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Author Biography

Leslie Lindsay is the author of Speaking of Apraxia: A Parent’s Guide to Childhood Apraxia of Speech (2012), Woodbine House, an award finalist for both Reader’s Choice and ForeWord Review, and 2nd place winner of the Walter Williams Award for Excellence in Non-fiction.  She is a member of the Missouri Writer’s Guild as well as an honorary member of the RWA-Windy City.  She has participated in several fiction workshops, most recently at The University of Wisconsin—Madison.  In addition, she contributes to two critique groups, and works closely with a critique partner. She lives in Chicagoland with her husband, two young daughters, and a basset puppy.

Leslie maintains a this website as well as an author Facebook page where she shares tips and ideas for writing, the occassional give-a-way, author interviews, and rambling musings/observations.

Extended Bio:

For years, I was in denial. I was not a writer.

I acquired my first diary at the age of 8. It was a relunctantly accepted gift from my mother who wanted me to become a writer or a vet. Sure, I loved animals and expressing my feelings in a cute little book with a lock was appealing. But my love for the written word also came in the form of stories dad would read from the Disney mail-order books, a ritual I still look back on fondly.

When my mother breached my trust by reading my diaries, that was it; I refused to write in them any longer. But secretly, I did. Instead of jotting my initials and my current crushes entwined in a rudimentary heart, I cataloged my nightly dreams, painstakingly looking up every image and symbol in my “Dreamer’s Dictionary.”  Many of those dream images are still with me today as I craft settings and develop charcters.

But no, I was not a writer.

Instead, I became intrigued with science and psychology, my eyes set on a career as a pediatrician or psychologist. Others tried coaxing me into broadcast journalism or teaching. I went to nursing school, neverminding the fact that I fainted at the sight of blood and loved the vernacular of anatomy more than the practice of healing it. Even in my “free time,” I continued the habit of recording my dreams and thought maybe, someday, I’d return to my love of writing; you know as a good old-fashioned hobby.

Four years and several fainting episodes later, I emerged with honors from nursing school and a shiny new degree. I set off to work at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN–a cold and far away place from my homestate of Missouri. I wrote there, too. This time, the beginning of a memoir–consequently, a combination of my job as a child/adolescent psych RN and my mother’s mental illness. See, no blood there.

For five years I worked a job that was not my true calling. It fascinated me, sure. I helped dozens of families, but I was missing something. I got married. I had kids. I wrote. Nothing major, just a few articles here and there.

And then my oldest daughter was diagnosed with a speech disorder, a pretty severe and rare one at that: childhood apraxia of speech (CAS). While it’s never a parent’s dream that her child have something that holds her back in some way, it was like a door opening. I said good-bye to nursing, but I had the knowledge to put it all together–the science, the psychology, the desire to help and educate…and so I wrote a book about apraxia released in late March 2012.

Write on, Wednesday:  Decontrusting a NovelIn the meantime, after I got the non-fiction bug fleshed out, I began toiling with fiction. An avid reader since I can remember, fictional characters often ‘call’ to me by presenting their name in a quiet whisper I cannot ignore. Sometimes, I get a glimpse of their face, or a brief storyline. Other times, I have a deep fascination with an element that begs to be written about: a home/neighborhood/small town, a childhood story, or some urban legend that needs the dirt and grit rubbed off. Call it a passion, or compulsion, but writing is something that will never go away for me.

Nearly daily, I exclaim, ‘Gosh, I love books!’ From that passion, I’ve cultivated quite a list of bestselling and debut authors who have graciously appeared on my literary blog, offering tips and insight into their work. It might be the journalist in me, or the writer, or the psychologist, but I adore delving into the depths of the writer’s mind. I find it fascinating, but mostly, I learn a little something about the art and craft of writing, and hope you will, too.

SOA_mock (2)You can find Leslie’s work on her companion-to-the-book website, SPEAKING OF APRAXIA at www.speakingofapraxia.com where she hosts SLPs, parents, and writes on a variety of topics related to childhood apraxia of speech (CAS), AD/HD, parenting, and more. Leslie’s oldest daughter (bright and spunky) Kate is currently resolving from apraxia. Please feel free to pop over to the SPEAKING OF APRAXIA Facebook Page, too.

30 responses »

  1. Could you please tell me where you got the idea to write the ghost girl piece about Evelyn called, “The Ghost Girl Story Continues”

    • Hi Katie,
      Thanks for popping by! I will have to look at that specific piece again to refresh my memory, but I will say that I have *always* been intrigued with ghost children. There’s an area in western St. Louis (suburbs), Missouri others have dubbed, “Zombie Road,” where many believe there was once an old orphanage, or possibly even a mental institution, too. It then became more of a small river town, but the folks there “weren’t quite right,” a lot of inbreeding and strange happenings…it’s all speculation, an urban legend, if you will. Evelyn developed from my imagination, as did her brother, Ben.

      • Thank you, I was wondering because I’ve had experiences of my own that very closely relate with your story and it made me curious.

  2. Your story sounds like my story. Your nursing was my hazardous waste management. Your apraxia was my autism. Your Speaking of Apraxia was my Swan Mothers: Discovering Our True Selves by Parenting Uniquely Magnificent Children. Now, I’m writing fiction.

    I’m glad you interviewed Julie Christine Johnson, which brought me to your site. Happy to have discovered you.

  3. My speech path in the area (S. naperville) recommended your book. My 5 y.o. Son has cas. I’ve enjoyed the book and it has been helpful. Do you have any groups that meet in the area for parents? Also, do you know of any chiropractors in the area that you would recommend that are versed in cas? I can give you my email if you prefer. Thanks for your knowledge and help in advance!

    • Hi Kristine!

      Thanks for reaching out. 🙂 Really glad you like the book. Unfortuantely, I am not doing any groups right now, but you may want to reach out to The Apraxia Connection; they have a group that meets once a month at select area Panera Bread Co (mostly in the Downer’s area). Chiropractors…not sure on that. I’d ask around for those who are versed not just in CAS, but pediatric care. Working with kids requires special training. Good Luck and stay in touch! You may also want to follow my SPEKAING OF APRAXIA Facebook Page.

  4. Found your blog through Woodbine House while researching publishers. I’ve written a book about my daughter’s Apraxia (along with her unrelated cleft diagnosis and surgery). Got great feedback—and interest from four different agents and an editor—at a regional writers conference last weekend. Moving on to the next step. Here’s my site http://www.davidozab.com and my blog http://www.fatherhoodetc.com Hope you like them and keep in touch!

  5. Just signed up to follow your blog, and also shared on my FB pages. Will share with my local parent support group too (NW suburban Chicago). I’m a lawyer-mom of four, whose son was diagnosed at 25 months old with severe verbal apraxia. With lots of therapy, he now speaks great! So there’s hope out there!! Keep working with your kids and never give up! BTW, I offer lots of free info/resources on the legal issues surrounding special education, so stop by and “like” my Facebook page if you need this kind of info (www.facebook.com/spedlaw4kids) or my site (www.spedlaw4kids.com). I’m also happy to blog on legal topic suggestions from readers at http://www.spedlaw4kids.blogspot.com!

    • Welcome, Sandy! Your wealth of experience as a mom and lawyer will surely be valuable to the blog and Facebook page. Thanks for sharing your insights and expertise–look forward to hearing more from you.

  6. Wow!!!! It looks like I hit the jackpot here on your blog!!!! What a great resource for practical ideas to help our precious ones find their voice. Thanks for all your work, I look forward to strolling through your blog!

    Blessings,
    Alyson

  7. Hi,
    I have a 26 month old little girl that has speech apraxia. I’m in search of a support group of moms that are experiencing some similar feelings, emotions, and frustrations. My daughter does not have any other delays or disorders. After a few therapists, I finally found my angel on earth.. a therapist that understands and accurately treats Emily based off of her needs. We now have some hope.

    I look forward to reading your book.

    Thanks,
    Cara

    • Hi Cara,

      Good afternoon and thanks for taking the time to connect! As you know, I have “been there!” I think Kate was just about 26 months, like your Emily when she was diagnosed with CAS. It is a hard road at times, but it sounds like you are in good hands with your SLP. They truly do become like a new member of your family. Unfortuantely, I am no longer facilitating the Small Talk groups as life is waaay too busy with promoting the book right now…but do look back in the fall of 2012 as I *might* start one up again. In the meantime, feel free to connect if you have any questions, thoughts, or ideas.

  8. Hi there! My 2.5 year old son was just diagnosed with Apraxia on Tuesday by a Apraxia Specialist here in Pittsburgh, PA. It is so overwhelming. I have found myself up late at night and in the mornings trying to see what I can find already. I will definitely be buying your book. Thank you for this site. I will be following it from now on!

    • Hi Kristy!
      Thanks for taking the time to post a comment. I remember the feeling(s) well when my daughter was diagnosed with apraxia, also at the age of 2.5 yrs. It’s such a mixed bag of emotions: relief (we know now what we’re dealing with), confusion (what does this mean, now what?), and even a little grief (will s/he ever be able to talk?) Hang in there. It sounds like your son is in good hands with his SLP. It may take some time, but together with your efforts at home and a qualified SLP, he should make some good gains in speech development. Best to you and yours!! –Leslie : )

    • Hi there!! Thanks for connecting! I love hearing from folks also walking this apraxia path. So glad to hear you are finding some good resources. It’s not always easy, but sure sounds like you are doing so many of the “right things.” Hugs to you and your son.

  9. Enjoyed reading your Apraxia Monday blogs. Donna Leaderman provided some good info. Under appropriate therapy ideas she suggests that you sit in on a session or two of therapy to verify efficacy. We and many others consider parental involvement essential to progress. Our apraxia kids’ parents come to most sessions with the kids, are trained on how to help, take notes, and take home activities for home practice.

  10. Followed the link from Apraxia Kids listserv. You have a great blog. With your permission I will cross post your note about the Gift of ADHD Activity Book to my MONA Special Moms listserv (where I am coordinator/moderator) (MONA is Mothers of North Arlington).

  11. I’m on a mini vacation and I saw your link on facebook. I’ve never followed you except for the brief updates. Your blog is wonderful and I enjoyed reading all the most recent posts. You’ve combined your incredible talents and interests. I’m very impressed!

  12. Love your blog. Followed the link from CASANA… I wish I lived near you and could benefit from all of your knowledge of parenting and CAS. My 2.5 year old daughter has just been diagnosed… and yes, this is overwhelming at times and I appreciate your article on positive forward focus.

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