The Hulk and Rousey on struggling to speak.

By Laura Smith|August 18, 2017|#knockoutapraxia, apraxia blog, apraxia walk, Childhood Apraxia of Speech|

During an episode of “Battle of the Network Stars” Lou Ferrigno and Ronda Rousey shared a touching exchange about their childhood disorders and how it made them stronger.

Ferrigno, best known as the Incredible Hulk, inquired into famed MMA star Ronda Rousey’s life.  He questioned about the fire she had inside of her and wanted to know where the first flame was stoked. In an incredibly honest moment, Ronda tells him that she grew up with apraxia, a childhood speech disorder in which she would talk;  but the message in her head was different than what came out of her mouth and would sound like jibberish.

She continues to reveal she was made fun of for having trouble speaking and eventually venting that frustration physically.

Speaking as a parent of a child with apraxia, my heart stood still.  Hearing the word “apraxia” on national television brought instant tears to my eyes.  No one knows the struggle it is unless you have it or live it.  There is so little awareness that even many professionals don’t know it or its presentation. I’m a walk coordinator for the disorder in a large metropolitan city and the local news informed us it wasn’t newsworthy.

In that one moment, that one SECOND in time, the apraxia community blew up with excitement.  A video was posted that has been viewed 5K times in one day! That is the power of having a celebrity speak out about a cause.

Lou Ferrigno again brought tears to my eyes when he said,

“Everyone is handicapped either physically, mentally, or emotionally.  It’s all about maximizing what you have.  As a kid I had trouble speaking.  It’s all about overcoming adversity.”

I watch my child do this very thing every day.  I watch her struggle to do a basic human right that comes so easily to everyone else.  Something that’s so important it’s our first amendment in the United States.

Speak.

Watching Lou and Ronda in that moment, I realized that overcoming adversity will put that fire in her belly just like it did Lou and Ronda and we can show our children their story to inspire them and inspire us to become our best selves.

As Ferrigno pointed out,

“We’re only here for a short time.”

Make each moment count.

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