It took us a while to realize there was something wrong, but about the time she turned two we started to suspect it. I remember one day in particular. My wife Julia and I had taken Anna to our local Gymboree studio for open gym when a little voice caught our ears.
“Help please, mommy.”
We turned to see a small boy struggling to climb up the ladder behind Anna. His mom leaned down and gave him a boost.
“Thank you,” he said as he climbed the rest of the way up the play structure set in the center of the multi-colored classroom.
“He’s a beautiful little boy,” Julia said.
“Thank you,” his mom replied.
“How old is he?”
The words hit as hard as if the play structure had collapsed on top of us. Eighteen months old and his speech was clear and fluent. Anna was seven months older and we couldn’t understand her.
The rest of the post, which draws material from Chapters 30 and 31 of A Smile for Anna, summarizes our path from diagnosis through therapy, and shows how much progress Anna has made in the last three years. It was posted just before 11:30 a.m. PDT on the Apraxia-KIDS blog. Less than six hours later I received this tweet:
@davidozab Just read “Telling Anna’s Story”. Thank you, thank you, thank you! My 3.5 yr. old has apraxia. You give us hope!
This is why I became a writer.