All posts tagged: childhood apraxia

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: 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: 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 …

Apraxia Monday: Welcome to Better Speech & Hearing Month

By Leslie Lindsay Welcome to the month of May. For a lot of you, this is the month of crazy last days of school, Mother’s Day, Graduations, and perhaps birthdays…it’s busy.  And it’s also “Better Speech and Hearing Month.”  This annual event, sponsored by ASHA (American Speech-language Hearing Association) is a way to generate awareness and promote better treatment options for folks–big and little–who have trouble communicating and hearing.  http://www.asha.org/bhsm/.  You may also be interested in reading ASHA’s blog on the event, http://blog.asha.org/ So let’s kick off this 85-year event with a little tip sheet on how you can help your own little kiddo(s) with their speech concerns, namely CAS (childhood apraxia of speech).  DO A LITTLE DANCE, MAKE A LITTLE WORD What you need: Adult and child. What you do: The adult calls out different kinds of movements: “Touch the sky way up high—touch your toes way down low—wiggle your hips—rub your tummy.” Child plays along and can repeat words as she feels ready. Add in other body parts like nose, ears, hair, mouth, …

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

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 night. Traditional  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. …

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

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 …

Apraxia Monday: The book has launched

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 …

Apraxia Monday: Chapter 5–Getting the CAS Diagnosis/Initial Reactions

By Leslie Lindsay (An excerpt from Speaking of Apraxia: A Paren’ts Guide to Childhood Apraxia of Speech.  Chapter 5: “Getting the Diagnosis and Coping with Your Initial Reactions”).    You may have been searching for years for some term to identify why your child isn’t talking like every other child. Perhaps you weren’t that concerned in the first place, but took your child to a speech-language pathologist because your friends, your mother, or a concerned neighbor or teacher urged you to. In either case, you now have a word to describe the phenomenon: Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS). What’s next? Common Reactions If it took you awhile to arrive at a diagnosis, you may be feeling like your competence as a parent has been challenged.   “Gosh, I knew there was something wrong, why wouldn’t (or couldn’t) anyone tell me what it was?!”  You may feel some resentment toward any professionals you consulted who shooed you away, assuring you everything was “fine.” “I knew I was right! Those doctors were so incompetent. Their lack of competency …

Apraxia Monday: Chapter 3 Excerpt

By Leslie Lindsay If you have been following along recently, you know that Speaking of Apraxia: A Parent’s Guide to Childhood Apraxia of Speech will be released later this month.  It’s been a long–but overall good–journey in which I have been reading, writing, and revising to get this book into the hands of parents of children with CAS.  As a “count-down-to-release-day,” I am offering some excerpts of the book.  This one is on chapter 3:  Finding Help When You Suspect CAS.  Here goes: “As first-time parents, we didn’t want to appear “delinquent,” so when Kate was 15 months old, exactly, we headed to the doctor (the same one who delivered her) for her scheduled well-child check-up. I say “we,” because both doting parents were off work for the occasion. We came armed with our wiggly daughter; along with thoughts, questions, and toddler antics to relate to our doctor. Kate was meeting all of her developmental milestones right on target. Except one: talking. She had only one word, “Hi.” I was excited that she had such a …

Write on, Wednesday: Great Writing is Your Best Promotional Tool

By Leslie Lindsay I recently downloaded this “5 Secrets to Great Writers” guide from http://www.bookbaby.com and have been skimming through it’s contents.  The first thing I read goes like this:  “You can assemble the world’s greatest team of publicists and social marketing strategists to help you promote your book, but if the WORDS you’ve assembled in your book can’t sell themselves…well then, you are dead in the water.” Makes sense, right?  Again, I wonder what publishling house would publish a book if the author can’t write well?  (That is if you are going with a traditional publishing model and not self-publishing). But here comes the tricky part of book work.  Promoting what you have written.  There is a fine line between being good at tooting your own horn and sounding, well conceited.  Of course, no one wants to come across as arrogant.  So, how does one get the word out that their book is worthwhile? (Humm…if I knew I probably wouldn’t be writing about this!).   Here goes: Build your Brand.  You’ve probably heard this before.  It also …