By Jordan Christian
My name is Jordan Christian, and I am an advocate for Verbal Apraxia, also known as Childhood Apraxia of Speech. As a person with the diagnosis, I also share the first-person perspective on my blog, Fighting for my Voice: My life with Verbal Apraxia, where I give people an authentic inside view of what living with my condition is like. I believe so much of our social media is honestly just so fake that going into my career as an advocate made me want to show people the good, the bad, and the ugly. But luckily, there is a lot of good.
Before I get into myself any more, I would like to share what exactly Verbal Apraxia is. Verbal Apraxia is a neurological speech disorder you are born with where your brain has trouble sending your mouth signals for accurate movements of speech with your tongue, lips, and jaw. The condition is not something you outgrow. Instead, you make significant improvements with speech therapy that utilizes the principles of motor planning. I grew up with the condition, and honestly, my life wasn’t easy. I changed schools multiple times, suffered from bullying, and as a result of my past trauma background, suffered from Depression and Anxiety. However, I have always said I want to be a voice and not a victim. So, at twenty-two years old, I decided to leap into my advocacy. A friend at the time asked me, “Do you really want to be known for having Verbal Apraxia?” And the answer is a simple yes; I want to be known as the person who took what people considered his weakness and turned it into one of his biggest strengths.
I went to college at Guilford College in Greensboro, NC, and got my Bachelors of Arts in Psychology with a minor in General Biology. From there, shortly after, on May 28th, 2021, I published my first children’s book called “The Boy Who Couldn’t Speak, Yet,” part of my non-fictional children's book series called “Jordan’s World.” The reason behind the name “Jordan’s World” is because as a child, I wanted love, acceptance, and inclusion for everybody, and those have been my values since a young age. However, growing up, I soon found out the outside world didn’t match my world. The Boy Who Couldn’t Speak, Yet, allows the reader to take a look inside my childhood and the effects of exclusion. The book ends on a note of self-love and self-acceptance, where my adult self hands my child self an olive branch as a symbolization of making peace with your past. My second book in the series named, The Boy Who Proved Them Wrong, is coming out on November 28th.
I am so excited to share this book with my audience and show them your child is capable of things adults nor experts can predict. Nobody holds a crystal ball for your child's future. You, as the parent, get to see your child bloom into the person they are supposed to be. I genuinely love the work I do today.
Besides being an advocate and an author, I am also a motivational speaker, mentor, blogger, and I hold many other titles. I also just came out with my nonprofit organization called, The Apraxia Foundation: Hearing All Voices, where in the next upcoming months, we will be raising money to go towards families to help them afford research-evidence-based services. I could be bitter with what life has thrown at me, but I decided to be better. Not because anybody told me to, but I knew in my heart since I was young, I am supposed to be doing what I am doing right now. Parents, please know nobody truly holds a crystal ball to your child’s future. We all go through different seasons in our life, and I can’t wait to see what the next season holds.
You can learn more about Jordan on Instagram @jordapraxia and find his book on Amazon.