All posts tagged: apraxia

Say That Again: Mother Knows Best

By Leslie Lindsay Here’s a post that ran over the summer when I was a guest blog on The Speech Ladies Blog.  Thought it was worth repeating as we struggle with myths and facts related to CAS.  Of course, next week is Thanksgiving and you are likely to be spending some time with your own mother (or mother-in-law).  These myths and facts just may help you get through dinner.    (image source: http://www.smashboxstudios.com/yello/2012/05/weekend-shenanigans-may-11-13-2012/vintage-mother-lg/) Your Mother Says:  “Einstein was a late-talker.”  You can respond:  “That may be true, but he was also a mathematical genius.” Einstein began talking at age three but he was still not fluent when he turned nine.  Research on Einstein’s brain suggested to some neuroscientists that he was a late-talker because of the unusual development of his brain, as revealed by an autopsy.  No one knows if this is the reason why Einstein took so long to develop the ability to speak, much less whether this is true of the other people of outstanding intellect who were also late in beginning to speak.  (See “The …

Apraxia Monday: A Day Late and A Dollar Short, Dealing with Conferences

By Leslie Lindsay I know, I know I am late with my usual “Apraxia Monday” blog and here’s why:  it’s conference time around here …which really means the kiddos are home from school, thus decreasing my writing time.  But I have some good news and bad news:  the conferences went off without a hitch.  With one tiny little exception.  (image source: http://www.huntsville-isd.org/cms/One.aspx?portalId=2997834&pageId=10156746) This time. Let me just back-track a bit to one of the very first parent-teacher conferences we ever attended.  It was near Thanksgiving of that year.  My husband and I were all set for our annual trip to St. Louis where we spend the holiday of thanks.  The minivan was packed, the kids ready.  One last stop:  Miss Lisa’s classroom for conferences.    At the time Kate was 3 1/2 years old. She was in the school district preschool for “severe apraxia.” She had only a handful of words in her vocabulary, and some of those weren’t really words at all…more like sounds and approximations in conjuction with a gesture that we knew meant *something.* We walked into the …

Apraxia Monday: Practicing Pirate Poems

By Leslie Lindsay She shuffles her feet and looks up at me, a smirk growing across her face.  I nod and prompt her to continue.  “I’m Captian Kid…my treasure is hid.” Her voice is strikingly loud and clear.  My heart speeds up a little.  You can do it, kiddo!  It reminds me a lot of the time I sat (hugely pregnant with #2) in a cramped speech-pathologist’s office when this same little girl was being evaluated for a “speech delay.”  You can do it, kiddo!  I chanted in my mind.  Only back then it was simple imitation tasks like, “can you say, ‘moo?’ ” Fastforward, nearly 6 years and this little girl–the one who couldn’t say ‘mama’ at  2 years old–is now reciting poems in 2nd grade.  She has childhood apraxia of speech (CAS).  Chances are, if you are reading this then you care deeply about a child with delayed speech or CAS.  It’s hard.  It’s baffling.  It’s discouraging.  But, I tell you…with proper interention (frequent, intense, and continuous) speech therapy with a qualified SLP, your child will …

Say that Again?! Green Eggs and Ham with a side of Apraxia

By Leslie Lindsay (image source: http://www.lacrosselibrary.org/index.asp) [This post previously ran over the summer.  Here it is again in case you missed it.]  I don’t know about you, but I love books.  I love kids.  And when one combines the love for children and literature, what often results is the abundance of words. And perhaps the proud moment of announcing, “Hey—she can read!” a year of two ahead of schedule.  But not if you have a child with apraxia.* And so we read.  As parents we read parenting books about late-talking children.  We read about speech development and ways to stimulate our child.  We read books to Kate.  Simple board books by Dr. Seuss and Sandra Boynton that had the happy cadence of alliteration and rhyme.  We pointed out illustrations in the book, “Oh, look-y here…can you see the birdie?  Can you say bird?”  We engaged in dialogic reading with our daughter, “What do think will happen next?”  And nothing.  Sure, she understood everything we said, even the hard words.  We could tell because she would be …

Say That Again: Imagine Being a Parent of a Child with Apraxia of Speech (CAS)

By Leslie Lindsay [This was  previous post over the summer.  Here it is again if you missed it–or are just now joining us].  (image source: http://speechtherapyweb.com/ 10.15.12) At two years old, Kate was a beautiful, energetic, and happy toddler. With the exception of one word—hi—Kate was as quiet as a mouse. We wondered if something was wrong. Even as a baby, Kate rarely babbled and cried; she was beautiful and unique with red hair and bright blue eyes.  She was, in a word, “perfect.” So why were we worried? After all, she could understand everything we said, even the big words.  And what was so wrong with having a quiet, happy toddler?  But there were times my heart would sink. Gaggles of women who had all been in the same childbirth class a year or so earlier met up for our summer book discussion.  They were chattering about how their children were saying new words every day.  One mother proudly shared, “Oh, Maddie said elephant yesterday at daycare.  I hate that I missed it.”  I pulled …

Say That Again?!: How SLPs Can Help Parents Cope with CAS

By Leslie Lindsay (image source: http://flhealthykids.wordpress.com/2010/07/) If you have been reading SPEAKING OF APRAXIA (Woodbine House, 2012) then you know each chapter concludes with a summary called, “Say That Again?!”  In spirit of the book, this series on Apraxia Monday will be the “Say That Again” series.   Ready?  Future SLPs:  Our Children with CAS Need your TLC By Leslie Lindsay, R.N. B.S.N. You won’t soon forget her.  The red hair and blue eyes the size of saucers will linger in your memory.  So, too will the fact that she is as fire-y and energetic as that copper hair that cascades down her back, framing her freckled face with possibility.  And when you hear her speak, you may have an inkling that she once suffered from moderate to severe childhood apraxia of speech (CAS), or you may be none the wiser. Although Kate is a bright, creative, and eager soon-to-be 2nd grader, she has overcome a road block most of us never have to deal with: a struggle to communicate expressively.  And why do I share …

Apraxia Monday: A Gossip Columnist Shares “Speaking of Apraxia”

By Leslie Lindsay (image source: http://socialtimes.com/another-online-newspaper-ventures-into-socal-shopping_b43352) Talk of the Town: Gossip Queen & Child Development Expert Answers your Most Pressing Questions. Today’s Topic: Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS) Saturday, September 24, 2012 Dear Miss Talks-a-Lot:  Argh!  I am so frustrated.  My 3 year old son has so much difficulty talking.  It’s like he knows what he wants to say, but he can’t quite get the words out. Everything else [developmentally] seems to be right on target, yet he just jibbers and gestures.  What could be going on?  –Frustrated in Colorado(image source: http://www.destination360.com/north-america/us/wyoming/rocky-mountains) The Rocky Mountains plus the rugged beauty of Wyoming add up to Dear Frustrated in Colorado: It sounds like your son may be suffering from Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS), this neurologically based motor speech disorder is characterized by the inability to connect thoughts with verbal output.  It’s as though the child knows what he wants to say, he just cannot coordinate the muscles of articulation with his brain. Often, kids with CAS will gesture or create their own words and phrases to …

Apraxia Monday: ABCs & CAS (Why Reading is Hard, How YOU Can Help)

By Leslie Lindsay We know that having children with CAS presents a different set of challenges.  From not being able to commuicate clearly to learning to read, seems there is always something we need to help our little people with .  Learning to read with CAS is topic that is often up for discussion.  Why is it so darn hard for these kiddos to learn to read?  And what can you do to help your child?  Why Is Reading Difficult for Children with CAS?  Kids with apraxia have several problem areas to consider when reading comes into the picture: Kids who aren’t making sounds accurately (or at all) may have a decreased visual representation of what letters look and sound like.   Kids with speech-language disorders may have a distorted sense of what the symbols (letters) represent (letters are symbols which represent words).   Kids with apraxia may have “differently-wired” brains, affecting the way they read, learn, and interpret information.   Children affected with CAS may have a decreased ability to coordinate the vocal track …

Apraxia Monday: Tips for Teachers

By Leslie Lindsay Your children may already be back in school–or you may have week or two before the big day.  In any case, you’re likely thinking about it–specifics, plus the extras like how you’re going to talk to your child’s teacher about CAS (if you haven’t already).  But what if you are a teacher who has a child with apraxia in your classroom this year?  Here are a few tips and ideas from parents who may help you understand what all of the hoop-la is about.  (retrieved from CASANA, 8.30.12, a YouTube video]   See this short video on Apraxia.  It’s a worth your 3 minutes!   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_nN9dG5F7M0 Tips for Teachers If you are a teacher reading this, then hooray! I applaud your efforts to learn more about the kiddos in your classroom. Read the child’s IEP. If parents challenge your knowledge, make special requests, or argue for a special IEP meeting, remind them that you are on their side and please don’t take it personally.As parents we just want the very best for our children and …

Apraxia Monday: Preparing Yourself for School

By Leslie Lindsay Sending your child back to school–or just sending her there for the first time–is nerve-wrecking.  Will she be okay?  Will she be able to verbalize her thoughts?  Answer the teacher?  Get her basic needs met?  Deep breath.  I know you have concerns.  I have been there myself.  The best thing you can do as a parent is present a happy, carefree approach to school. Kids pick up on stress and anxiety like ants on a crumb at a picnic…if they feel your anxiety, they will carry it away, too.  Now, that’s not to say that you shouldn’t worry, or you shouldn’t have questions…you do and that’s a good thing.  Writing down a list of your concerns can help, as does talking them over with your spouse/partner, your child’s teacher, a trusted friend, even your child’s SLP may have some insight.   Worry about the things you can control.  I have been known to worry about things waaay out of my control, like how is she going to get from the bus to her classroom?  But the thing …