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I Am a Boy Who Can’t Say His Name

I Am a Boy Who Can’t Say His Name

Feb 2, 2021 Please take the time to read this stunningly clear prose about a mother’s experience with her son, who has Apraxia (also known as Verbal Apraxia, or Childhood Apraxia of Speech).

I am a boy who can’t say his name
But that doesn’t mean I can’t be part of your games
I love to play tag, chase, and hide and seek
You can tell me your secrets, I promise to keep.

I am a boy who won’t answer back
But that doesn’t mean understanding I lack
I’m funny and loving and am very like you
So please don’t ignore me, or run away like you do.

You see my brain and my mouth are not in touch quite like yours
While inside I can speak, what you hear is all blurred
So if you hear my words, all jumbled and strange
Look at me and listen, my gestures will amaze
You’ll know what I need and we can still be best friends
Because I am just like you, I don’t need to pretend

So don’t be so quick to make up your mind
Show me some patience, but mostly be kind
Because nobody knows what it’s like to be me
Fear, isolation and anxiety

What I want is so simple, to be just like you
To be able to speak, from my point of view,
To share with you my world, locked inside my head
Full of thoughts and opinions, but so often misread

Because I am as smart and as clever as you
Don’t presume that I can’t, when I can do all you do,
I am a boy, just like you, just the same,
The only real difference? I can’t say my own name.

If anyone has concerns about Apraxia or their child’s speech and language, make sure to contact a speech-language pathologist immediately to get an evaluation.

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Make sure to download the Speech Blubs app: available in App Store, Google Play Store, and on our website! Work on imitation and articulation skills, build vocabulary to express needs, and converse more! Set your personalised goals now and start learning.

Speech Blubs is a learning app for everyone: If you want to work on language development or your child has a speech delay, autism, Down syndrome, hearing loss, tongue tie, cleft palate, or Apraxia – kids find this app very helpful. More than 4+ million parents tried the app – see what they have to say about it.

You get free access to Parents Academy and educational videos about speech development in the app. You can even talk to our speech therapist if you have concerns! If you are still unsure, watch our free webinar with speech therapist Tori or join our Facebook Group for parents.

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The author’s views are entirely his or her own and may not necessarily reflect the views of Blub Blub Inc. All content provided on this website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgement, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

Comments (6)
  • Anne-Elisabeth never fails to provide me with great information. As a soon to be practicing SLP, she has provided me with so much information about the kids I may work with in the future. A great writer!

    • Thank you so much! Can not agree more, it is an honor having her on our team, will let her know about your comment!

  • Thank you! This is as a great write-up and very enlightening as I’ve been trying to determine how to help my sweet little 3 year old. She is crazy and talkative as can be at home but at a loss for words in public; especially when she is exited. How can someone distinguish shyness from selective mutism?

    • Hello Jessica, thank you for your question. While a child who is shy may be quiet and not talk in specific situations (school or meeting new people), they typically warm up and are able to express themselves. A child with selective mutism, however, will not warm up nor communicate verbally in those particular settings. But most importantly, if you do feel there is a possibility that your daughter may have selective mutism, you need to talk to her pediatrician in order for her to receive a proper diagnosis.
      Anne Germain, SLP

  • This is as a great write-up and very enlightening as I’ve been trying to determine how to help my sweet little 3 year old. She is crazy and talkative as can be at home but at a loss for words in public; especially when she is exited. How can someone distinguish shyness from selective mutism?

    • Hello Jessica, thank you for your question. While a child who is shy may be quiet and not talk in specific situations (school or meeting new people), they typically warm up and are able to express themselves. A child with selective mutism, however, will not warm up nor communicate verbally in those particular settings. But most importantly, if you do feel there is a possibility that your daughter may have selective mutism, you need to talk to her pediatrician in order for her to receive a proper diagnosis.

      Anne Germain, SLP

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