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Apraxia MondaY: Keeping kids engaged with speech-language therapy after the therapy session through reading, I-Spy, Scrabble, more, plus tips on apraxia, teletherapy, more.

By Leslie Lindsay 

Speech-language therapy doesn’t stop at the speech clinic. Here are some ways you can enhance & support what your child is working on at home. 

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~APRAXIA MONDAY|ALWAYS WITH A BOOK~

Spotlight: BETTER SPEECH.COM

EXTENDING SPEECH WORK IN EVERYDAY PLAY & GAMES

I’m so delighted to welcome this guest piece from the folks at Better Speech, an online portal for speech-language teletherapy, recognized by American Speech-Hearing Association (ASHA). As most you know, I am a big proponent of making speech fun while working it into everyday routines. There is so much that can be expressed and taught in your own home, out-and-about town, and even in nature. That said, we’re all spending much more time at home–not just because of the pandemic, but because it’s winter and the middle of the school year. Here are some great tips and ideas of things you can do right at home, probably with items you already have. 

happy little kid having fun on bed with cheerful parents

Photo by Jonathan Borba on Pexels.com

5 Ways to Support Your Child’s Speech Therapy at Home

When your child is working with a licensed speech therapist, speech therapy at home can be just as beneficial as speech therapy in a clinical setting. In fact, some children respond better to their speech training at home because they are more comfortable practicing in a familiar environment, and more receptive to a parent practicing along with them. 

Engaging Your Child

As a parent, implementing the in-home training your child’s speech therapist has recommended will be your responsibility. However, some parents like to add additional practice exercises that they can work on with their children, some being more effective than others. The key to productive speech therapy exercises at home is simple: make sure the exercises cover the recommendations provided by your child’s speech therapist, and make sure these exercises are fun and engaging. 

The more engaged a child is with their in-home speech therapy training, the more effective the training will be. This means coming up with exercises that seem less like practice and more like a game.

two kids playing beside glass windows

Photo by Jessica West on Pexels.com

5 Effective In-Home Speech Therapy Exercises

  • Reading

Reading is the ultimate tool for speech therapy, and one of the most important exercises for the development of language as a whole. If your child is proficient at reading, have them take turns with you reading a page at a time. Be patient and listen attentively during the times when your child needs extra time to try and retry challenging areas of speech.

Throughout the course of a book, your child is bound to get plenty of practice with their specific speech skill. It also helps the child to listen to your portion of the reading, so they can hear the correct pronunciation of troublesome words and sounds. 

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Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

  • Scrabble

Scrabble is not only a great game to play to practice difficult whole words, but it also puts an emphasis on individual letter sounds. If your child has trouble pronouncing words with the letter F, your child’s speech therapist will most likely focus on letter F repetitions, then syllables with the letter F, then whole letter words. Together, these buildings blocks build a clear pronunciation, and Scrabble provides practice for both letter and word repetitions!

  • I-Spy

If your little one isn’t really for Scrabble, “I-Spy” is a good option. Any speech related-game that compliments your child’s everyday routine is welcome, and none are easier to fit into a schedule than “I-Spy”. You can play this game anytime, anywhere. This game is especially effective for children who have trouble forming “S” or “L” sounds, as they have to repeat “I spy with my little eye” constantly. 

  • Yoga Repetitions

What’s better than doing speech training? Doing speech training while maintaining you and your child’s health! To play this game, have your child hold a yoga pose and see how many speech skill repetitions they can perform before they break the yoga pose. This is an especially well-received strategy for kids who are always moving around. 

[Be sure to check out last week’s ApraxiaMonday featuring TalkYoga]

girl in white shirt and black pants lying on blue exercise ball

Photo by Lena Helfinger on Pexels.com

  • The Card Game

If your child likes playing card games, there is a way to incorporate their speech therapy training into any game of your choosing. Before you play, have your child perform speech skill repetitions. For each correct repetition, the child receives a card. Once the child has received the whole deck of cards, the card game can begin. 

Progress is Progress

When it comes to speech therapy for kids, it is important to remember that your child’s progress is the goal. As long as they are having fun and making progress towards their speech skills, any game you choose or make up in the home is better than none (as long as it follows the guidelines provided by your speech therapist). 

This guide has some great suggestions, but you know your child better than anyone. Feel free to make up your own game that develops their speech skills, while also enjoying some quality time with your child!

happy black father having fun with daughter

Photo by Gabby K on Pexels.com

For more information about Better Speech, please visit: 

Website|Facebook|Instagram 

For apraxia-specific information, please visit HERE.

Better Speech.com is committed to providing affordable and effective online speech therapy for kids and adults. Our clients are matched with the best therapist for their needs and get therapy at the comfort of their home, when it’s convenient for them.


“My daughter’s language skills improved so much in past year.  She can speak to us in complete sentences. And working online made sessions so easy for our family.”

Melissa K., Mom to 5 year old late talker

You might also like this piece about using snack time as a way to work on speech-language skills with toddlers. 

Join us every Monday throughout February

featuring Sunflower Speech Therapy  Dr. T’s Lola Koala Adventure Activity Kits,  The Sensory Studio and Better Speech.com

Join the SPEAKING OF APRAXIA Facebook Community.

For more resources, Q&As, podcasts, more, see the SPEAKING OF APRAXIA page on this website.

download (44)ABOUT THE SLP:

Better Speech is a convenient and affordable online speech therapy for children and adults, passionate about helping all people communicate at their best.  SIGN UP and get matched immediately with a licensed speech therapist. Start improving communication skills from the comfort of your home. Better Speech – for a better future.  Better Speech SLPs are trained in PROMPT: An evidence based practice for speech sound disorders such as Childhood Apraxia of Speech. S.O.S. (Sequential Oral Sensory) Approach to Feeding: To address problematic feeding behaviors & picky eaters. Reading with TLC Lively Letters Program: The Lively Letters program is a powerful evidence based multi-sensory intervention program for kids with various learning challenges, dyslexia, speech and language disorders, and other reading difficulties. LSVT LOUD ®: An effective speech treatment for people with Parkinson’s Disease and other neurological disorders. Beckman Oral Motor Approach: Interventions to increase functional response to pressure and movement, range, strength, variety and control of movement for the lips, cheeks, jaw and tongue. SCERTS: Focuses on building competence in Social Communication, Emotional Regulation and Transactional to address the core challenges faced by children and persons with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Social ThinkingA social skills curriculum intended for students with social learning disabilities, especially those with Autism Spectrum Disorder.  DIR Floortime: Relationship-based therapy for children with autism. The goal in this model of intervention is to play and interact with the child at their developmental level and build on their strengths.

IMG_1175ABOUT YOUR HOST: 

Leslie Lindsay is the creator and host of the award-winning author interview series,“Always with a Book.” Since 2013, Leslie, named “one of the most influential book reviewers” by Jane Friedman, ranks in the top 1% of all GoodReads reviewers and has conducted over 700 warm, inquisitive conversations with authors as wide-ranging as Robert Kolker and Mary Kubica to Helen Phillips and Mary Beth Keane, making her website a go-to for book lovers world-wide. Her writing & photography have appeared in various print journals and online. She is the award-winning author of SPEAKING OF APRAXIA: A Parents’ Guide to Childhood Apraxia of Speech. A former psychiatric R.N. at the Mayo Clinic, Leslie’s memoir, MODEL HOME: Motherhood, Madness, & Memory, is currently on submission with Catalyst Literary Management. Leslie resides in the Chicago area with her family.

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[Other images, unless noted, retrieved from the betterspeech.com website on 2.22.21]

 

WHAT IF THE GHOST OF MARGARET WISE BROWN visited you? THE UPSTAIRS HOUSE by julia fine delves into the delicate postpartum period, children’s literature, and so much more

By Leslie Lindsay 

A terribly haunting and visceral take on the delicate postpartum period, featuring the ghost of children’s author Margaret Wise Brown.

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~WRITERS INTERVIEWING WRITERS|ALWAYS WITH A BOOK~

When I first learned of THE UPSTAIRS HOUSE (Harper, February 2021) by Julia Fine, I knew I had to get my hands on it. Not only does it feature ‘house’ in the title and cover, but it’s surrealistic, feministic, and provocative, melding present-day with the past, a genre-bending exploration of children’s literature, folktale, literature, horror, and more. Truly, THE UPSTAIRS HOUSE is a read unlike any other.

Megan Weiler is home from the hospital after giving birth to a beautiful baby girl, her first child. Her husband, Ben is around, but not near enough, he must travel for work (in this sense, THE UPSTAIRS HOUSE reminds me a bit of Helen Phillips’s THE NEED), leaving Megan alone with infant Clara. Megan is physically exhausted and mentally drained plus, she’s still stewing on that unfinished dissertation, the one about midcentury children’s literature, specifically the life and contribution of Margaret Wise Brown–author of the beloved classic, GOODNIGHT MOON.

THE UPSTAIRS HOUSE vacillates between the present-day (2017) new motherhood, and the 1940s-1950s, the publishing woes and love affair of Margaret Wise Brown and her lesbian lover, the once-socialite and actress, Michael Strange. But it’s also a horror story, in a sense, because Megan is seeing–and interacting–with the ghosts of these women. Here, the reader must suspend reality a bit, but those who are accustomed to speculative fiction will appreciate the dichotomy of this tale.

Please join me in welcoming the lovely and talented—and local Chicagoan—Julia Fine back to the author interview series.

Leslie Lindsay:

Julia! Welcome back. I am so intrigued with THE UPSTAIRS HOUSE, I can honestly say I don’t think I’ve read anything quite like it. What was haunting you—what big question were you seeking answers to?

Julia Fine:

I started thinking about a postpartum ghost story when my son was born in 2017, and drafted most of the novel when he was about a year old. The experience seemed ripe for psychological horror, and I initially imagined a Rear Window-type situation with a new mom up all night with her baby. Obviously that took a very different turn…  Like Megan, my protagonist, I was trying to figure out how much of my old identity I could maintain after becoming a mother. I’ve always been fairly career-oriented, an introvert who needs a lot of alone time, and never someone who felt motherhood to be a calling or “always dreamed of kids” and wanted to make parenting my full-time job. I had a new baby, and I loved him fiercely, but I was also mourning who I’d been and the life I’d had before. I wanted to pay tribute to these conflicting feelings, and I wanted to explore what might happen were a new mother even less comfortable in her new role and given less support.

I had a great support system when my first baby was born: family nearby, an involved partner, no real financial stressors—basically every opportunity to succeed. The transition to parenthood was still the hardest of my life. When I talk to other parents, they generally feel the same way about those first few weeks, but it still feels taboo to admit that occasionally you’ll feel resentment or anger or just gutted by exhaustion and responsibility. Culturally, we need to do better by new parents in so many ways. One of the things I felt like I could do was push this particular conversation forward, and let parents know that these feelings are okay, and they aren’t alone.

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Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

Leslie Lindsay:

Let’s talk a bit about motherhood and the writing/creative life. In some ways, you’re a lot like Megan, your character in THE UPSTAIRS HOUSE. Megan is an academic. She’s working on her dissertation about children’s literature. You have a son and infant daughter, and of course, you’re writing. Am I current in thinking there’s some overlap? And what tips or advice might you give a mother who wants (needs?) to focus on her own mental stimulation while raising kids?

Julia Fine:

This is such a tough one, and it’s been made so much tougher with Covid. Margaret Wise Brown herself once wrote in one of her journals that in the creative life there are times of receptivity, and times of creativity. I’ve been trying to remind myself that being a parent of small children is a season of my life, and it’s alright if I’m not accomplishing as much as I would like outside of keeping my kids loved and well. I wish I had more tangible advice here! With just one kid, I wrote when he napped, but now that I have two under the age of four and no childcare, scheduling is much more difficult. I’m immensely lucky to have a partner who supports me and makes time for my work, whether it’s handling bedtimes or giving me time on the weekends.

cluttered cramped workplace with typewriter papers

Photo by Dimitry Anikin on Pexels.com

Leslie Lindsay:

I was particularly enthralled with the descriptions of Margaret Wise Brown’s writing, the *way* she wrote, how children’s literature emerged, why (and when) it became different, focusing on the sounds the words made, rather than pure entertainment or simplicity. I recognized this when I was a young mother reading GOODNIGHT MOON to my kids. It has a sort of lulling, buoyant rhythm. Can you talk about that, please?

Julia Fine:

Once you know that Margaret Wise Brown was a big fan of Gertrude Stein it seems so obvious, doesn’t it? Margaret was part of a group of progressive educators who pioneered the Here-and-Now style of children’s book, which eschewed “once upon a time” for real world scenarios like “a siren goes whoo whoo” or “here comes the train on the train track”– the kind of thing we’re used to seeing in picture books now but was novel at the time. Margaret came up in this new style, working as a teacher at the Bank Street School, which had a research-based approach to writing for children. They’d test all their books on actual kids and were trying to replicate the way a young child experiences the world through their writing. As she became more successful, Margaret strayed from this more practical, real-world based approach, and sort of straddled the line between the fairy tale and the strictly Here-and-Now book. Her work is a lot more whimsical, has a lot more of a mystical element, than something like Dorothy Kunhardt’s Pat the Bunny.

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“Formidable new talent” (San Francisco Chronicle) Julia Fine, author of the “surreally feministic tale” (Family CircleWhat Should Be Wild, returns with a provocative meditation on new motherhood—Shirley Jackson meets The Awakening—in which a postpartum woman’s psychological unraveling becomes intertwined with the ghostly appearance of children’s book writer Margaret Wise Brown. 


Leslie Lindsay:

I also enjoyed learning about the various homes and cottages inhabited by Margaret Wise Brown. Homes like Cobble Court in NYC and The Only House in Maine, with the ‘door to nowhere.’ And what more can you tell us about the “Witches Wink?” I found all of these really sparked my imagination. And are they really part of the ‘great green room’ from GOODNIGHT MOON?

Julia Fine:

The Witch’s Wink was an actual second story door at The Only House (Margaret’s isolated cabin in Vinalhaven, Maine) whose outer staircase had blown away years ago, so it had turned into a door that opened straight onto nothing. There’s a photograph of Margaret leaning out of that door that inspired my book’s cover. She had a very quirky sense of interior design—very fur-centric, very whimsical. Her Maine house didn’t have a refrigerator, so she kept her milk in the well and her wine in a nearby stream.

So much of the great green room as we think of it is really the artist, Clement Hurd’s, concept. Margaret had a notebook with the words for the book, and a vague design concept (a little bunny in bed in a room that grows gradually darker), but Hurd had worked with her before and clearly knew how to capture her aesthetic. 

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Leslie Lindsay:

Switching gears to postpartum psychosis (and depression), which are such real and serious—and common occurrences—yet stigma still surrounds. Can you talk about that, please and what resources exist for new moms?

Julia Fine:

Yes! Postpartum depression is so common! The cultural conversation around PPD is inching forward, thanks to a lot of brave women bringing their experiences into the public eye. Pediatricians in the US now have moms fill out questionnaires when they bring their babies in for those first few check-ups, but as a country we really lag behind much of the rest of the world in the level of support we give new moms right off the bat.

There’s an organization called Postpartum Support International that can connect you to local care providers, support groups, and other resources, that I’d highly recommend. Action on Postpartum Psychosis is another great resource–though UK based, it can help you look for warning signs and risk factors, and offer community during the recovery process.

I think it is so important that we make it clear that there’s no “right way” to feel postpartum. If you miss your old life, if you’re overwhelmed, if you’re in love with your baby, or angry, or scared, or ecstatic—it’s okay to acknowledge all of it. Someone else out there is feeling that way, too, and there are avenues for support.

Leslie Lindsay:

Julia, this has been so lovely. Thank you! Is there anything I should have asked, but may have forgotten?

Julia Fine: 

Thank you, Leslie. I think this covers so much. 

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Cover and author image courtesy of Harper and used with permission. Artistic image of book cover designed and photographed by Leslie Lindsay. Join her on Instagram @leslielindsay1 #alwayswithabook #bookstagram

For more information, to connect with Julia Fine via social media, or to purchase a copy of THE UPSTAIRS HOUSE, please visit:

ORDER LINKS: 

Further reading: I referenced this article several times in preparation of this piece. You might find it enjoyable and enlightening as well. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Julia Fine is the author of What Should Be Wild, which was shortlisted for the Bram Stoker Superior First Novel Award and the Chicago Review of Books Award. Her second novel, The Upstairs House, is forthcoming from Harper in 2021. She teaches writing in Chicago, where she lives with her husband and children.

Julia Fine (c) Nastasia Mora (1)

ABOUT YOUR HOST:

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Leslie Lindsay is the award-winning author of SPEAKING OF APRAXIA (Woodbine House, 2012) and former Mayo Clinic child/adolescent psychiatric R.N. She is at work on a memoir. Her writing has been published in Pithead ChapelCommon Ground ReviewCleaver Magazine (craft and CNF), The Awakenings Review, The Nervous Breakdown, Ruminate’s The WakingBrave Voices Literary MagazineManifest-Station, and others. Her cover art was featured on Up the Staircase Quarterly in May 2020, other photography in Another Chicago Magazine (ACM) and Brushfire Literature & Arts Journal; poetry in the Coffin Bell Journal, and CNF in Semicolon Literary Magazine; the 2nd edition of SPEAKING OF APRAXIA will be available this fall. Leslie has been awarded one of the top 1% reviewers on GoodReads and recognized by Jane Friedman as one of the most influential book reviewers. Since 2013, Leslie has interviewed over 700 bestselling and debut authors on her author interview series. Follow her bookstagram posts @leslielindsay1.

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#alwayswithabook #literaryfiction #horror #postpartum #motherhood #ghosts #MargaretWiseBrown #GoodnightMoon #TheUpstairsHouse

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[Cover and author image courtesy of Harper and used with permission. Image of Margaret Wise Brown with dog retrieed from the 2017 WSJ article on 11.9.20. Image from the interior of GOODNIGHT MOON retrieved from on 11.9.20. Artistic image of book cover designed and photographed by Leslie Lindsay. Join her on Instagram @leslielindsay1 #alwayswithabook #bookstagram]

Ladee Hubbard on her new novel, THE RIB KING, how it is a historical novel haunted by the present, racial violence, cultural stereotypes; plus, developing strong characters with compelling backstory

By Leslie Lindsay 

Bold, original frame story of a class, race, revenge, set in 1914 at a white home with black servants, THE RIB KING is truly a unique read not quite like any other.

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~WRITERS INTERVIEWING WRITERS|ALWAYS WITH A BOOK~

Spotlight: Women Writers of Color

GLOWING PRAISE for THE RIB KING:

Book Riot – Our Most Anticipated Releases of 2021| Real Simple – The Best New Books to Read in 2021|Chicago Review of Books – 12 Must-Read Books of January | Book Riot – January 2021 Horoscopes and Book Recommendations |Glamour–7 of the Best New Books in January | Vulture – 46 Books We Can’t Wait to Read in 2021 |Lit Hub – Lit Hub’s Most Anticipated Books of 2021|GMA.com – 16 January reads for the new year |Harper’s Bazaar – 24 Books You Need to Read in 2021|The Millions – Most Anticipated: The Great First-Half 2021 Book Preview | Popsugar – From Bravery to Outlawed – These Are the Best Books of January 2021|Ms. Magazine – January 2021 Reads for the Rest of Us | Bustle – The Best New Books, Week of January 18th |Vulture – 27 Notable New Releases Over the Next Two Weeks Lit Hub – 14 new books to fuel your reading resolutions 

I discovered THE RIB KING (Amistad, January 2021) by Ladee Hubbard in a recent issue of RealSimple and was immediately intrigued with the concept of marketing: a rib sauce developed by a black cook serving in a white home. The Barclay family has fallen on hard times. When a proprietor suggests selling Ms. Mamie’s delicious meat sauce, the cash-strapped Mr. Barclay agrees. But he takes credit–mostly–in the form of finances, but he puts the face of the black groundskeeper-cum-butler on the bottle. Here, there’s already a travesty.

But then, when they are on promotional tours to sell the sauce, Mr. Sitwell, the man whose face appears on the label, becomes a bit unhinged, suggesting that he is seeking unconventional ways for revenge.

THE RIB KING reminds me of an episode of DOWNTON ABBEY meets UPSTAIRS, DOWNSTAIRS along with a more old-fashioned tale of racism along the lines of BRER RABBIT. It one sense, THE RIB KING is a careful and thoughtful examination of race, class, inequality, survival, enterprising efforts, but also, about America’s fascination with Black iconography, servants in literature. Structurally, Hubbard utilizes the concept of a frame story, that is, she interweaves a story within a story (different than a subplot), in which Mr. Sitwell is piecing together his family history, including when his ancestors were enslaved, which mirrors the forward story.


“Ladee Hubbard’s voice is a welcome original.”

—Mary Gaitskill


THE RIB KING is brimming with memorable characters; I found them both wry and intelligent while probing at what lies underneath the surface (especially Jennie). That’s what THE RIB KING might truly be about: that appearances aren’t always what they seem.

Told in an elegant, original voice, with a deep sense of metaphor, THE RIB KING is a truly unique read about class, race, survival, and appearances.

Please join me in welcoming the lovely and talented Ladee Hubbard to the author interview series.

Leslie Lindsay:

Ladee, thank you so much for joining us! I understand THE RIB KING is a prequel to the THE TALENTED RIBKINS, your first book, which I admit I have not read. Can you tell us—first, are they intended to be read in order, or stand-alone, and also, what haunted you into writing?

Ladee Hubbard:

They are definitely stand-alone books and can be read in any order. While there is some overlap with characters, making THE RIB KING technically a prequel, the books have very different tones, subjects and themes. THE TALENTED MR. RIBKINS is about an African American family in contemporary Florida, who view their ancestor, The Rib King, as the family patriarch. He is idealized by his descendants even though they know very little about his actual life and the only image they have ever seen of him is an illustration that appears on the label of a sauce can. In 2014, while I was still working on THE TALENTED MR. RIBKINS, I began thinking about who The Rib King might have been as an actual person, his real life and experiences.

As for what ‘haunted me into writing’ his story, my ideas that about this character and his story were informed by things going on in the United States at the time I wrote it. Specifically: the beginnings of a renewed national conversation about racial violence, in particular, the vulnerability of children to racial violence.

When the novel begins the title character is preoccupied with ensuring the safety of three African American children who work with him in the house. That is his motive for the various actions he takes in the book, which ultimately lead to him becoming The Rib King.

In that sense, it is a historical novel that was haunted by the present.

faceless black person picking coffee cherries

Photo by Og Mpango on Pexels.com

Leslie Lindsay:

Although THE RIB KING takes place in 1914, it is so timely and topical. People are still taking credit for someone else’s invention. We still see a divide between class and race. Rich and poor, enterprising and opportunistic individuals of all walks still exist. It’s not always black and white, either. Can you talk about that, please?

Ladee Hubbard:

Many of the book’s themes evolved out of my interest in the cultural impact of minstrelsy, an enormously popular form of entertainment at the turn of the last century. Because the impact is so enduring, many of the conflicts the book’s characters face are still with us today. Considering the persistent appeal and implications of minstrel stereotypes became another way for me to explore links between the past and the present in the novel.

A related theme of the novel is the ongoing struggle of Black people to be recognized as producers of culture in a society where, historically, Black people were initially regarded as commodities themselves.

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Photo by Mudassir Ali on Pexels.com

Leslie Lindsay:

One of the big themes in THE RIB KING is American’s fascination with marketing and also Black iconography in our products, particularly food products. That’s starting to change, and I’m a bit shocked it has taken this long. The Native American woman on Land-O-Lakes butter has gone through numerous transformations over the decades, and now, she’s gone completely. Uncle Ben, as in the rice, he’s changed a bit, too. And there’s Aunt Jemima, Mrs. Butterworth, the chef on the Cream of Wheat box…Caucasian individuals appear on products, too. The Colonel on Kentucky Fried Chicken, the Quaker on oatmeal. Do we really need people on food boxes? Does it matter?

Ladee Hubbard:

At the turn of the last century, many commodities were marketed as modern conveniences, things that made life easier by doing the work for you. When Black people appeared in ads for these products, they were often used to evoke a nostalgia for slavery– it [suggested the] idea that Black people themselves were also things that were expected to happily do the work for consumers. I was interested in the meanings attributed to popular icons such as Aunt Jemima and Rastus, the Cream of Wheat Man at the time they were created as well as what the durability of those icons, their persistent appeal, says about society today.

With respect to representation, I think that for minority or under-represented communities the stakes are higher because for a long time a handful of stereotypes were the only images of Black people that appeared in popular media. In specific contrast, no one would have confused Colonel Sanders as somehow embodying all white men because they were always presented with so many different representations of that identity.

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Leslie Lindsay:

Let’s shift over to Jennie. How I loved her! She’s so bad-ass. She rebuffs Mr. Sitwell, runs her own beauty shop, but she’s resourceful and doesn’t put up with anything. Plus, she’s raising a strong, intelligent, daughter and I love that about her. But Jennie doesn’t come without a tragic backstory. Can you give us a little insight into her character? What—or who—inspired her?

Ladee Hubbard:

When the book begins Jennie is a single mother and former stage performer who is working as a maid in the house with Mr. Sitwell. By the end of the book she owns her own beauty salon and is also an inventor. Both she and Mr. Sitwell had very difficult, traumatic experiences in their childhoods but Jennie forms a strong contrast to Mr. Sitwell, in part because she refuses to let her past define her. Like Mr. Sitwell she has had to construct a new identity in order to survive but she is not hiding from herself. She is a performer. She knows who she is, understand what has been through and is determined to keep going and do what she has to do to survive, despite the pain of her past.

mother and daughter preparing avocado toast

Photo by August de Richelieu on Pexels.com

Leslie Lindsay:

What I think I love about Jennie is how she’s working so hard to give her daughter a better future, a more sturdy foundation. Would you say that’s how you saw her, too?

Ladee Hubbard:

Definitely. I think that her relationship to her daughter is a big source of strength and her will to keep going, no matter the chaos of the world around her. Jennie can’t give up because that would mean giving up on her daughter too and she understands that her daughter needs her. Her love for her daughter is a big part of what gives her the strength to keep imagining a future in which her child can be happy and fulfilled.

Leslie Lindsay:

Ladee, thank you for this. 

Ladee Hubbard:

I’m glad you enjoyed the book!

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Artistic image of book cover designed and photographed by me, Leslie Lindsay. Join me on Instagram for more like this @leslielindsay1 #alwayswithabook #bookstagrammer.

For more information, to connect with Ladee Hubbard via social media, or to purchase a copy of THE RIB KING, visit: 

Website|Instagram

Order links: 

Amazon|Barnes&Noble|IndieBound|Bookshop

WHAT TO READ NEXT:

You may like this Washington Post review of THE RIB KING

LadeeHubbard_Zack SmithABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

Ladee Hubbard is the author of The Talented Ribkins which received the 2018 Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for Debut Fiction. Her writing has appeared in GuernicaThe Times Literary Supplement, Copper Nickel and Callaloo. She is a recipient of a 2016 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award and has also received fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, Art Omi, the Sacatar Foundation, the Sustainable Arts Foundation, Hedgebrook, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Born in Massachusetts and raised in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Florida, she currently lives in New Orleans with her husband and three children.

1B6B942E-E2D9-4517-9773-73A6A5162188ABOUT YOUR HOST: 

Leslie Lindsay is the creator and host of the award-winning author interview series,“Always with a Book.” Since 2013, Leslie, named “one of the most influential book reviewers” by Jane Friedman, ranks in the top 1% of all GoodReads reviewers and has conducted over 700 warm, inquisitive conversations with authors as wide-ranging as Robert Kolker and Mary Kubica to Helen Phillips and Mary Beth Keane, making her website a go-to for book lovers world-wide. Her writing & photography have appeared in various print journals and online. She is the award-winning author of SPEAKING OF APRAXIA: A Parents’ Guide to Childhood Apraxia of Speech. A former psychiatric R.N. at the Mayo Clinic, Leslie’s memoir, MODEL HOME: Motherhood, Madness, & Memory, is currently on submission with Catalyst Literary Management. Leslie resides in the Chicago area with her family.

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[Cover and author image courtesy of Amistad and used with permission. Artistic image of book cover designed and photographed by me, Leslie Lindsay. Join me on Instagram for more like this @leslielindsay1 #alwayswithabook #bookstagrammer]

Apraxia Monday: TALK YOGA creators Amy Roberts & Kim Hughes, both speech-language pathologists and certified yoga intructors talk about the value of kids, speech, & yoga

By Leslie Lindsay 

Yoga + Kids + Speech = some of my very favorite things. 

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~APRAXIA MONDAY|ALWAYS WITH A BOOK~

Spotlight: TALK YOG

I am so delighted to introduce you to two fabulous speech-language pathologists, Kim Hughes and Amy Roberts, both certified yoga instructors and pediatric SLPs. Their practice, TalkYoga is mentioned in the updated, 2nd edition of SPEAKING OF APRAXIA (Woodbine House, 2020) and with good reason—I love yoga!

For years, I have practiced, but it wasn’t until the last five years or so that I really became a yogi. Before that, my daughter, Kate, now 15 with resolving CAS, participated in yoga-like poses during her combined ST/OT sessions. Kate is what we might call a ‘sensory seeker’ and so the movement—and the dedication—yoga provided important feedback and stimulation.

Here, I ask Kim and Amy a few questions about how yoga practice can help kids with speech development. Please join us!

Leslie Lindsay:

Kim and Amy—welcome! I am so pumped about your yoga for kids, TalkYoga program. Can you tell us a bit about how you designed your practice? 

TalkYoga:  

Of course!  In 2005, Amy began working in Washington DC at a school for children with learning disabilities.  Kim was assigned to be her clinical supervisor and an instant friendship began.  Soon we discovered that we shared a love for yoga and all things yogic and the rest is history!  In the Spring of 2007, we created an after school program called “The Language of Yoga.”  Yoga poses were taught to the students and vocabulary was introduced to the students in fun and creative ways.  After years of life, changing jobs, raising children, and supporting each other from afar, eventually the stars aligned, and it was time to re-visit the concept of merging yoga and speech and language therapy.  Talk Yoga was born.  We met weekly in Amy’s basement (while Amy’s youngest daughter was napping), designing a program that incorporated developmental milestones in speech and language and the movement of yoga.  We designed articulation poses, flows, and other movement based methods to bring into our therapy.  We see this concept as a shift from sitting at a table in traditional therapy, and as a way to empower children who often feel as if they cannot do anything quite right.  Yoga’s simple and beautiful asanas help children learn to express themselves in a positive, noncompetitive environment.  They are free to explore, to express, to learn, and to play!

Leslie Lindsay: 

I would think kids would love this! There’s fun, and movement, but maybe there are children who are reluctant? What then? 

TalkYoga:

Yes we have definitely had reluctant yogis!  In Talk Yoga, we never pressure a child to participate.  We honor their unique learning styles and often their need to observe first before they jump right in!  Yoga is an act of bravery for many. It may be new and sometimes uncomfortable.  We feel that teaching children to be okay with new experiences and discomfort is an invaluable skill.  

We have taught classes where children sit on their mats and watch for possibly weeks on end.  For example, in one preschool class we had one little yogi who watched each class intently.  After about 4 months, we heard from his parents that he had been demonstrating the poses to the family at home each week!  He eventually did start to participate in class at his own timing and pace, and showed an increase in self confidence. 

girl in white shirt and black pants lying on blue exercise ball

Photo by Lena Helfinger on Pexels.com

Leslie Lindsay: 

Can you give us some examples of how parents can bring yoga home while also focusing on speech, but maybe not overtly? Maybe a couple of poses for beginners?

TalkYoga:

As therapists, we are always hoping that generalization of skills occurs outside of the therapy room.  We find that when we teach our Talk Yoga articulation poses to our yogis they are eager to share them with their families the minute they get home!  We encourage our clients to teach these poses to their parents and siblings, and include the special sounds , words, and phrases that accompany each pose.  For example, “bubble” and “popcorn” poses are favorites!  These poses address early developing speech sounds.  As we talk about the poses with our clients and their parents we discuss what is happening with our gross motor movements and how this relates to our fine motor movements.  For example, in “bubble” pose, our arms/hands begin together and then strongly burst open as our lips begin together and then burst open to make the “b” sound.  Parents can play with the poses to see how many “b” sounds they can make while in the pose, and then find objects in their home that have the “b” sound – all the while playfully making the yoga pose when an object is found.  “Big bubble bursting” is our special “bubble” catch phrase!  If the child is at the word level, parents can model new words to address the target sound, such as, “Blue bubble bursting; Big bubble ballooning!”  Parents are playing and having fun with their children while addressing articulation skills…and their children aren’t even aware that they are “working!”

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Leslie Lindsay: 

Thank you, Kim and Amy for taking the time! Is there anything else you’d like to add about the benefits of yoga and speech development? 

TalkYoga:

We feel strongly that connecting to gross motor movements helps children connect to the fine motor positioning and movements in their mouths.  We have seen this connection time and time again and continue to be inspired by it!  Talk Yoga also brings so much to language development as well!  We find Talk Yoga breathing techniques, tune-ins, and flows to be wonderful ways to get our yogis to be more mindful, to improve joint attention, improve self-regulation and self esteem.  When these skills are integrated, growth in language skills is possible!

Talk Yoga is a fun and engaging way to teach speech and language skills.  Therapists are meeting the child where they are at, which is often on the floor!  This approach to therapy is exciting for the therapists as well, and our clients see and feel that.  The essence of Talk Yoga is to express, play, and learn!

focused girl meditating while practicing yoga lotus pose

Photo by Gabby K on Pexels.com

For more information, or to connect with Talk Yoga, please visit: 

Website|Facebook|Instagram

You can find a list of certified TalkYoga instructors in your area HERE,

Plus, so much more like information to webinars, freebies, etc.

Join us every Monday throughout February

featuring Sunflower Speech Therapy  Dr. T’s Lola Koala Adventure Activity Kits,  The Sensory Studio and Better Speech.com

Join the SPEAKING OF APRAXIA Facebook Community.

For more resources, Q&As, podcasts, more, see the SPEAKING OF APRAXIA page on this website.

Kim and Amy cream copyABOUT THE SLPS: Kim Hughes, M.A., CCC-SLP  (right) is an ASHA certified Speech-Language Pathologist with 16 years of experience working with children, teenagers, and adults.  She received her Master’s degree in Speech and Language Pathology at The George Washington University in 2000. Her passion is treating children with language disorders, ADHD, ASD, and Dyslexia. She has seen great therapeutic benefits for her students by incorporating movement, play, yoga, and sensory activities into her therapy sessions. Kim has been practicing yoga for 20 years and is certified as a children’s yoga teacher through the Budding Yogis program.  A mother of two preteens, Kim began teaching them yoga in the womb and has continued bonding with them by getting into silly or challenging yoga poses and listening to nature and animal meditations together.  She is grateful to have the opportunity through Talk Yoga to help strengthen communication and connection among parents and their children. She believes yoga can build self-esteem, strength, and inner beauty. When Kim isn’t doing yoga, you can find her in the garden or walking in the woods. She lives in Kensington, Maryland, with her husband, two children, and dog, Mojo.

Amy Roberts, M.S., CCC-SLP (left) is an ASHA certified Speech-Language Pathologist with over 10 years of experience in the field.  She received her Master’s degree in Speech and Language Therapy at the University of Utah in 2004.  Her passion is treating children with articulation disorders and she has loved incorporating yoga concepts such as pranayama and asana practice into her therapy sessions.  She has been practicing yoga since her early college years and recently received her 200 hour training certification from Yoga District in Washington D.C.  As a mother of three, and wife of an Army Ophthalmologist, yoga has kept her grounded and at peace in her ever changing life.  She is thrilled to have the opportunity to share her love of yoga with children and families and her desire to help children understand the power of communication.  She lives in Silver Spring, Maryland with her husband and three children.

IMG_1175ABOUT YOUR HOST: 

Leslie Lindsay is the creator and host of the award-winning author interview series,“Always with a Book.” Since 2013, Leslie, named “one of the most influential book reviewers” by Jane Friedman, ranks in the top 1% of all GoodReads reviewers and has conducted over 700 warm, inquisitive conversations with authors as wide-ranging as Robert Kolker and Mary Kubica to Helen Phillips and Mary Beth Keane, making her website a go-to for book lovers world-wide. Her writing & photography have appeared in various print journals and online. She is the award-winning author of SPEAKING OF APRAXIA: A Parents’ Guide to Childhood Apraxia of SpeechA former psychiatric R.N. at the Mayo Clinic, Leslie’s memoir, MODEL HOME: Motherhood, Madness, & Memory, is currently on submission with Catalyst Literary Management. Leslie resides in the Chicago area with her family.

ORDER NOW 

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#1 Amazon bestseller in communication disorders/special education

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[All images of TalkYoga courtesy of Kim Huges and Amy Roberts or retrieved from their website 2.19.21. Other images, unless noted, from L.Lindsay’s personal archives.]

lyrical and hauntinly sublime literary fiction from yaa gyasi about race in america, but also about depression, anxiety, addiction, spirtuality & science in transcendent kingdom

By Leslie Lindsay 

One woman’s reckoning with her family of origin, its dysfunctional aspects, a suicidal mother, a tragic event with a brother, science, and so much more.  

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~WEDNESDAYS WITH WRITERS|ALWAYS WITH A BOOK~

FEBRUARY SPOTLIGHT: WOMEN WRITERS OF COLOR

A TODAY SHOW #ReadWithJenna BOOK CLUB PICK!

INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER


I had a feeling I would like TRANSCENDENT KINGDOM (Knopf, September 2020), I had no idea how much I would *LOVE* TRANSCENDENT KINGDOM. Yaa Gyasi is animmensely talented writer who tells a dark story with such luminous grace and compassion.


Quick take:

Gifty is a sixth-year neuroscience PhD candidate at the Stanford University School of Medicine. She’s studying the reward-seeking behavior of mice and the neural circuits in depression and anxiety and addiction, and with good reason. As often the case, many scientists study what they study because they have somehow been touched by the issues personally. In Gifty’s case, it’s her family members who have.

Gifty’s brother, Nana, was a talented athlete with much promise, but before all of that, the family immigrated from Ghana to Alabama(and then on to California). Here, we become immersed in the deep south, the unique aspects of sports in this part of the country, but also religion and racism. Still, Gifty is a thoughtful observer, brilliant in her own right, and is plagued with many of her own questions of spirituality and science, guilt, and more. As Gifty grows older, she is determined to discover the scientific basis for suffering–of which she is keenly aware.

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Photo by Ave Calvar Martinez on Pexels.com


“A luminous, heartbreaking and redemptive American story, Transcendent Kingdom is the mark of a brilliant writer who is just getting started.”
—Seattle Times


The structure of TRANSCENDENT KINGDOM meanders and spirals, there is no direct path, and this, I think adds to the story. We see, first-handGifty’s evolution and journeyin becoming the woman she is in the end, because all of these events–our childhood shape us.

Told in first person, TRANSCENDENT KINGDOM is an intimate portrayal of faith, science, dysfunction, family, love, immigration, loss, grief, guilt, and so much more. I had to remind myself that this is not a memoir, although I think it’s evident the author borrowed from her own experiences, as we writers tend to do.

What a gift this book is. Be patient with it–it’s a slower, more contemplative read, but provides so many thinking–and talking points–and will most certainly leave a residue.IMG_5007

Artistic image of book designed and photographed by me, Leslie Lindsay. Follow on Instagram for more like this @leslielindsay1 #alwayswithabook #bookreviews #bookstagram.

~BOOK CONCIERGE~

I was reminded, in part, of the work of Chloe Benjamin in THE IMMORTALISTS (particularly the science pieces) but also some connection to Therese A GOOD NEIGHBORHOOD Maya Shanbhag Lang’s WHAT WE CARRY meets Cara Wall’s THE DEARLY BELOVED. You may also enjoy ANNIE AND THE WOLVES and HIDDEN VALLEY ROAD. 

You may enjoy this NPR article about TRANSCENDENT KINGDOM.

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2117741ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

1B6B942E-E2D9-4517-9773-73A6A5162188ABOUT YOUR HOST: 

 Leslie Lindsay is the creator and host of the award-winning author interview series,“Always with a Book.” Since 2013, Leslie, named “one of the most influential book reviewers” by Jane Friedman, ranks in the top 1% of all GoodReads reviewers and has conducted over 700 warm, inquisitive conversations with authors as wide-ranging as Robert Kolker and Mary Kubica to Helen Phillips and Mary Beth Keane, making her website a go-to for book lovers world-wide. Her writing & photography have appeared in various print journals and online. She is the award-winning author of SPEAKING OF APRAXIA: A Parents’ Guide to Childhood Apraxia of Speech. A former psychiatric R.N. at the Mayo Clinic, Leslie’s memoir, MODEL HOME: Motherhood, Madness, & Memory, is currently on submission with Catalyst Literary Management. Leslie resides in the Chicago area with her family.

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[Cover and author image retrieved from PRH/Knopf on 1.28.21. Artistic image of book designed and photographed by me, Leslie Lindsay. Follow on Instagram for more like this @leslielindsay1 #alwayswithabook #bookreviews #bookstagram]

APRAXIA MONDAY: Dr. T shares her super-fun, hands-on activity kits to supplement her lift-the-flap book, LOLA KOALA’S TRAVEL ADVENTURES

By Leslie Lindsay

Adorable lift-the-flap books designed by a pediatric SLP helping develop
speech and communication skills in children, plus the added adventure of
travel.

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~APRAXIA MONDAY|ALWAYS WITH A BOOK~

Spotlight: Dr. Tinita Kearney

LOLA KOALA ADVENTURE KITS: EGYPT 

2020 National Parenting Products Award Winner

It’s hard to believe that we are in month eleven of this pandemic. While
hope—in the form of a vaccine—is on the horizon, many of us have been confined to our homes (and our local region). If you’re anything like me, you might be feeling a little stir-crazy. And kids are no exception!

I spoke with Dr. T back in September 2020 and wanted to invite her back
because she has a new product that pairs nicely with her LOLA KOALA’S TRAVEL ADVENTURES book #1: Egypt—themed Koala Kits!

But first a bit about the book–

Lola Koala is an explorer who loves to travel the world. Join her on many
adventures as she helps your child to develop foundational language skills along the way!

Hi! I’m Lola Koala and I LOVE to have fun learning new things! I’m also an explorer and I’m always looking for great friends who want to travel and learn with me! There are so many fun things to learn and new places to see- won’t you come along? Open up your favorite Lola Koala book and join me on a great adventure today!

Each “Lola Koala’s Travel Adventures” book is designed to teach children
(ages 2-6 years) a specific language skill. You can be sure that you are supporting your child’s communication and language skills with each read because these books were developed by a pediatric speech-language pathologist. Plus, Dr. T is a busy mom—she gets kids.

Each book centers around a new and exciting travel adventurethis first one
is all about Egypt. Here, your child is also introduced to travel concepts that only enhance their learning experience! It’s a 2-for-1 AMAZING adventure!
Pair Lola Koala books with Koala Kits and you’ve got a fun, interactive,
hands-on way of bringing travel home, all while incorporating important
speech-language skills.

The Koala Kit: Egypt is based on the adventure in book 1 of the Lola Koala’s
Travel Adventures book series, and features hands-on activities and
communication tips that will make learning fun for all!

APRAXIA MONDAY

Please join me in welcoming the lovely & fun Dr. T to the
author interview series:

Leslie Lindsay:

Tinita, it’s so wonderful to chat again. Thank you for taking the time. I am
thrilled to discover your books—and this activity kit is so my jam. Can you
talk about this new addition to the Lola Koala family?

Tinita Kearney:

Thanks for having me again Leslie, it’s always awesome speaking with you! I am super-excited about my Koala Kits and I think families with young children will love them! As a speech pathologist, I encounter all types of little learners – visual, tactile, auditory, etc.- so it was very important for me to create a learning experience that engaged as many children as possible, no matter their learning style. That’s where the Koala Kit: Egypt comes in! There’s something for all types of little learners to enjoy in each kit. It’s really such a fun way to expand on Lola Koala’s Egyptian adventure in Book 1! Children will learn a bit more about Egypt while also increasing their communication skills in versatile ways.

happy asian kids traveling in car

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on Pexels.com

Leslie Lindsay:

So what’s in the kit? And how can it be used with kiddos to help develop
speech and language skills?

Tinita Kearney:

Great question! Each kit includes four hands-on experiences designed for children ages 2-6+ to complete with a caregiver. Kids will dig for lost treasure, create sand art, stencil-paint a tote bag, and design an Egyptian nameplate in this Koala Kit. PLUS, each kit includes a bonus activity that brings an authentic piece of Egyptian history to life! Koala Kits also come with a beautifully designed instruction booklet that provides fun ways to easily grow specific language skills for each activity.

https://fb.watch/3yTIi6KNBn/

Leslie Lindsay:

The pandemic is tough on all. Kids, included. Parents are running out of
ideas of things to do at home. I think this Koala Kit will satisfy the need for
novel experiences while expanding a child’s world. What are some other
extension activities a parent may do to incorporate travel and adventure,
but still stay home and stay safe?

Tinita Kearney:

As a parent who is also in constant danger of running out of ideas in the midst of this pandemic, it was SUPER important for me to create something that checked my most important boxes: fun, educational, hands-on, and practical. The ‘practical’ aspect of each Koala Kit is found in the easy-to-do-at-home extension activities that are included in each instruction booklet. So even after the hands-on activity is complete, kids can continue the fun and extend their learning with the suggested activities and games that are found in each booklet! Families can also get tons of ideas on how to create in-home
adventures by visiting http://www.lolakoala.com and checking out my ‘Newsletter Archives.’ They can also sign up to receive new and useful communication tips & tricks each month.

photo of kids playing with kitchen plastic toy

Photo by Polesie Toys on Pexels.com

Leslie Lindsay:

Lola travels to Egypt in this first book, where do you foresee her going in
the future?

Tinita Kearney:

You know, I get this question all the time, but… it’s a surprise! Lola’s destination is always a secret until the book is actually released. But I will say that no location is off limits and I’m 100% open to input from Lola Koala lovers, so I invite your followers to leave their destination suggestions in the comments section!

Leslie Lindsay:

Tinita, this has been so fabulous! Thank you for taking the time. Is there
anything I should have asked, but may have forgotten? 

Tinita Kearney:

I’ve had an amazing time chatting with you and I’m so glad that you invited me back. As always, your questions were wonderful and I look forward to getting together again!

cheerful father with kids and suitcase

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on Pexels.com

For more information, to connect with Dr. Tinita Kearney via social media, or to purchase her products, please visit:

Website|Facebook|Instagram

Get the Egypt kit HERE.

[Hint: sign up for Dr. T’s newsletter and get 10% off!]

Join us every Monday throughout February right here!

featuring Sunflower Speech Therapy  Dr. T’s Lola Koala Adventure Activity Kits,  The Sensory Studio and TalkYoga

Join the SPEAKING OF APRAXIA Facebook Community.

For more resources, Q&As, podcasts, more, see the SPEAKING OF APRAXIA page on this website.

ABOUT THE SLP:

Tinita O. Kearney, Ph.D., CCC-SLP/L

Discovering her passion early in life, Dr. Kearney began working with children with autism in high school. She pursued this passion in her college years, attaining a Bachelor of Science as well as a Master of Science degree in Speech-Language Pathology.

Dr. Kearney soon found that she also had a passion for research and earned her Doctorate in Speech-Language Pathology with a specialization in autism. She is a published author, a member of many professional organizations and honor societies, and currently serves on both local and state professional boards. She has taught at Howard University, been awarded the Award for Continuing Education (ACE) by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) for demonstrating a commitment to lifelong learning, and currently strives to advance the interests of those in the autism community as an Autism Speaks Volunteer Advocacy Ambassador for the state of Maryland.

ABOUT YOUR HOST/AUTHOR:

Leslie Lindsay is the creator and host of the award-winning author interview series,“Always with a Book.” Since 2013, Leslie, named “one of the most influential book reviewers” by Jane Friedman, ranks in the top 1% of all GoodReads reviewers and has conducted over 700 warm, inquisitive conversations with authors as wide-ranging as Robert Kolker and Mary Kubica to Helen Phillips and Mary Beth Keane, making her website a go-to for book lovers world-wide. Her writing & photography have appeared in various print journals and online. She is the award-winning author of SPEAKING OF APRAXIA: A Parents’ Guide to Childhood Apraxia of Speech. A former psychiatric R.N. at the Mayo Clinic, Leslie’s memoir, MODEL HOME: Motherhood, Madness, & Memory, is currently on submission with Catalyst Literary Management. Leslie resides in the Chicago area with her family.

ORDER NOW 

AMAZON INDIE BOUND|BAM!BOOKSHOP.ORG

#1 Amazon bestseller in communication disorders/special education

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LOVE IT? SHARE IT!

Follow us every Monday right here for more great tips, insights, interviews, more featuring Sunflower Speech Therapy/a fab infographic of CAS, Dr. T’s Lola Koala Adventure Activity Kits, tips for integrating sensory work and yoga with The Sensory Studio and TalkYoga.

#alwayswithabook #amreading #nonfiction #CAS #apraxia #apraxiaofspeech #SLP #childhoodapraxia #extensionactivities #tangiblelearning #learning #visuallearners #kinestheticlearners #family #familyfun #familyactivities #virtualtravel #booksforkids #readingwithkids #kidspeech #sequencing #play #toysforspeech #speechdevelopment #childdevlopment #SpeakingofApraxia

Edgy & LUMINOUS, a twisted tale of love, friendship, art, & so much more in this hot debut–luster–by Raven Leliani

By Leslie Lindsay 

Luminous and edgy, LUSTER is a raw examination of friendship, sex, intimacy, art, and more.

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~WEDNESDAYS WITH WRITERS|ALWAYS WITH A BOOK~

February Spotlight: Women Writers of Color

NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF THE YEAR
A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR: NPR, O Magazine, Vanity FairLos Angeles TimesGlamour, Shondaland, The New York Times Book ReviewBoston GlobeBuzzfeedKirkusTimeGood HousekeepingInStyleThe GuardianLiterary HubElectric LiteratureSelf, The New York Public Library, Town & CountryWired, Boston.com, Happy MagNew StatesmanVoxShelf Awareness, Chatelaine, The UndefeatedApartment TherapyBrooklyn BasedThe End of the World ReviewExile in Bookville, Lit Reactor, BookPage, i-D
A FAVORITE BOOK OF THE YEAR: The New Yorker, Barack Obama
A BEST BOOK FOR HOLIDAY GIFTS: AV ClubChicago TribuneNew York Magazine/The Strategist, The Rumpus

WINNER of the Kirkus Prize and the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize
AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
NATIONAL INDIE BESTSELLER * LOS ANGELES TIMES BESTSELLER * WASHINGTON POST BESTSELLER

I’ll admit to *not* wanting to read LUSTER (FSG, September 2020) because, well…it was on so many lists and so frequently talked about in literary circles. But then I wrote to the biblioracle at the Chicago Tribune, where I offered the last five books I’d read and based on those, was given a ‘reading’ as to what to read next. LUSTER was the recommendation. And so I got the book. I read it. The first few pages I squirmed. What was this? I didn’t like it. At all. But,the writing was rich and textured and I continued. And it started to grow on me.

Edie is a frosty 23 year old black girl scraping by on a dismal salary in publishing. She really wants to be an artist but she needs to do something to make ends meet. She begins dating Eric, a white man married to a medical examiner and they are in an open-marriage. Yet somehow it doesn’t seem as though the wife, Rebecca, is as open about this idea as he claims. They have a daughter, too, who factors into the story.


An irreverent intergenerational tale of race and class that’s blisteringly smart and fan-yourself sexy.”

—Michelle Hart, O: The Oprah Magazine


And then Edie finds herself unemployed and …well, that’s when things really get interesting. LUSTER is rampant with raw imagery, razor-sharp perception, race, marriage, intimacy, hunger…it’s edgy and luminously rendered. There’s some deep, but vague backstory, leading readers to interpret what they will about why Edie seems so damaged. But also, too, there’s some very blunt, bleeding wounds that shape this woman.

The structure is loose and flow-of-consciousness, a fever dream of events cascading in the first person, as Edie sees the world. Each sentence is pulsing with electricity, and the ending is satisfyingly inevitable, that is…it makes perfect sense but isn’t all that predictable.

I’m still on the fence about whether I liked LUSTER. It might not be a top read for me, but it certainly stretched me as a reader. I found myself studying it a micro-level and while I think I’ll remember it because of the ending, because this is a very talented writer and I’m curious to see where her career goes.

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Artistic image of book cover designed and photographed by me, Leslie Lindsay. Follow on Instagram for more like this @leslielindsay #alwayswithabook #bookstagrammer.

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You might also like FEVER DREAM by Samanta Schweblin meets the work of Karen Russell, Yaa Gyasi.

Raven-Leilani-c-Nina-SubinABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

Raven Leilani’s work has been published in GrantaThe Yale ReviewMcSweeney’s Quarterly ConcernConjunctionsThe Cut, and New England Review, among other publications. Leilani received her MFA from NYU and was an Axinn Foundation Writer-in-Residence. Luster is her first novel.

 

1B6B942E-E2D9-4517-9773-73A6A5162188ABOUT YOUR HOST:

Leslie Lindsay is the creator and host of the award-winning author interview series,“Always with a Book.” Since 2013, Leslie, named “one of the most influential book reviewers” by Jane Friedman, ranks in the top 1% of all GoodReads reviewers and has conducted over 700 warm, inquisitive conversations with authors as wide-ranging as Robert Kolker and Mary Kubica to Helen Phillips and Mary Beth Keane, making her website a go-to for book lovers world-wide. Her writing & photography have appeared in various print journals and online. She is the award-winning author of SPEAKING OF APRAXIA: A Parents’ Guide to Childhood Apraxia of Speech. A former psychiatric R.N. at the Mayo Clinic, Leslie’s memoir, MODEL HOME: Motherhood, Madness, & Memory, is currently on submission with Catalyst Literary Management. Leslie resides in the Chicago area with her family.

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[Cover and author image retrieved from on 1.23.21. Author photo cred: Nina Subin. Artistic image of book cover designed and photographed by me, Leslie Lindsay. Follow on Instagram for more like this @leslielindsay #alwayswithabook #bookstagrammer]

APRAXIA MONDAY 2/4: Karli PRESS, CF-SLP joins us for a primer on Childhood apraxia of speech, sequencing, her fabulous infographics, why teletherapy is so great, toys for enhancing communication, more

By Leslie Lindsay 

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~APRAXA MONDAY|ALWAYS WITH A BOOK~

Spotlight: Sunflower Speech Therapy 2/4

Welcome, Karli Press, CF-SLP to the Apraxia Monday series!

I am delighted to chat with Karli because she is so cool and positive and digs kids speech.

Here, she put together this super-informative infographic about childhood apraxia of speech (CAS), which I shared recently, and it’s been making big waves among the folks who follow my SPEAKING OF APRAXIA Facebook page. I am so grateful for this because it really breaks things down.

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CAS is a complex disorder—unless you’re a practicing speech-language pathologist with additional skills and training, it’s a relatively rare speech disorder (typically) only briefly touched on in graduate programs. Still, there are researchers who are studying it and others, too who continue to learn about this sometimes baffling and rare motor-speech disorder. That’s why I love this graphic so much. It really breaks it down.

Karli lives and works as a teletherapist in south Florida and the name of her speech clinic, SUNFLOWER SPEECH—I just love. Her tagline:

Never stop growing.”

Please join me in welcoming the lovely and generously talented Karli Press to

Apraxia Monday.

Leslie Lindsay:

Karli! Thank you for chatting with us. I know you have an interest in CAS—and this graphic is so well-done and so important. When someone asks, “What is childhood apraxia of speech/verbal apraxia?” What are the key take-aways?

Karli Press, CF-SLP:

Hi Leslie! Thank you so much for having me here. I am so excited to share my knowledge on CAS with you all. Great question! When someone asks me, “What is Childhood Apraxia of Speech?” I always make sure to give them the definition in layman terms because I want them to have a true understanding of this speech disorder. That said, CAS is a speech sound disorder where there is a disconnect between the brain telling the articulators how to say a word with the correct MOVEMENT. This is a MOVEMENT disorder. The child has difficulties coordinating the precise movements for speech and can predominantly be noticed when a child attempts to produce one sound to the next sound (e.g., /S/ to /P/ as in ‘spoon’).

Some may say, “Well, my kid must have CAS because he/she has difficulties producing sounds during connected speech also!”

That is not true.

Another key take-away about CAS, is that speech sounds are inconsistent.

For example, when a child attempts to say /P/, it may come out as a /B/ during one production, and the next time, maybe /M/.

This is a result of the disconnect between the brain signaling the articulators to produce the sound. The child usually knows they want to produce the /P/ sound, that they must seal their lips together to make the sound; but there’s a  disconnect and the child produces the wrong sounds, consistently. With CAS, it’s consistently inconsistent. It’s all pretty confusing. Take a peek at this graphic from Karli, which helps break down the speech communication process. 

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Leslie Lindsay:

Since you work as a teletherapist, what might you want parents to know about this mode of therapy delivery? Is it more difficult than in-person? Is it better to have parent-as-a-partner? In what ways can parents assist? Or should they?

Karli Press, CF-SLP:

Tele-therapy was always on my mind. I mean, how incredible is it to be able to provide therapy to anyone and anywhere! As a Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) my goal is always to help as many children as I can. Being in South Florida, there is a large population to provide services for, but I wanted to provide to an even larger population.

Tele-therapy is incredible!

It has provided the world with the opportunity to find a professional that they feel will be the most helpful for their child regardless of living close or far away from them. Many families are hesitant at first when it comes to speech tele-therapy. I wouldn’t be lying if I wasn’t nervous myself the first few sessions! The constant words went through my mind, “I hope I will see progress. I hope I don’t see regression. I hope. I hope. I hope.” Guess what? For some of my patients, I have seen even MORE progress seeing them through tele-therapy than in- person! I have many reasons for this:

1) Children feel most comfortable to express themselves in their natural setting and comforting environment.

2) Functional language is so important and what better way to assist with teaching functional language than being in your own household with the common objects that you are wanting to convey you wants/needs about.

3) The child is not right next to you and can no longer point/gesture instead of using their words. Now that they can’t see where your fingers are going, they are forced to use their words to communicate with you and practice their speech even more!

4) The internet is flooded with tons of interactive games! It never gets boring!

5) The whole family is usually in the house and able to listen to the way the speech therapist is prompting/cueing the child. This allows for the parent to truly understand the proper way to assist their child with their speech. During speech tele-therapy sessions, I highly recommend sitting close to your child and taking a few notes on some of the things your speech therapist is doing to help your child’s speech. Most importantly, ASK. Don’t assume you know what the SLP is doing because if you mess up and start practicing incorrectly with your child, it can really harm the child and make it even more difficult to get your child to create strong motor plans of saying sounds correctly.

low angle photo of sunflowers

Photo by Rahul Pandit on Pexels.com

Leslie Lindsay:

Your work focuses on early intervention and play, too. What types of things can parents do at home—in addition to the speech-language therapy—to enhance speech development? What types of play or toys would you recommend?

Karli Press, CF-SLP:

Early intervention is KEY. The sooner you start speaking to your child– interacting with your child, playing with your child and noticing/addressing any delays that they may have–the better the outcome.

Play is SO important!

Some of my favorite toys for speech-language development are cause/effect toys and pretend play toys.

Cause/effect toys are awesome and so important because a child must realize that their actions will have an effect on their environment. For example, once a child realizes when they press on a button music will start playing, they begin to understand the foundations of conversation and understanding that if they make a sound, someone will respond to them.

Here are some great cause-effect toys:

  • Bubbles
  • Wind-Up Toys
  • Any toy with a button that produces a sound once pressed

Pretend play is imperative for functional communication.

We always want to teach children language that will be useful for them throughout their life and there is no better way to teach that then being hands on and pretending to perform certain tasks.

Here are some great pretend play toys:

  • Kitchen Sets
  • Doctor/Medical Sets
  • Play Food (make it even more realistic and give them real food to play with!)
  • Building Toys

Leslie Lindsay:

When my daughter, Kate—now fifteen, was younger and we were in the thick of her apraxia treatment, we did a lot of work with sequencing. We had these spiral flip cards that sort of went through beginning-middle-end of a certain scene, say, a child getting ready to go outside: shoes, coat, mittens, that kind of thing.  Why is sequencing so important for kids with CAS? Or any kids, really?

Karli Press, CF-SLP:

Sequencing and Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS) go hand-in-hand. When we think about CAS, we know that it is a motor speech disorder that affects the ability to precisely sequence the movements for speech production. A child with CAS needs to have a solid understanding that there is a beginning, middle and end to a story, just like there is a beginning, middle and end to a word or conversation. By practicing sequencing cards, this helps bring awareness to the child’s mind that there are bits and pieces that make up a whole picture; Similarly, there are individual sounds that make up a word/phrase/sentence. It’s important to bring awareness to the broken-down form of speech so that the child focuses on producing each sound precisely without any substitutions, omissions, distortions, etc.

sequencing

Leslie Lindsay:

I love the name of your speech clinic—SUNFLOWER SPEECH—and how it’s all about growing, not being afraid to stand out, yearning, reaching. Can you talk about how you decided on that theme? It’s so warm and comforting.

Karli Press, CF-SLP:

Ever since I was a little girl, I always loved sunflowers. Whenever I look at a sunflower, I think of happiness, standing tall, being proud of who you are, brightness and positivity. It’s hard to look at a sunflower and feel upset. When I knew I wanted to open up my own private practice, I knew that incorporating the bright and uplifting sunflower into my theme would be necessary! Many times, children with speech and language delays/disorders struggle with confidence and self-esteem. As an SLP, I want my patients to know that they have my support to help them

stand tall

be bright

just like a sunflower.

I like to call my students my little seeds that I get to watch grow into a tall, beautiful sunflower.

Leslie Lindsay:

Karli, I so appreciate this and would happily ask questions all day, alas, we have other things to do! Before we go, what’s one last piece of speech advice for the road?

Karli Press, CF-SLP:

NEVER GIVE UP and just like my tagline says, NEVER STOP GROWING. Regardless if you have a speech and/or language delay/disorder, you can be anyone you want to be! Chase after your dreams and don’t let anyone or anything stop you from doing that.

Got questions or comments about the process? Give me a shout! Leave a comment. We’ll do what we can to help. 

Join us every Monday throughout February right here!

featuring Sunflower Speech Therapy  Dr. T’s Lola Koala Adventure Activity Kits,  The Sensory Studio and TalkYoga

Join the SPEAKING OF APRAXIA Facebook Community.

For more resources, Q&As, podcasts, more, see the SPEAKING OF APRAXIA page on this website.

116175407_10223378671877307_2662407253054081332_nABOUT THE SPEECH-LANGUAGE PATHOGIST:

Karli Press is a Speech-Language Pathologist in South Florida specializing in Childhood Apraxia of Speech. She attended the University of Central Florida for her bachelor’s degree and Florida International University for her master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology. She grew up in sunny South Florida her whole life; However, as a tele-therapist, she has the opportunity to help children surpass their speech and language goals regardless of where they are located! Feel free to keep in touch with her by following her social media pages.

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IMG_1175ABOUT YOUR HOST/AUTHOR:

Leslie Lindsay is the creator and host of the award-winning author interview series,“Always with a Book.” Since 2013, Leslie, named “one of the most influential book reviewers” by Jane Friedman, ranks in the top 1% of all GoodReads reviewers and has conducted over 700 warm, inquisitive conversations with authors as wide-ranging as Robert Kolker and Mary Kubica to Helen Phillips and Mary Beth Keane, making her website a go-to for book lovers world-wide. Her writing & photography have appeared in various print journals and online. She is the award-winning author of SPEAKING OF APRAXIA: A Parents’ Guide to Childhood Apraxia of Speech. A former psychiatric R.N. at the Mayo Clinic, Leslie’s memoir, MODEL HOME: Motherhood, Madness, & Memory, is currently on submission with Catalyst Literary Management. Leslie resides in the Chicago area with her family.

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#1 Amazon bestseller in communication disorders/special education

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#alwayswithabook #amreading #nonfiction #CAS #apraxia #apraxiaofspeech #SLP #childhoodapraxia #teletherapy #kidspeech #sequencing #play #toysforspeech #childhooddevelopment #SpeakingofApraxia

Follow us every Monday right here for more great tips, insights, interviews, more featuring Sunflower Speech Therapy/a fab infographic of CAS, Dr. T’s Lola Koala Adventure Activity Kits, tips for integrating sensory work and yoga with The Sensory Studio and TalkYoga.

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[Special thanks to Karli Press, CF-SLP for the generous use of several of her graphics. “Every child deserves a voice” sunflower image retrieved from her FB page on 1.30.21. Others from Karli Press’s personal archives. Artistic image of SPEAKING OF APRAXIA designed and photographed by A. Fors, CCC-SLP and used with permission. Image of K. Press courtesy of K.Press. All other images as credited by WordPress.]

Leesa Cross-Smith’s highly anticipated THIS CLOSE TO OKAY, touching on mental health, illness, infertility, with a comforting hand + writing prompt, more

By Leslie Lindsay 

A cathartic novel about two strangers coming together under adverse conditions, a bevy of emotional baggage, that in the end is hopeful and comforting.

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~WEDNESDAYS WITH WRITERS|ALWAYS WITH A BOOK~

February Spotlight: Women Writers of Color

Marie Claire’s The 2021 Book Releases to Pre-Order and Thank Yourself Later
10 new books the RUSSH team will be reading in 2021
10 most anticipated novels to read this winter @ The Everygirl
16 Passionate Book Recommendations From Your Favorite Authors @ Glamour
Here Are The Best Books To Read in 2021 (So Far) @ Good Housekeeping
32 Great Books To Start Off Your New Year @ Refinery29
43 Books by Women of Color @ Electric Literature
Most Anticipated BIPOC Winter Releases @ SheReads
The 21 Novels We Can’t Wait To Get Our Hands On in 2021 @ Off The Record
10 Most Anticipated Books of 2021, According to Goodreads @ Today
The Most Anticipated Books of Winter 2021 @ Parade
The 55 Most Anticipated Novels of 2021 @ Elle
Most Anticipated: The Great First-Half 2021 Book Preview @ The Millions
The Best New Books to Read in 2021 (So Far) @ Real Simple

THIS CLOSE TO OKAY(Grand Central, Feb 2021) is a dark but ultimately balmy novel about loss, grief, and the generosity of strangers.

It’s a rainy night in Louisville, KY when Tallie Clark is on her way home when she spots a
 man precariously standing on the edge of the bridge.
 She’s a therapist (but he doesn’t know that). She stops, gets out of her vehicle, and talks him down. They share a cup of coffee at a local diner. Here, they connect in ways that seem fast, but also authentic. She convinces him to come back to her home, where she takes care of him for the night–he’s reluctant. It’s a weekend and so Tallie makes it her mission to get provide a safe and comfortable place for this man to unload and recharge. She wants to help him–and in the end, they both heal one another.

Alternating between POVs–Tallie’s and Emmett’s, we learn just the emotional heartache both are slogging through. There are issues with divorce, infidelity, infertility, mental health, even the prison system. While the overall aesthetic and mood of this book is hopeful, cozy, uplifting, it certainly deals with some darker, authentic moments. I really felt a connection with both Tallie and Emmett, for multiple reasons. Tallie is warm, comforting, sunny despite all she has going on. And Emmett, there was such a tender vulnerability there, and also he’s a bit handsome. At times, I wasn’t sure about the safety and reality of this event.

THIS CLOSE TO OKAY is glowing with sensory detail, smells, emotion, and the warm touch of a comforting hand.

WRITING PROMPT: 

What Leesa Cross-Smith does so in THIS CLOSE TO OKAY is evoke emotion through all senses. There are candles and savory smells wafting from the kitchen, searing meat, and bubbling water fountains. Write a scene in which you tap into all of the senses–then write the same scene without them. Which do you prefer and why? If reading is truly a collaboration between writer and reader, what do you find truly connects? 

Also, there was a cover change mid-way through production of THIS CLOSET TO OKAY. Which cover do you prefer? Does one evoke more emotion or a sense of place than the other? How are covers designed to grasp reader’s eye? And do they have any bearing on the season in which they are released? 

Artistic image of book cover designed and photographed by me, Leslie Lindsay. Follow on Instagram for more like this @leslielindsay #alwayswithabook #bookstagrammer.

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For more information, to connect with Leesa Cross-Smith via social media, or to purchase a copy of THIS CLOSE TO OKAY, please visit: 

ORDER LINKS:

~BOOK CONCIERGE~

You might also like AN AMERICAN MARRIAGE by Tayari Jones

memeABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

A PEN Open Book Award Nominee, Leesa Cross-Smith has been a finalist for the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction and Iowa Short Fiction Award. She is the author of the short story collection Every Kiss a War and lives in Louisville, KY

IMG_1175ABOUT YOUR HOST: 

Leslie Lindsay is the creator and host of the award-winning author interview series,“Always with a Book.” Since 2013, Leslie, named “one of the most influential book reviewers” by Jane Friedman, ranks in the top 1% of all GoodReads reviewers and has conducted over 700 warm, inquisitive conversations with authors as wide-ranging as Robert Kolker and Mary Kubica to Helen Phillips and Mary Beth Keane, making her website a go-to for book lovers world-wide. Her writing & photography have appeared in various print journals and online. She is the award-winning author of SPEAKING OF APRAXIA: A Parents’ Guide to Childhood Apraxia of Speech. A former psychiatric R.N. at the Mayo Clinic, Leslie’s memoir, MODEL HOME: Motherhood, Madness, & Memory, is currently on submission with Catalyst Literary Management. Leslie resides in the Chicago area with her family.

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[Cover and author image courtesy of Grand Central Publishing and used with permission. Artistic image of cover designed and photographed by me, Leslie Lindsay. Note: the original/early cover design has changed. The finished cover will be the one on the left. Please join me on Instagram @leslielindsay1 for more bookish things/nature photography.]

APRAXIA MONDAY series 1/4: does my child have apraxia of speech (CAS)? plus, leslie lindsay reads from speaking of apraxia, hints & Tips for selecting an SLP, more

By Leslie Lindsay 

Author of SPEAKING OF APRAXIA reads from the first few pages of of the book, discusses how to find a speech-language pathologist (SLP). 

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~APRAXA MONDAY|ALWAYS WITH A BOOK~

Spotlight: Does my child have apraxia of speech (CAS) 1/4? 

Years ago, as a new mom, I was so, so eager to hear those first, tender words from my first child. When they didn’t come, I worried. But then I thought, “kids develop at different rates, it’s no big deal.” When others–my mom-friends, the neighbors, the pediatrician–raised an eyebrow, I was even more worried. After all, Kate could hear and seemed to understand everything we said. So what was the problem? 

Here, I read a bit from the first few pages of SPEAKING OF APRAXIA (Woodbine House, 2020), which might help put things in perspective. 

 

#1 Amazon bestseller in communication disorders/special education

So impressed with this awesome work! Every chapter was SO easy to get through and jam-packed with gold nuggets for parents and caregivers!”

Your next step, if you’re truly concerned about your child’s speech development, is to get an evaluation by a speech-language pathologist (SLP). You do not necessarily need a referral from your doctor to take your child to an SLP (unless your insurance requires it or you want to see an SLP whom your pediatrician especially trusts and respects). You can find lists of SLPs on the ASHA website, and can search by keyword to include your state or your child’s suspected diagnosis. Worst case scenario: you go to the SLP only to hear nothing is wrong. It’s better to be safe than sorry!

WHAT’S AN SLP, ANYWAY? 

Simply put, the SLP is the key player in helping your child make progress with speech skills and a sounding board for you. He or she is also a professional with a master’s degree (some may have a PhD) with a background in communication disorders. SLPSs complete a practicum—usually a year in length—following their graduate program. SLPs are required to be licensed in the state in which they practice and must complete continuing education criteria to maintain their licensure. They are also accredited by the American-Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). They perform evaluations, deliver a diagnosis, carry out therapy, and recommend “homework” for you. They are also there to field questions and concerns and give you resources for additional information.

SLPs are the only professionals qualified to treat CAS. SLPs work hard with your child to model and support developmentally appropriate communication. It takes patience, persistence, humor, and creativity, along with organization and good interpersonal skills to be an effective child SLP. I list a qualities and qualifications to look for in your child’s SLP in chapter 3 of SPEAKING OF APRAXIA, so be sure to check that out. 

When we first started therapy, I sat in with Kate. I felt more confident and eager to replicate some of the techniques she was using in therapy. On the other hand, your child may be less likely to perform with you in the room; you might be a distraction. Doing what works best for you, your child, and your SLP is key. Remember, it’s a collaboration. 

Got questions or comments about the process? Give me a shout! Leave a comment. We’ll do what we can to help. 

Join us every Monday throughout February right here!

featuring Sunflower Speech Therapy  Dr. T’s Lola Koala Adventure Activity Kits,  The Sensory Studio and TalkYoga

Join the SPEAKING OF APRAXIA Facebook Community.

For more resources, Q&As, podcasts, more, see the SPEAKING OF APRAXIA page on this website.

IMG_1175ABOUT YOUR HOST/AUTHOR: 

Leslie Lindsay is the creator and host of the award-winning author interview series,“Always with a Book.” Since 2013, Leslie, named “one of the most influential book reviewers” by Jane Friedman, ranks in the top 1% of all GoodReads reviewers and has conducted over 700 warm, inquisitive conversations with authors as wide-ranging as Robert Kolker and Mary Kubica to Helen Phillips and Mary Beth Keane, making her website a go-to for book lovers world-wide. Her writing & photography have appeared in various print journals and online. She is the award-winning author of SPEAKING OF APRAXIA: A Parents’ Guide to Childhood Apraxia of Speech. A former psychiatric R.N. at the Mayo Clinic, Leslie’s memoir, MODEL HOME: Motherhood, Madness, & Memory, is currently on submission with Catalyst Literary Management. Leslie resides in the Chicago area with her family.

 

ORDER NOW 

AMAZON | INDIE BOUND|BAM!| BOOKSHOP.ORG

#1 Amazon bestseller in communication disorders/special education

Let’s be social! Instagram|Facebook|Twitter|Bookshop.org

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#alwayswithabook #amreading #nonfiction #CAS #apraxia #apraxiaofspeech #SLP #childhoodapraxia #childhooddevelopment #SpeakingofApraxia

Follow us every Monday right here for more great tips, insights, interviews, more featuring Sunflower Speech Therapy/a fab infographic of CAS, Dr. T’s Lola Koala Adventure Activity Kits, tips for integrating sensory work and yoga with The Sensory Studio and TalkYoga