All posts tagged: Childhood apraxia of speech

Say that Again: Apraxia…You just Gotta Practice

By Leslie Lindsay (image source: Shutterstock.com)  Over the summer, I was a  guest blogger on Haley’s blog, “Say What, Y’all?”  Not only do I love the title of her blog, being a former Missourian myself, but I can totally relate to having said this euphemism so many times in my “career” of being an “apraxia mom.”  Here it is again for those of you who may have missed it:  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 …

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 …

Write on, Wednesday!

By Leslie Lindsay   Know how there are some days you just want to write?  There’s an idea that is percolating in your brain and you just gotta get it down?  I love those days.  I am not having one.  Well, I kind of am.  I have these ideas for my next project.  Nope, not the one I am revising that doesn’t even have agent representation yet.  But my next-next project.  Do I abandon my current revisions suggested from writing buddy, Christine to tackle those ideas for the future project?  It does, after all have a little bit of a seasonal creep theme (think: haunted).  Yet, I feel obligated to do more with my work-in-progress before I tackle my percolate-in-progress. Yes, us writer folks always have several ideas brewin’.  Such a dilemma.  Of course, I have spent the better part of the last two hours catching up on email.  And promoting the other book I have out–which has nothing to do with fiction–but rather a real-life problem affecting children and their families: childhood apraxia of speech …

Apraxia Monday: Welcome to IEP-land

By Leslie Lindsay (image retrieved from http://kidshealth.org/parent/growth/learning/iep.html 9.10.12) You may have just gotten your kids settled in school, and already you are beginning to think about the dreaded IEP.  Is it up to date?  Is is “good-enough?”  Is it helping your child tackle the things she or he really needs to tackle?  Are the teachers reading it?  Hummm…I feel your pain.  Here are some ideas to get you back into IEPland…. Remember, an IEP is a legally binding contract between the school and your family. It lays out: What your child’s qualifying disability is (in this case, a speech-language disorder called Childhood Apraxia of Speech, though there may be other diagnoses you child is also struggling with).  Your child’s present level of functioning (this is where assessment results are reported—are her receptive language skills at the level of a six-year- old, while her expressive language skills are at the level of a four-year- old?) What goals the IEP team thinks she should work on, over and above what is covered in the regular school curriculum (does …

Apraxia Monday: “Apraxia…You Just Gotta Practice!”

By Leslie Lindsay I wanted to share with you a personal moment–and one that I think will touch you, whether you have a child with CAS, or not.  [Portions of this post originally appeared as a guest blog on Say What Y’all, hosted by Haley Villines.  Thanks, Haley for allowing me to be a guest on your blog]. 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.  I won’t bore you with the early days of …

Apraxia Monday: Interview with The Apraxia Connection

By Leslie Lindsay THE apraxia CONNECTION   http://www.theapraxiaconnection.org “Connecting Families, Educators & Professionals with Community Resources” Today I am happy to share with you a new non-profit organization based out of Chicagoland, The Apraxia Connection.  This new venture has been spearheaded by Holly Olmsted-Hickey, Michele Kowalski, and Barbara Matt–all mothers who have been touched in some way by childhood apraxia of speech (CAS).  Leslie4Kids: Let’s start with some introductions. I know there are three of you who are actively involved in The Apraxia Connection. Can you each provide a brief introduction as to who you are, your role in The Apraxia Connection, and a little about your family/kids, what you do “outside” of apraxia. A.    We are three moms who came together with a common goal: to help other families with apraxia and associated disorders.  We all have one or more children with apraxia.  Holly is the President, Barbara is the Vice President and Michele is the Secretary.  Outside of our family, friends, work and The Apraxia Connection, we stay up to date on information that …

Apraxia Monday: Part 2 of Reading with CAS

By Leslie Lindsay Last week, we chatted about why it may be more difficult for our kiddos with CAS to learn to read and write.  Today, we will talk about things you can do to help your child with those skills at home; specifically reading (writing with CAS with be another two-part post beginning next week).  You want to know how to help break the code to reading?!  Sure, we all do…it’s not so clear-cut as it may sound, but I will help decipher some of the weirdness for you.  According to Joy Stackhouse, Persisting Speech Difficulties in Children:  Children’s Speech & Literacy Difficulties, one should teach phononlogical awareness skills + strong reading strategies (literacy skills) to have a kiddo who is ready to learn to read.  For phonological awareness,  some suggested repetitive books you can start with:   Anything from Sandra Boynton to Dr. Seuss (the goofier the better…it sticks with kids and gets them engaged early on) Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown…repetitive and predictable Going on A Bear Hunt (or any of the variations, such …

Apraxia Monday: Improving Reading Skills

  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. …

Apraxia Monday: Dealing with the Dark Days

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 …

Apraxia Monday: Getting to “Diagnosed with Apraxia”

By Leslie Lindsay This Just In:  I was recently asked by Pediatric Health Associates of Naperville/Plainfield, IL to be a guest blogger on their website/blog.  Here’s a brief run-down of how we got to the point of seeking out an SLP for our daughter’s suspected speech “problem.”  (at the time, we didn’t know it was apraxia).  All thanks to our pediatrician who suggested we get her speech evaluated.  Read the blog yourself here:  http://www.pedhealth.blogspot.com/ We all have a story to tell about when and how our child was ultimately diagnosed with CAS.  Do you remember the day well?  Was it a blur?  Do you wish you could forget it? It is often these stories that shape our understanding–and often outcome–of our child’s diagnosis.  If you had a chance to recreate that story with exactly all of the details that made the story more “healing”/proactive would you?  Do you believe it unfolded just the way it was *meant* to? I suppose I am of the camp that believes everything-happens-for-a-reason.  As I look back on my daughter’s …