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Posted on May 13, 2019

Wear blue and speak out for DVD

Patrick and his family and friends are raising awareness of Developmental Verbal Dyspraxia (DVD). Children with DVD have difficulty making and coordinating the precise movements needed to produce clear speech.

On Tuesday 14 May 2019 they’ll be wearing blue for Verbal Dyspraxia Awareness Day. It’s a great cause and we’ll be joining them! You can visit their Facebook page here and find out how you can join in too.

Here’s Patrick looking super chuffed on the day he received his AAC device. He’s using the Beeline grid set on Grid for iPad, our AAC software, to help him communicate.

The heart-wrenching piece below was written by Patrick’s grandfather, filled with love, frustration and passion. Please take the time to read his words.

The Silent Heart-break

Think of those moments with children that make life so special, so magical: when they rush in from nursery or school, bursting to tell you about their day; those hilarious words and phrases that they come up with in the midst of their chatter; that conversation you have with them as you drive, describing what they see; sharing what they feel.

With the child with verbal dyspraxia there is none of that – just an aching void. You have no idea how their day went – the happy things; the things that upset them – because they can’t tell you. You don’t even know the names of their best friends. Trips in the car are silent trips – or trips of one-way conversations, from you to them. The back seat is silent. You long, you ache, for them to tell you something – anything! You drown the silence with a CD.

Oh yes! They may have a few words they can say, and sometimes they say them over and over again until you feel like screaming. They may try to speak, but what they say is unintelligible. But for them it’s the best they can do, and it helps to relieve their frustration. Because, you see, they understand everything you say, and may have many profound thoughts locked up inside them.

The essential road of skilled speech therapy is a long and slow, slow road, marked by frustration and many tears – yours and theirs. For some reason the mind and the mouth don’t connect. The language and the lingua, the tongue, are not in sync.

But who has heard of verbal dyspraxia? Not many. It’s the silent heart-break – silent because it can’t speak for itself. It can’t express itself. It can’t say how it feels. But we who live with children with it can speak for them. And we must! If we don’t, who else will?

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