Troy is a charming and happy 3-year-old with an infectious laugh. His bright eyes and incredible attitude can light up a room. Until recently though, something was missing from the friendly and energetic little boy’s life – words.
Troy’s inability to speak made it very difficult for him to do a number of things, including making friends. His mother shares the following story:
Other kids Troy’s age would attempt to play with him, and gosh did he ever want to play. When they would ask him his name or if he wanted to play, Troy wouldn’t respond. Too many times I heard, “Oh, he’s just a baby.” The other kids would then run off thinking he was too young to play with them. Troy would stand to the side and quietly watch the other kids, unsure of how to involve himself. He looked so sad! After a while he would just come sit with me and cuddle. It broke my heart to see him left out.
In April, Troy’s mother brought him to Beaumont Children’s Hospital for evaluation by the experts in our Pediatric Speech and Language Pathology department. He was diagnosed with severe verbal apraxia – an inability to consistently coordinate the parts of the mouth involved in speech (lips, tongue and lower jaw) to create words and sounds. Troy was also diagnosed with a severe expressive language delay and a moderate receptive language delay.
With financial assistance provided through Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and the Lions Clubs of Southeast Michigan, Troy began treatment in June. Much of the treatment features a play-based approach that allows Troy to incorporate toys he chooses himself into each session. His favorites so far have been the doll house and barn.