My Kid Rides the Short Bus

(Guest post by Loni Scovill Smith –  Loni blogs at His Apraxia Journey)

Why Different iz Good Exists!

When I was growing up in the 80’s and 90’s, there was a stigma attached to kids that rode the “short bus”.  I believe most of it stemmed from ignorance and fear.  Back in those days, when you saw the short bus, you imagined it was filled with kids afflicted with the worst of the worst disabilities.

My son rides the short bus. And he isn’t afflicted with the worst of the worst. In every way physically, he seems normal. He looks and acts like any other five year old in preschool. He’s social, fun, smart, stubborn, but very different in one specific way – his speech is unintelligible.

I am a mother in the age of the internet, a time when information is at everyone’s fingertips. I live in a decade where we can stay connected with others virtually; I have easy, accessible ways to pass on information to others about my son’s condition. Whether it’s through Facebook posts, my blog – His Apraxia Journey, or even this Different Iz Good blog, people can learn about Ian’s speech apraxia and having that knowledge eliminates the fear or ignorance that they might have been experiencing. That’s pretty darn cool.

Because of social networking and the plethora of information readily available at our computers, the doors of acceptance have been opened wider than ever before to our children with disabilities. Knowledge is beautiful.

As I prepare my son for the probability of attending a special education kindergarten in the fall (complete with another year of riding the short bus), I revel in the fact that he is loved and accepted by all of those around us. There is not a horrible stigma or fear and ridicule attached to him, rather, there is joy with each new word he speaks clearly, there is celebration for the success he finds in the special help he receives. There is compassion.

My kid rides the short bus and everyone celebrates his differences. Being different is no longer scary, it’s acceptable. It’s understandable. It’s beautiful.

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Meet Luke T.

(Guest post by Mary Clare Tarpley –  Mary blogs at Mommy Square)

Mary and Luke

When you see my son, Luke, you will first notice his beautiful blue green eyes that sparkle and his amazing dimples. He is simply adorable.  A real cutie patootie!   He looks like other children that are 2.  You can’t tell by looking at Luke, but he struggles to communicate.

Upon closer observation of Luke, you will note that he is often silent and makes very few sounds, some utterances and has about fifteen approximations.  Luke has Childhood Apraxia of Speech.

If Luke could tell you about himself, it would look something like this…

Hi!  My name is Luke.

I live with my mommy, my daddy and my sister Maggie.

I call her “Gee-Gee”.

She is my best friend.

I like trains, balls and puppy dogs.

I love lollipops, popsicles, doughnuts and candy.

I call them “pops” and “yum-yums”.

I like to go to the mall and to Publix.

I love to play outside, go to the park and jump on the trampoline.

I really like to help out around the house.

I don’t like tags on anything.

I am very good at telling you what I want or need without saying a word.

When I can’t get you to understand me, I sometimes get frustrated.

I have lots of visitors and visits during the week for therapy.

Therapy is another word for work.

I get excited about going to “school” and gymnastics.

My favorite family trips have been to Disney.

I try to show my family that I love them.

I cannot wait to be able to tell my mommy, my daddy and my sister…

I love you!

I have been trying to assist the Different Iz Good Foundation with their Gift A Voice project. ( This project helps give children who have speech impairments a means in which to communicate.

It is very dear to my heart because my Luke has Childhood Apraxia of Speech. CAS is a neurological condition that impairs speech.   Although he may know the word or words he wants to say, the motor planning doesn’t work correctly.  We are working to retrain his brain to form these connections for movement with LOTS of therapy and have been given a good prognosis for the future.( If you can help in any way with this project, please do.

I try to think of CAS much like a padlock that is keeping Luke’s words contained in a vault (the brain) and that we are the detectives who are trying to figure out the code that will break open the lock on his voice~by helping DIG with the GAV project~you are providing part of the code~almost like being a key. 😉

(Please share this post with your Facebook Friends if you’d like to let them know what we are up to here at DIG! Thanks -Camilla)