Over the past couple of weeks, Garett Bolles and his family have begun adjusting to a new change in their life after his 4-year-old son, Kingston, received a learning disability diagnosis.
"I'm trying not to get emotional," Bolles said Wednesday. "My son was diagnosed with apraxia of speech. It's a learning disability where it affects him and how he speaks and how he communicates. From now until he's seven years old, he'll go into intensive speech therapy to help him."
The condition, Bolles said, is difficult to diagnose and daunting to address, but he said Kingston is adapting well.
"He's doing awesome," Bolles said. "He learned two new words yesterday, so I'm actually really proud of him. He learned 'open' and 'out.' It was just so cool to watch the facial expression on him and how he was proud to learn those two words. A lot of it is muscle memory. How we learn — we learn by hearing and being able to communicate. Kids with apraxia of speech, it's all muscle memory to them. It's repeating the same words over and over again and finding new ways to get to him."
As Bolles looks to the future, he said he's inspired to do all he can to help Kingston and others with apraxia of speech.
"I'm going to do whatever I can to raise as much awareness as I can," Bolles said. "This season is definitely for my son. I love him dearly. He's probably one of the best things that has ever happened to me besides my wife and my little girl. I'm thankful for the challenges. The challenges just make us a bigger family."
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