By Leslie Lindsay
It’s been a long time coming, but I am proud to announce that my book, “Speaking of Apraxia: A Parent’s Guide to Childhood Apraxia of Speech” is now available for pre-order on the Woodbine House website, www.woodbinehouse.com. (book is actually due out in March 2012).
Here’s a link to the book, http://www.woodbinehouse.com/main.asp_Q_product_id_E_978-1-60613-061-2
But let’s back the speech train up. How did this happen? And what is speech apraxia, anyway?
For starters, I will tell you that this has not been an easy process. Writing is hard. Getting a publisher harder yet. Writing and parenting a child with apraxia–the hardest.
You see, my daughter and I have been on this journey of learning and getting through a complicated process together…she was battling with CAS (childhood apraxia of speech), and I battling the inner demons that go along with writing…Can I do this? Will anyone care? Can I secure a publisher? You know, all of those self-deprecating thoughts: I’m no good. This sucks. I just want to toss my lap-top out the window. Blah.
The turning point is here–I did it. She did it. We have both suffered through a long 4+ years of apraxia, in some form or another. The finish line is in sight. Whoo hoo!
But what is apraxia, you ask. Well…Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS), the long official moniker as SLP’s will call it is a neurologically-based motor speech disorder in which kids know what they want to say, yet they cannot get their mouths to cooperate; that is, it’s challenging for these kids to get the thoughts and the words to coordinate. Talk about frustrating! Often these kids are quite bright and don’t have any other concerns. Sometimes, though CAS is accompanied with other disorders such as Down Syndrome, Autism, or ADHD.
Children with CAS are often late to talk, often speaking in gibberish or grunts longer than other children do (may not say their first word until 3 years), may have trouble eating/chewing/swallowing, may have bouts of frustration due to the inability to verbally communicate, and may be very good at receptive communication (that is, that know everything you just said, yet they cannot repeat it).*
(*Just a few symptoms. Not all children experience the same symptomology.)
But there is light at the end of the tunnel. Kids with CAS can and do get better–and can become verbal communicators. It just takes time, practice, patience, and the skills of a certified SLP.
If you suspect your child has CAS, please contact your pediatrician who can get you hooked up with an SLP.
And in the meantime, go ahead and pre-order the book…it just may be what you need to jump-start your apraxia journey. http://www.woodbinehouse.com/main.asp_Q_product_id_E_978-1-60613-061-2