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Apraxia Monday: Chapter 2–Speech 101

By Leslie Lindsay

Even if your child doesn’t have apraxia (CAS), there may be some things you have always wondered about–at least as far as speech acquisition goes.  Well, you are in luck–here’s an excerpt of chapter 2 from “Speaking of Apraxia: Speech 101.” 

“Imagine if you will, a little boy who has a dream, a dream to communicate. He wishes he could answer your question so that you understand his response. He wishes she could ask for clarification when he doesn’t know exactly what you want him to say or do. He wishes to connect with his friends in their verbal play, or to raise his hand in eagerness to answer his teacher. Because in his mind, he knows what he wants to say, yet he just can’t get it out. Imagine this little boy is yours.”

 Communication is part of our everyday life. It’s in the news, the radio, on television. It’s on the road, in the grocery store, at school, at work. It’s everywhere.

When you exchange a few words with your neighbor, you don’t think much about the process of talking. In fact, it doesn’t seem all that complicated. You have a thought, you open your mouth (insert foot–sometimes), and the thought comes out in the form of words others can usually understand. This chapter is all about talking. How it happens, why it happens, and what happens when there’s a glitch in the process. Since talking also requires listening, we’ll talk about that, too…..


But really, talking is complicated. There is a high-order process going on, involving speech, language, listening, and comprehension. Is it all in your mind? Yes, in fact, one important language center is located in the front part of your brain, in an area called the premotor cortex.  This region is responsible for the planning and coordination of speech. It is primarily the left side of the brain that is “in charge” of understanding language. The right side is best at detecting prosodic aspects of language, that is the rate, rhythm, tone, and stress of the words.   

Language, Communication, and Culture

How important is the need to communicate? I would venture to say that the ability to develop effective communication skills is a basic need, much like the need to seek food, shelter, and comfort. Not only are feelings, ideas, and information all conveyed through communication, but language and communication are very much a part of the culture in which one is brought up. We use communication to pass down family stories; folklore, experiences; record our past; and plan for our future.

Language is one of the most important skills we can develop to be successful in society. But there are things that need to line up in order for humans to have a verbal communication system. The words “speech” and “language” have similar connotations, but they are quite different. Read on to find out.

You can hop over to Woodbine House, Inc. (www.woodbinehouse.com) to purhcase the book at an introductory price and it will be delivered to you hot off the press in late March.  Amazon is carrying it as well–but they can’t get out any sooner. 

Speaking of Apraxia: A Parents’ Guide to Childhood Apraxia of Speech by Leslie Lindsay (Paperback – Mar 28, 2012)

Buy new: $24.95

Available for Pre-order. This item will be released on March 28, 2012.
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