By Leslie Lindsay
Ready, or not…school is right around the corner! I know, I know…if you are a teacher or a school-based SLP you really don’t want to hear this, but we can’t wish it away.
If your child has CAS (childhood apraxia of speech), then you may have additional concerns–and that is normal and to be expected. Hopefully this post will help ease your fears. It’s primarily based on kindergarten, but you can adapt this to preschool-aged children as well. Frankly speaking, it really is best to have your child with CAS in a preschool program where normally-develping students can serve as positive role-models for speaking and socializing. Postivite parenting encouragement is really needed.
Is Your Child Ready for Kindergarten?
As a parent, you are going to grapple with this question as your “baby” gets closer to “K-Day.” You are especially concerned because your child has CAS, and with that come some other concerns: difficulties with social skills, distractibility (sometimes associated with CAS), and decreased verbal skills.
It’s an individual—and difficult—decision to make, to say the least. Here’s what I recommend:
- Look into your state’s requirements for admission to kindergarten, as they all vary.
- Consider talking with your child’s SLP the summer before kindergarten to get her honest and professional opinion.
- If there are concerns, try some summer interventions–additional private speech therapy or working on phonics, sequencing, distractibility, etc.
- Consider seeing an occupational therapist (OT), who can better address some of the other concerns not completely associated with CAS. Seek out social skills classes that may be offered through your private speech clinic, or ask for recommendations from your child’s pediatrician.
- Try “beefing up” your child’s social skills by role-playing potential social encounters at home: “How do you ask a question in the classroom? Let’s practice!” or “Do you know how to sit at circle time? Let’s try it out here at home.”
You may also find this article from ADDitude Magazine helpful as you get closer to the first day of school. Finding a Teacher who Gets your Child, http://www.additudemag.com/adhd/article/553.html and this letter to the teacher, also from ADDitude http://www.additudemag.com/adhd/article/553.html. (While these articals are primarily for children with ADHD, they may also inspire you as you prepare for a successful CAS school year).
Next week, on “Apraxia Monday,” we will continue chatting about school prepardness and your child.
[the above information is an excerpt from Speaking of Apraxia: A Parent’s Guide to Childhood Apraxia of Speech, Woodbine House 2012. The book is available thru Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, as well as www.woodbinehouse.com]