Wednesday 21 February 2018

Mother of toddler with Apraxia touched by support of UFC champ Ronda Rousey

Clare Cullen

Clare Cullen

Writing for The Mighty, Laura Smith was asked to write about a moment that touched her life in a special way.

Laura Smith's daughter has a speech condition called Apraxia, which Laura blogs about on her site 'SLP Mommy of Apraxia'.

She discovered the UFC Bantamweight champion 'Rowdy Ronda Rousey' almost by accident, but the more she researched the fighter, the more convinced she became that the speech impediment Rousey talked about in numerous interviews was actually Apraxia.

In one interview, she read that for the first six years of Rousey's life, "nobody knew whether she’d ever speak an intelligent sentence". Laura became convinced that Rousey had suffered from the same condition as her five-year-old daughter.

Laura attended one of Rousey's book signings and managed to talk to the MMA star.

"I was so nervous. I had to ask her ASAP. Luckily she took a long time to sign the book. Laura, say it!"

“Did you have apraxia?”

Read the full account of what happened here.

"Even if she doesn’t do anything else, even if she doesn’t say she has apraxia, Ashlynn and I will always have that moment — that moment when we met a true fighter who overcame apraxia and so much more, just like I believe Ashlynn will"

"Before we left I pointed at Ronda and said, “Look, Ashlynn! She has apraxia,” and then I pointed to a line of almost 100 people who were still waiting and said, “and all these people want her autograph!”

"Ashlynn smiled. We ran out into the rain laughing".

Childhood apraxia of speech (CAS) is a motor speech disorder. Children with CAS have problems saying sounds, syllables, and words. This is not because of muscle weakness or paralysis. The brain has problems planning to move the body parts (e.g., lips, jaw, tongue) needed for speech.

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