A mom struggles with guilt

CorrespondentJune 3, 2009 

The annual countdown is almost over. School is practically out for some children.

For others, it will continue.

Little Guy is one of the others. He's one of the many little kids running around your neighborhood, your park and your school who has a "thing."

And because of his "thing," he can't afford a long summer off. He needs to practice all year long. So, he's getting prepared to go back in after a short break.

The technical term for it is childhood apraxia of speech. Apraxic kids take it all in, but can't always get the words back out correctly. They know what they want to say, but what is actually spoken can end up being mumbled jumbled, especially at a young age. For some apraxic kids, reading is challenging, requiring many hours of additional work.

So this summer, Little Guy will be in school for a few weeks. He'll make the best of it, as he always does.

But it kills me.

As a parent, there's nothing worse than watching your child struggle. It's heartbreaking to accept that he will have to work harder to keep up. That he could get to an age when his confidence could be compromised.

I used to take Little Guy's "thing" personally. I searched for reasons why. And holding true to maternal guilt, it was my fault.

He was my second child, and I was slack in the reading department. I didn't spend the time singing all those baby songs and pointing out the color of the sky, the sun and the trees. I was cleaning with all sorts of chemicals before I knew I was pregnant...

Read Illyse Lane's entire blog at

News & Observer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service