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

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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 ColoradoRocky Mountains(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 get their needs met.  Your best bet would be to have him evaluated by a qualified speech-language pathologist(SLP) who has a background in childhood apraxia of speech. From there, you will receive an official diagnosis, a treatment plan, and suggestions for next steps.

Dear Miss Talks-A-Lot:

I have heard of this new book, SPEAKING OF APRAXIA and wonder what your thoughts are? 

–Curious Mom in Missouri

Dear Curious:                       

So glad you asked! SPEAKING OF APRAXIA was recently published by Woodbine House, a leader in producing quality special needs books for parents, professionals, and caregivers since 1985.  It is my understanding that it is the first non-academic book designed exclusively on the subject of CAS. Written by mom and former child/adolescent psychiatric RN from the Mayo Clinic, this book embodies everything the author, Leslie Lindsay thought about, worried about, and learned about during her course of raising a daughter with CAS. She wanted a book when her daughter was diagnosed, but was disappointed in the options available.  Plus, she wanted to help others walking the same path.  SPEAKING OF APRAXIA truly is a labor of love. It has received national and international recognition from SLPs, parents, and educators. A Georgia-based parent says: 

“A comprehensive encyclopedia on childhood apraxia of speech (CAS) & self-help book for both parent and child. In addition to having over 400 pages full of facts, Leslie chronicles bits & pieces of her own daughter’s journey with apraxia.”

Anita, a speech-pathologist in Sao Paulo, Brazil shares, “Few professionals know Apraxia. Many children are without diagnosis, teachers and educators and parents completely unaware. I bought your book and loved it, it is very practical and thorough and sure I can use with parents of my patients….surely, it will be very useful for all children with Apraxia.”

Dear Ms. Talks-a-Lot:

All this talk about SPEAKING OF APRAXIA—why should I read this book over others that are available on late-talking children? 

–Wondering Why in Wyoming

Dear Wondering:

SPEAKING OF APRAXIA (Woodbine House, 2012) is the most comprehensive book available on the subject of childhood apraxia of speech (CAS), hands down! The author, Leslie Lindsay not only lived apraxia for over 4 years, but she read, researched, and facilitated her own support/education groups with parents of children with CAS.  Extracting from her life experiences and weaving in research, expert opinion, charts, and other graphics, she takes readers from suspecting a problem to family and child coping, advocating/networking, and beyond.  There is an appendix that covers co-morbid conditions such as autism, Down syndrome, ADHD, and more.  You’ll also find information on navigating the educational systems, how to help your child at home and so much more.  Truly a book that should be on every parent—and SLP’s bookshelf, as parent in Kentucky shares, “I REALLY really enjoyed the book. [Ms. Lindsay] went above and beyond, really. …I sincerely believe this is MUST READ for so many!” –Parent in Kentucky.

An SLP in Chicago,“I have read the book & I love it! [Ms. Lindsay] did a great job writing as an informed parent. I just adore [Lindsay’s] writing style and point of view. I’m confident that it will be a resource for parents nationwide.”–Amy, CCC-SLP

[this is a mock newspaper article written by the author of SPEAKING OF APRAXIA: A Parent’s Guide to Childhood Apraxia of Speech, Woodbine House, 2012.  The quotes are real, but names have been changed to protect privacy.  SPEAKING OF APRAXIA is available through the publisher’s website, www.woodbinehouse.com, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble (in-store and on-line).] 

Bio:  Leslie Lindsay is a mom and writer.  She lives in suburban Chicago with her children, husband, and basset hound.  She is at work on her next book, a novel.  You can follow Leslie on Twitter, @Leslie1, read her blog, “Practical Parenting with a Twist,” www.leslie4kids.wordpress.com, and visit her Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Speaking-of-Apraxia-A-Parents-Guide-to-Childhood-Apraxia-of-Speech/235772599837084?ref=hl

 

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

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By Leslie Lindsay abc_book.gif

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:

  1. 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 in producing a word. 

When it comes to reading comprehension, researchers say that some kids with apraxia and other learning difficulties lack the appropriate strategies to allow them to understand what they just read. It’s complicated. Reading requires a lot: decoding words, visualization, understanding context, activating prior knowledge, a large vocabulary, and the ability to comprehend what you just read. For example, if a kid has to work really hard to understand (decode) the words on the page, then he may not have much energy left over for defining an unfamiliar word.

And now…how you can help! 
 (image source http://catholicblogger1.blogspot.com/2010/06/parent-involvement-in-ccd.html)

  • Read wordless books (Or have your child illsutrate her own). Don’t disregard books that have no print. They are important in getting kids to be the storyteller. Each time a child “reads” a wordless book, the story changes slightly. Of course, this may be harder to do if your child isn’t saying much. But the more you present the book, the more he will attempt.  
  • Engage in dialogic reading. What this means is you stop and ask your child questions about the book you are reading. “Oh, look. I see a little girl who is ready to go to school. She has a backpack. Can you say ‘backpack?’ What else do you see?”
  • Read riddles.Look for a riddle book the next time you are at the library. Great for long car rides or an after-dinner family activity. Riddles provide good exposure to, and practice with, the nuances of language.  Riddles also help develop a rich vocabulary and improve reading comprehension.
  • Explore letters and sounds.Develop a “Letter Center” at home if you have the space. Supply it

    with magnetic letters, alphabet puzzles, sponge letters, foam letters, sticker letters, rubber letter stamps, clay/Play-Doh and cookie cutters shaped like letters, and perhaps even computer software that focuses on the alphabet. In the same area, it may be a nice extension to offer different types of literacy materials: catalogs, labels, newspapers, empty cereal boxes, recipe cards, junk mail, and greeting cards. If it has print on it, it counts! 

  • Clap it out. You may want to start with a simple adaptation of clapping out syllables. Say, “I am going to clap my hands in a pattern. Repeat after me.” Then clap out a simple little sequence. Your child is listening to the rate and pattern of your claps. He should repeat it back to you. You can modify to add jumping or stomping in lieu of clapping. 
  • Play the “Letter a Day” game. Pick a letter and have it be the focus of your day. “Today we are going to focus on the letter B. Let’s see how many letter Bs we can find. Let’s try to say words that begin with the letter B. But first, let me show you what the letter B looks like.”  Everywhere you go, point the letter out in its uppercase and lowercase form. Practice making the /ba/ sound. Make a collage with the letter B. Play ball and say B words as you bounce or roll it to each other.  
  • Shop at home. Give your child a shopping bag. On the bag, write or attach a letter. Tell him to go around the house and collect things in his bag that begin with that letter sound. Talk about what he shopped for together. 
  • Make a name collage. Start by writing your child’s name on a large sheet of construction paper. Then look in old magazines and catalogs for items that start with the sound of his first name. Steven=stove, stop, stick, stone, stay, story. Let your child do some of the work.
  • Match letters to toys. Grab a few of your child’s favorite toys. Spread them out on the floor and make your own alphabet cards, making sure that you include some “correct” as well as “incorrect” cards. For example, say your grouping of toys consists of ball, doll, car, puzzle, and jump rope. Your alphabet cards would include the letters Bb, Dd, Cc, Pp, Jj. Throw in a couple of random letters as well, Rr, Zz, Hh. Have your child match the correct card to the correct toy. Practice saying the name of the object, as well as the sound the letter makes with your child.
  • Does this rhyme? Play this simple game in the car, in a waiting room, or even in the grocery story. Say, “I am thinking of three words. They are cat, bat, and ball. Which words rhyme?”

Be sure to check out and LIKE the FACEBOOK PAGE for SPEAKING OF APRAXIA.  Updated regularly with hints, tips, ideas, blogs, and more.  http://www.facebook.com/pages/Speaking-of-Apraxia-A-Parents-Guide-to-Childhood-Apraxia-of-Speech/235772599837084?ref=hl 

[This above was a modified excerpt from SPEAKING OF APRAXIA: A Parent’s Guide to Childhood Apraxia of Speech, Woodbine House, 2012. Like what you read here? Get the book! Available thru Amazon, B&N, and the publisher’s website, www.woodbinehouse.com]

Apraxia Monday: Improving Reading Skills

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children_reading-istimewa.jpg image by bankfotowol
By Leslie Lindsay 

If you have a child with CAS (childhood apraxia of speech), then you are probably aware that verbal communication is a bit of a…well, challenge.  It may also come as no surprise that reading and writing may also be a challenge for your little one with CAS.  You will likely start to see this struggle as your kiddo hits the later preschool years (Pre-K) moving into kindergarten.

Since it’s summertime, it may be a great time to practice these skills without the pressure to perform.  You and your child can progress at a rate that is comfortable to you….and come fall, your child with apraxia is ready to put those hard-learned skills into action.

But let’s start with the basics: why is it so hard for kids with CAS to read and write?  Aside from pulling out some heavy-duty texts to explain all of this, I will just provide a couple of basics:

1.  Kids who aren’t making sounds accurately–or at all–may have a decreased visual of what letters look–and sound like.

2.  Kids with speech-language disorders may have a distorted sense of what the symbols (those things we call “letters”) represent (words). 

3.  Children with apraxia may have “differently wired” brains, affecting what–and how–they read, learn, and interpret information.

4.  Children with apraxia may have a decreased ability to coordinate the vocal track in producing a word.

The National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD) created the National Reading Panel.  They determined that kids need a variety of techniques to learn to read:

  • Phonemic (sound) awareness
  • Phonics
  • Fluency
  • Guided oral reading
  • Teaching of vocabulary words
  • Reading comprehension strategies 

If that all sounds like blah, blah, blah to you…bear with me.  It’s not nearly as mysterious as it sounds.

So, What’s a Parent to do?!

Make it fun.  That, of course is your #1 goal when you work with your child on these often hard-to-master skills.  “If it ain’t fun, they ain’t gonna do it!”

Read, Read, Read!  You can start with a love for reading.  Let your child see you reading.  Really, anything counts…magazines, books, newspapers.  Just the fact that you are reading sets the stage for your child to do the same.  But also read with your child.  Start out with repetitive books.  Those stories that are predictable may be boring to you, but for your child they bring to life the idea that they can predict what is going to happen next (a very empowering skill), plus, they are easier to memorize in which it may look as if your child is “reading” it on her own.

Introduce rhyme.  Read books that rhyme, or just make up silly jingles while doing your everyday things…like preparing lunch or driving in the car.  “What rhymes with jelly?  Belly!  That’s right!  I’ve got a jelly belly!!”  Can you say that?!  Let me hear you…

Next, you can have your child discriminate rhyme.  “What rhymes with Sam?  Am or eggs?”  The sillier the better.

Then have your child produce rhyme.  It works like this:  “I am thinking of a word that rhymes with Sun, but starts with /f/ [fun].  Just make sure you make the sound of the letter /f/ and not say, F.  (A great activity to do on those summer road trips).

We’ll, talk more about helping your child with reading skills next week on “Apraxia Monday.”  Stay tuned, too for later weeks on writing skills.

Check out these blogs for a review of Speaking of Apraxia (Woodbine House, March 2012) and a chance to win a FREE copy of the book, where you can learn more information about helping your child with school-based skills like reading and writing in chapter 12. 

Special thanks to PediaProgress of Downer’s Grove, IL for information on the NICHD and rhyming examples from their April 5, 2012 presentation.  www.pediaprogress.com

 

 

 

Apraxia Monday: Dealing with the Dark Days

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By Leslie Lindsay

I am a day behind…but, here goes “Apraxia Monday” on Tuesday.  I’d like to share with you a few comments, emails that I have received from folks who have a child with with apraxia (CAS).

“Dear Leslie, I have a son with apraxia.  While he is in intensive therapy and progressing, I am an absolute wreck.  I have been anxiously awaiting the arrival of your book for months.  Bless you for all you have done to help us parents.”

And another….

“Dear Leslie, My 2.5 year old daughter has apraxia.  She has been in therapy since she was 18 months old.  Most days we go about our daily life without dwelling on apraxia too much–but I have days where I break down and fear for the future.  I need someone who can understand and relate.  It’s getting harder to see her grunt at people and have them stare at me as if I am a clueless parent.  Instead of driving her to [speech] therapy, I dream I am driving her to ballet class in a pink frilly tutu.”

I chose both of these emails for two reasons…

1.  They represent both boys and girls affected with CAS (the incidence of CAS is actually a little higher for males than females by about 4:1, but it affects both sexes).

2.  And they share how parents feel at the deep core:  “I am a wreck.” and “I dream of driving her to ballet….” 

It’s not easy having a child with apraxia.  There is a lot of strain and planning…the logistics of having a child with a special need can be overwhelming:  when to go to therapy (how to squeeze it into an already full life), what to do with siblings while your other child is at speech therapy, how to pay for it all…and then there’s just the plain ol’ coping with a special need on a personal level (dealing with unwanted stares from strangers, feelings of grief and uncertainty, frustrations, etc).

What’s a parent to do?!  (below is an excerpt from Speaking of Apraxia, Woodbine House, March 2012).

  • Determine how you keep your pitcher filled. We all need to fill our personal well from time to time. How do you do it? What do you need to feel energized and ready to go? It’s different for everyone. For you, it may be a morning jog, an afternoon nap, time on Facebook, a crafty enterprise, a phone call to a good friend, or daily prayer. You need to find and make the time to keep your pitcher filled.
  • Know that you need breaks, too. I guarantee you will feel better if you schedule a break for yourself. Did you know that employers are supposed to give employees a fifteen-minute break for every four hours of work? Even if you are an at-home mom, you are still working and you deserve a break.
  • Reclaim past hobbies or explore new ones. Always wanted to learn about spelunking or knitting? Why not absorb yourself in learning about something new? You may find that you become less focused on the problems (of apraxia) and more interested in something that revs you up.
  • Schedule time away. It doesn’t have to be a trip to theVirgin Islands, but go somewhere, even if it is just to the hotel down the road for a night (or your parent’s or friend’s home). Put it on the calendar. You are that important.
  • Connect with your friends. No doubt you will meet others who have a child with apraxia or other speech-language needs. That’s great. Share stories and feelings about your unique experience, but remember that you have other friends, too.Connect with friends who aren’t all about apraxia, too.
  • Join a Support Group.  You may want to look into a support group for parents and caregivers of children with apraxia. You’ll learn a lot, connect, commiserate, and have a unique bond with others. You can start by joining listservs at Apraxia-Kids (www.apraxia-kids.org)  and Speechville (www.speechville.com).  There may even be one in your local area like Windy City Apraxia (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/windycityapraxia/)  in theChicago  area. For help finding a support group, ask your SLP or early intervention team or even consider starting your own (see Chapter 16).
  • Remember that you are not alone. You have friends and family. Rely on them. Ask specifically for their support.
  • Learn about CAS and brush up on terminology that goes along with the diagnosis. You may want to seek out more information than this book provides. Go for it. If you don’t understand something your therapist is sharing with you, ask. You weren’t born knowing everything about speech and language issues. You will uncover lots of terminology and abbreviations.
  • Use coping strategies that have worked for you in the past. Whatever it is—getting a massage, heading to “Fatblaster” at the gym, eating a bucket of popcorn at the movies, or reading a juicy new book—it’s important that you take care of yourself.

What do you do to deal with the “dark days?”  Your ideas and insights may help someone else who is struggling. 

 

Apraxia Monday: Excerpt from Chapter 8: What you Can do At Home

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By Leslie Lindsay

This may very well be the chapter/excerpt you have been waiting for!  Get ready to be inspired to help your child with some fun, and practical speech-inducing exercises at home.  It may be the most fun “homework” session yet.  This comes from Chapter 8 of “Speaking of Apraxia” (Woodbine House, March 2012).

This chapter is about learning how to help your child overcome apraxia of speech in a natural environment: your home and community. 

Here are a few ideas to get you started: 

  • Have a family game nightTraditional  favorites will do the trick. The speech payoffs here: turn-taking, counting, requesting, being a good sport, and other communication opportunities.
  • Visit your public library. Let your child find some books of interest and then read them to her. Speech payoff: child-directed learning, introduction to new vocabulary, 1:1 time with you in which you are modeling pronunciation and articulation. You might even hear some sounds or word approximations from your child!
  • Experience and connect with nature.  Speech payoff: identify and describe what you see, hear, and smell. Think holistically—this is more than just a walk in the park.
  • Exercise by biking or sledding, walking, or swinging. Speech payoff: vocalizations and words are often heard with movement.  Exercise also increases self-confidence, which these kiddos need more than anything. Children with CAS often crave movement.
  • Do some art. Speech payoff: Besides the 1:1 time all kids need, it also unleashes creative potential and gives you something to talk about: “What color should we make the banana?” Practice saying “banana” or “yellow” while you’re at it.
  • Listen to music. Speech payoff: Kids need physical movement, and what better way to get them to move than with some rockin’ tunes? Encourage singing; even if they can’t get the lyrics out, they can hum along. Plus, music has a positive effect on mood—even yours!
  • Bake cookies or cupcakes. Speech payoff: identify ingredients as you toss them into the bowl, have your child repeat the words (flour, sugar, butter, etc.) if she is able, talk about shapes as  you roll out sugar cookies. Share your cookies with friends and neighbors and let your child do some of  the talking—if possible—when the two of you deliver the goodies. It can be as simple as saying, “cookie” or “bake”–even an approximation will do.   

Encourage, Encourage, Encourage!

Once your child starts talking more, you’ll need to give her lots of praise and encouragement. Here are some tips to keep in mind as you work with your child:

  • Your child will do her best communicating when she’s not under pressure. Simple enough—how well do you communicate when you are in that important meeting or on a stage? For this reason, don’t insist that your child demonstrate her speech skills in front of an audience (even if it’s just grandma and grandpa). Instead, let your child’s speech come out more naturally, particularly with folks she may be unfamiliar with.
  • Let (and encourage) your child to use whatever props she needs to communicate to her very best ability.  That means letting her use gestures, sign, show you pictures, or act it out.
  • Validate your child’s desire to communicate with you. When I couldn’t understand what our daughter was trying to tell us, I would say, “Kate, I know you are trying to tell us something really important, but we’re having a hard time understanding.” Depending on the situation, I might add, “Show us [what you are trying to explain, do, desire].” It worked 99 percent of the time.
  • If you can understand some of what your child is trying to say, let her know.  “I see . . . you are talking about George and the Man with the Yellow Hat, but I didn’t understand what you said after that. Tell me again.” She’s going to feel a lot better knowing that something got through and will do her best to revise what she just said so you can “get” the rest.
  • Our SLP often said to give choices with small parts of the day.  Preschoolers love this. It’s all about having some control in the choices they make. For example, you might say  something like, “Do you want milk or juice?” An approximation of the word such as “Ju” is good enough, but a grunt is not. Finish the word yourself by saying, “Juice! OK, you want juice. I’ll get you some juice.”  Then, if you’re as goofy as I am, you      might break into a song about juice. ”Juicy, juicy juice. . . . yum, I love juice. Juice helps me grow strong and gives me important vitamins. I love juice, don’t you?!”
  • Do not demand that your child use speech to make requests.  (For example, “Tell me what you want to drink. You won’t get anything unless you can tell me what you want.” Yikes!) Your child may never feel ready to talk if she’s under that kind of pressure.

“Speaking of Apraxia” is the first-ever comprehensive guide exclusively devoted to parents of children with apraxia.  It’s 400+ pages cover the diagnosis, how to find help, types of treatment, things to do at home, parent experience, professional insights, and more.  You can purchase the book at www.amazon.com, www.woodbinehouse.com, at www.barnesandnoble.com and some Barnes & Noble stores.  (if you don’t see it on the shelf, just ask!). 

Apraxia Monday: Excerpt from Chapter 8–Assessing Alternative Treatments for CAS

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By Leslie Lindsay

Here is an excerpt from Chapter 8: Fish Oil, Diet, Horses, Music & More:  Complimentary Alternative Medical Approaches (CAM) to Childhood Apraxia of Speech in “Speaking of Apraxia,” (Woodbine House, March 2012).

Does “Nontraditional” Therapy Do Any Good [for children with CAS]?!

Sometimes you will find scientific research that supports the treatment claims you hear or read about regardingCAMproducts, but sometimes you won’t. Many folks will ask, “So, if it’s not scientific, why bother?”

It’s been my experience that parents want to know what else may help their child. Since we live in a society in which “more” sometimes equates to “better,” why stop at “just” speech therapy?

Knowing about—even trying—additional therapies or remedies gives hope to parents whose kids are struggling. For children with CAS alone, it is just as beneficial to work with them on a frequent, intense basis to remediate symptoms associated with CAS. If your child has additional concerns, Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) provides options to augment more traditional therapy.

For instance, one parent in my Small Talk: All About Apraxia group noted:

“We had really hit a plateau in speech therapy. Once we started occupational therapy [OT], my daughter really took off in terms of speech and language. We still continued with speech therapy, but I firmly believe it was the addition of OT that did the trick.” 

While many “claims to cure” are anecdotal success stories, it never hurts to be a smart consumer. Ask questions, be critical, and then go with your gut. I’ll show you how in the next section.

Assessing Alternative Treatments

When you go online, it’s likely you will find hundreds of websites, listservs, blogs, and message boards that will tell you “ABC Wonder Remedy” will cure, or dramatically improve CAS.

That’s why you need to get really good at assessing alternative treatments. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Consider the source.  You don’t believe just anything you see, hear, or read, right? I hope not. Sites you can generally trust include: websites of a government agency, national organization for a specific disorder, nonprofit organizations, or a medical school, or a speech pathology department page within a university website. Buyer Beware: if you’re on a website with success articles and products for sale, be extra cautious before whipping out that credit card.

 

  • Sounds like an empirical question. Want to know if a study is valid? Find out if there have been any scientific studies done using the scientific procedure you learned about in school. Think hypothesis, data      collection, results, conclusions . . . then go beyond that and think “controlled studies,”  “peer review,” “reputable journal,” and “randomized control trial.” A good study needs all of those elements. Sometimes you will run across studies that sound good, but they are limited by sample size (too small to make generalizations) or are testimonials—sometimes called anecdotal—from just one doctor, or just one SLP or only one patient. It could very well still “work,” but for the results to really be valid and conclusive, it should  be tested using the scientific method, which involves having a control      group as well as an experimental group, and sometimes a “blind” study in which researchers are not told which group has had which treatment, so as  not influence their conclusions.

 

  • Really? Or are you just saying that?  Fads come and go. The evening news will report something is “breakthrough,” and it’s not yet ready for the public market. You need confirmation and not just speculation on a new claim. Always go to the primary source–a journal article in an academic publication or the reputable website associated with the claim.

 

  • Says who? Is there an expert in the house?  Expert opinion should be objective, meaning the expert has nothing to gain personally or professionally from the product or claim. What does your SLP have to say about something you are willing to try? What does the ASHA  have to say about it? Check it out at www.ASHA.org.

 

  • Go with your gut. You know when something feels “off.” Listen to that little voice and then sleep on it, ask around,      make a pro and con list, whatever you need to do to feel better about things. If the treatment could cause a problem, especially to your kid—but even to your bank account, be conservative. Quackwatch.com is a good place to check out dubious sounding therapies or even therapies that just sound “too good to be true.”

Speaking of Apraxia is the first-ever comprehensive book written exclusively on childhood apraxia of speech (CAS) for the non-academic audience.  It’s 380+ pages of text will give you a sense of hope, encouragement, ideas, and tips from professionals as well as parents.  Designed primarily with parents of children with CAS in mind, this book is also a valuable resource for the practicing SLP, pediatrician, pediatric OT/PT, educator, and early intervention staff.  It can be purchased through Woodbine House (www.woodbinehouse.com), Amazon, and Barnes & Noble. 

Apraxia Monday: The book has launched

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By Leslie Lindsay

It’s been a long time coming.  Close to 4 years, in fact.  I set out to write a book–albeit–a bit relunctly at first on a topic very unfamiliar to me: childhood apraxia of speech (CAS, or just “apraxia”).  When my daughter was just 2 years, 6 months old we were puzzled as to why she wasn’t talking like all of the other children her age.  She was quiet.  She was sweet.  She was smart.  So, why would something as simple as talking be such a challenging feat for my little sprite?

Sure, we understood most of what she needed–a grunt here, a gesture there, a soulful stare.  We knew when she needed to be held, when she wanted a snack or a drink.  But we never actually heard her say, “I’m hungry” till much later than typical.

When my daughter was diagnosed with CAS in 2007, I had no idea what it was, let alone how I could help my daughter.  Well….fast-forward 5 years and I sure know a heck of a lot more now that I did before!  (Maybe more than I bargained for…and probably still not enough of this neurologically-based speech disorder).

This past weekend, we “launched” my labor of love (no, my daughter is still safely tucked in her in 1st grade classroom).  But the book, “Speaking of Apraxia” that was written in her honor went out into the hands of other parents who are walking the same apraxia path we did.  It was like a little send-off for the book.  And in some ways, I am a little apprehensive.

Will it do okay out there in the big-wide world all alone?  Will it get into the hands of those who need it?  Will I need to send some care packages from time to time?  Yes…I suppose I will.  I will be back here at my trusty laptop pushing it forward and cheering it on.  I will be here to chart the course when the waters get a little choppy.

For my book has launched…but I will always be at the helm.

You may be interested in this review from Specialneeds.com just posted over the weekend: http://www.specialneeds.com/products-and-services/general-special-needs/book-review-speaking-apraxia

Copies of Speaking of Apraxia can be purchased through my publisher, Woodbine House (www.woodbinehouse.com), Amazon, and Barnes&Noble.