
We Have Our Own Voice!
And because I am a mom and have bragging rights, I will share that Micah has been featured in the 2010 Prentke-Romich catalog. I know, right?!