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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Guest Post by Kim Grace-Brezniak

Let's take a minute and talk about what I see as the gifts of Apraxia~

1) I have an incredibly ingenious child who is able to communicate his needs to me without saying an... intelligible word.

2) I have a patient and resilient child who works hard for every single sound he makes and who is sooooo proud when he produces an intelligible word.

3) I have a child with an extraordinarily bright mind who has shown me without words that he has a fantastic receptive language vocabulary and knows his alphabet, shapes and colors at 2.5.

4) I have one of the sweetest, kindest boys you will ever meet who substitutes high fives for hello and kisses for I'm sorry.

5) I have had the honor of spending literally thousands of hours with my child reading books, practicing sounds and just being present.

There are so many more! I am like you and want to control everything including outcomes.

I am coming to realize that we are in a marathon not a sprint and that different is not always "not as good."

I am finally starting to move away from the fears (Will he ever talk? Will he have friends? Will he have a job, a girlfriend? A normal life?) and into the acceptance.

My child has a serious language disorder and we are doing everything humanly possible to help him through.

Just my opinion :) KGB

Thanks so much for allowing others to have a glimpse of what this thing called Apraxia means to us.  You get the Loud Mommy award for the week~Love you bunches!

Unlocking Luke's Voice on FB and on the web

Check out Unlocking Luke's Voice on facebook and on the web at http://www.unlockinglukesvoice.com/  ;)

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Luke's "talking" NOW!!!

It didn't take Luke very long to make himself at home with his "talker" (BKA an iPhone with a Proloquo2Go application).  He immediately "told" me that he wanted to ride on a bus.  I should have known this and actually do know that he loves all forms of transportation, but to have your non verbal son be able to communicate his wants to you while sitting in your lap...it brings me to tears. 

Later, he pushed the icons on the application to tell us that he wanted a tomato juice smoothie and then burst out laughing.  We did too!  That baby boy LOVES tomatoes!  In fact, he ate one yesterday instead of an apple.  LOL!!!  For him to be able to request what he really wants, instead of us just guessing or trying to interpret is HUGE.  And yes, I made him a tomato juice smoothie...how could I not? 

Before Luke went to sleep, he "told" us Good Night! 
(Something he has never been able to say by himself) 
He then pressed See you Later Alligator~
which made us smile, we say that to him all the time  ;) 

I guess now while I am anticipating what will come out next, what we will learn, what we will discover through this new tool is......how long until he "says"  hush mama?!?

Thank you to the Gift a Voice Project sponsored by Different Iz Good and The Turning Views Foundation.  http://www.differentizgood.org/
and on facebook at Different Iz Good...Spread the Word

Without you, your outreach, your enthusiasm, your dedication, your perseverance, and your inspiration...
none of this would have been possible.  

And this is why I will continue to collect cellphones for you~
long after Luke is talking on his own! 

Please consider donating your smart phone, iPhone, or cell phone when you upgrade...  it could give a voice to someone without.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Looking back

I just started rereading some of these blog entries and am realizing how far we have come. 

Sure we have lost many battles along the way, but we have also won a few BIG battles.

Thank you God for all of the talents that you bestow on us.  Thank you for answering prayers.

God has many faithful servants and he has summoned many of them to help us. 

We serve an AWESOME and powerful Lord. 

How great thou art!  How great thou art!

Announcing...The Olive You Foundation

The Olive You Foundation was created in honor of Maggie and Luke Tarpley. Both had speech difficulties at an early age, but with ongoing therapy and support they found their voices. Our parent organization is the Community Foundation of South Georgia 501(c)(3). This ensures that all donations to The Olive You Foundation are 100% tax deductible.
OU assists in helping children with speech and language disorders by funding supplemental therapies and treatments. OU also assists charitable organizations who serve children with communicative disorders.

Our purpose is to provide grants to help children who have speech and language disorders. Our goal is to allow children with communication difficulties the chance to better express themselves. The Olive You Foundation strives to provide children the opportunity to receive assistance to help improve their communication.

How Can You Help Us?

You can change the life of a child with the gift of improved communication. The Olive You Foundation is privately funded through individual donations, grants and fundraisers. We invite you to support our work with children through either an individual donation, a grant, by participating in one of our fundraising activities or by holding your own fundraiser to support OU.
How Can We Help You?

Do you know a child who would benefit from additional speech and language services or treatment? Perhaps you know an organization that serves children with communicative disorders? Please share our information with them.

OU accepts donations of any kind. Monetary donations can be made through our parent organization, Community Foundation of South Georgia, by clicking the "Make a Donation" button at https://www.cfsga.org/handler.cfm?pageID=donation&contentID=1
and then selecting The Olive You Foundation Fund from the "Choose Fund" option on the CFSG donation page.

Contributions can also be made payable and mailed to:

The Olive You Foundation Fund
c/o Community Foundation of South Georgia (CFSG)
PO Box 2654
Thomasville, GA 31799

(229) 228-5088 Phone
(888) 544-2317 Toll Free
(229) 228-0848 Fax

Check out our website designed by Glen Langston at http://www.theoliveyoufoundation.org/

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Quota Club

Did you know that Quota Club's mission is to help the speech and hearing impaired? 

I didn't know this until I sent out some letters and emails asking for help from area service organizations and I heard back from Valdosta's Quota Club immediately.

They wanted to help us.  
They wanted to help Luke.  
They wanted to help him more than just paying for a few speech therapy sessions, they wanted to raise enough money to help us get Luke back to The Kaufman Children's Center in Michigan and to keep him in the intensive therapy that we have been doing.

I must say that I was overwhelmed then, but not nearly as much as I was at the actual event.  

The Quotarians decided to host a yard sale in honor of Luke.

They set up media coverage from Dean Poling of The Valdosta Daily Times and Jim Miller of Black Crowe Media Services.  Dean's article was in one word...AWESOME!  It explained apraxia of speech and explained our plight.  I couldn't be more pleased with the coverage and the exposure that it brought to CAS, to the KCC and to Unlocking Luke's Voice. 

People came together~quota, our church family, friends and community members, some we didn't even know before.  The outpouring of love, support and prayers is truly unreal.

Thank you to all who donated, all who contributed, all who came, all who bought, and all who prayed.  Please keep those prayers coming.  Luke said exactly 6 word approximations that I had not heard clearly before today.  They were knock-knock, whoa, now, OK, move, and milk.  Oh and plain as day, he said WoW!!!  (several times)  So that makes 7 total~!  Go Luke and thanks to Quota Club for all their hard work.