Christmas 2014 updates

By Laura Smith|December 28, 2014|apraxia blog|

Christmas 2015!  Ashlynn is now 5 years 2 months old.  Last year, we hit so many milestones I had waited for, for so long, and I was happy, very happy.  She could jump, ask basic questions, and tell us what she wanted for Christmas.

This year, I’m not sure if we hit any other major milestones for which I had spent so much time praying.  However, we hit milestones for which I NEVER spent time praying, and that my friends, is even better.

I learned this year, that Ashlynn really is a leader and not a follower.  Without language or motor skills, Ashlynn is forced to follow her peers around and play with what interests them.  However, this year at our Christmas party, she kept asking to sing Christmas carols and she was front in center.


Rocking back and forth singing loud and proud.  The Baskall’s are a family of singers.  My brother, sister, and two nieces were all in choir.  I wasn’t in choir, but I can brag that I have won some karaoke awards in my day ;), and I will say my dad had an awesome voice to accompany him on the guitar.  Oh, and my husband was also a singer before he swore it off after his voice changed (but he can still sing).  Could it be my daughter, the girl who struggled to say every sound and every word, could actually be a singer?  Time will tell, but she’s pretty freaking awesome at it at five.

I learned this year Ashlynn just may be a crafter. My husband’s side of the family are very crafty, so much in fact, when I married him he told me he expected I would just fall in line.  Um…not exactly.  I have no desire to craft, though I think those who do and what they make are AWESOME.  However, my desire has become a lot stronger now that I see how much Ashlynn thrives with it.  Santa bought her a whole bucket full of supplies: foam pieces, stickers, glue, tape, buttons, glitter, and tissue paper.  She has spent the last two days “crafting.”

Every parent I think imagines what their child will be and do when they are born, and I’m pretty sure it’s based off of what THEY did or have done.  I definitely had visions of an awesome basketball player, a beautiful writer, an expressive dancer, an angelic singer,  a fierce debater, or an amazing orator.  Can you guess those might be MY interests?

I’m pleasantly surprised though to realize my daughter just may be the best cook this side of the Colorado Divide, or the Martha Stewart of the Rocky Mountains.  These aren’t my passions, but to see they are hers is something so much more awesome.  To see my daughter has passions outside of any of my expectations lets me see HER.  Something I mourned for so long seeing,  since she couldn’t really talk to me and her motor skill difficulties made it hard for her to manipulate anything.

Who knows?  I have no doubt though that the girl who has apraxia of speech, a disorder that affects speech AND prosody, the MELODY of speech, may turn out to be one badass singer.  I mean, the girl sings a mean Jingle Bells and Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, just saying. I wish I had a video.  Or, the girl who struggled to coordinate both hands together, just may be one amazing cook.

I see my daughter more each year. This Christmas was pretty great.

Oh! I also confirmed my suspicions she has an incredible visual memory like her daddy.  Girl could remember and would tell us every spot Gimbel our elf had been in this year.

Aside from apraxia though, other issues are more glaring this year.  Her SPD has really kicked in and she CONSTANTLY had her hands in her mouth or anything else she could find to suck on. Family events become so overstimulating that she has noticeably more meltdowns than normal.  In fact, she may have had more tantrums than my two year old. 🙁  These incidents are still hard to watch. They still fill me with worry and with a touch of sadness. Sadness though, that carries hope.

We got Ashlynn a dollhouse this Christmas to work on imaginative language, something she lacks.  I knew it was a good purchase though when I heard her mimic hours later something I had modeled earlier, “oh how lovely it is outside.”  My husband, amused clarified, “Is it lovely outside?”  Yep….that’s what she said.

He also got her a scooter to help her work on her balance at a recommendation from his brother.  Sure enough, yesterday she couldn’t even hop forward on it, but today, she could quickly balance while taking little hops.

That’s the thing though with special needs.  We buy our toys based on how it will help our children with their deficits, and that still leaves me kinda sad.

However, Ashlynn’s not sad.  She’s amazing.  She perseveres.  She always perseveres, and you know what?  A person who perseveres is a successful person.



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