By Leslie Lindsay
For mother Jeanne Buesser, apraxia has been near and dear to her heart. Her son–now a senior in high school–and doing well–suffers from the neurologically-based motor speech disorder. Jeanne is also the president of the nonprofit grassroots organization, Apraxia Network of Bergen County (New Jersey) and the author of He Talks Funny (Author House, 2010). For more information, see Jeanne’s YouTube Channel: PSA’s, interviews, and more. (image source: www.authorsden.com 2.11.13)
Designed for parents, caregivers, teachers, and children with apraxia, Ms. Buesser indicates He Talks Funny was “an idea that just popped into my head one day.” She’s not a stranger to writing, though. Her work had appeared in the Exceptional Parent Magazine, Parentguide Magazine, and also www.Parentpaper.com. She also blogs regularly at http://jeannebuesser.com
He Talks Funny is a story about a young boy named Joey and his struggles with CAS, specifically about other children not being able to understand him, and as a result– not having very many friends. When asked about this, Buesser indicates that she has never called apraxia, Childhood Apraxia of Speech ( emphasizing the childhood term) simply because “as he got older, and into middle school the title was not appropriate…he’s now a senior [in HS] and understood about 98% of the time, but he does need to remember to articulate and put his thoughts together first.”
So, this all boils down to bullying, in some regards. Kids can be mean. They can make nasty comments about how one speaks–or doesn’t. In He Talks Funny, you’ll a section called “circle of friends.” Buesser recommends explaining to the principal or teacher the situation frst so there is not a stigma before the child is put into the classroom. Also, she recomends “explaining CAS to parents of the other children so that everyone is on the same page.” (image source: Amazon.com 2.11.13)
Buesser’s message is clear: As a parent, you have to be the one to step forward and educate others–but slowly. “People are scared of things–scared often of the unknown. They often don’t know how to approach people when it comes to things they aren’t familiar with, like apraxia.” Buesser is also at work on developing a program with He Talks Funny in which the book would be incorporated into New Jersey Core Curriculum regarding bullying and also getting the book on the school’s recommended lists.
And now for the give-a-way! Jeanne has graciously provided a copy of He Talks Funny to one lucky reader. All you have to do is share this page on your Facebook or Twitter account. But you must let me know you did so (otherwise, I have no idea who to enter into the drawing). Just shoot me an email firstname.lastname@example.org and say, “I shared the post.” That will enter you to win a copy of this book, (valued at $12.49 on Amazon). Drawing for one (1) winner will be held WEDNESDAY, FEB 13th. Good Luck!! WINNER IS….Rachel Williams!! (Name drawn at random on 2.13.13). This concludes the contest. Thanks for all of those who entered.