Ronda Rousey

Ronda Rousey has talked in the past about a speech impediment she struggled with as a youth. But to one mother, the description of Rousey's experience was distinct -- and rare.

Laura Smith soon theorized that Rousey dealt with the same condition as her daughter -- apraxia of speech, which is characterized by the brain's inability to control the motor functions of certain parts of the body -- in this case, the muscle groups that affect speech.

Smith eventually learned about an opportunity to meet Rousey. She went to Rousey's book signing in Denver. When her turn came to get Rousey to sign a copy, Smith asked the UFC champ: Did you have apraxia?

As Smith details to TheMighty, Rousey looked stunned -- but then admitted that, yes, doctors had told her that was the likely condition.

Smith and Rousey talked excitedly about the condition, its lack of awareness, and the particular struggle of the condition. Smith left a brochure with Rousey that explained apraxia and how to look for the signs.

When the mother returned home later that night, she found this posted to Facebook:

Does your kid having trouble speaking? Educate yourself on the signs and symptoms of Apraxia and what can be done to help your child find their voice at

Posted by Ronda Rousey on Friday, May 29, 2015

Thanks to Rousey, apraxia of speech is getting more attention, and parents are hopefully more equipped to spot its symptoms. And in return, Rousey gained two devoted fans -- and added a new wrinkle to her remarkable life story.

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