All posts tagged: Speaking of Apraxia: A Parent’s Guide to Childhood Apraxia of Speech”

Apraxia Update: One Week Till The Walk in Michigan

By Leslie Lindsay Just one week to go till I make an appearance at the SE Michigan walk for apraxia.  It’s going to be a fun time as we all support a complex, neurologically-based motor speech disorder (gosh, that’s a mouthful…ironically).  Here’s some information that you may find handy as you make plans for the weekend, from the Apraxia-Kids website (who sponsors the walks nationwide): http://www.apraxia-kids.org/faf/help/helpEventInfo.asp?ievent=1013204&lis=1&kntae1013204=9DFC408896BF4EFDBF20FBC3D5A67093 I’ll be there with my own family–a daughter who is also recovering from CAS–and maybe even a basset hound (who could use some speech therapy because all she seems to do is grunt and groan…it’s such a harsh life she leads).  Naaa…we’ll probably leave Miss Sally Mae at home under the care of our neighbors.  Joking aside, this is a serious matter and I am honored to be asked to attend the walk.  Not only will I be there supporting a good cause, but a lovely family who was part of my Small Talk: All About Apraxia group spring 2011.  I’ll also have books available for purchase/signing ($20 cash, suggested …

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 …

Apraxia Monday: Chapter 6 Excerpt

By Leslie Lindsay An excerpt from “Speaking of Apraxia:  A Parent’s Guide to Childhood Apraxia of Speech” (Woodbine House, March 2012). 6 So What Caused All of This? Theories and Medical Diagnoses Related to CAS You’d like to blame someone, anyone, for the misfortunate combination of luck and biology that lead to your child having Childhood Apraxia of Speech. But chances are, there is nothing or no one who can take the blame. There is a lot of conflicting information out there about what causes CAS. To date, the professionals can’t agree on a cause—but there are lots of theories. I am certainly no expert in CAS theory, so if you really have an interest in this topic, I urge you to seek out additional resources. The Nuts and Bolts of This Chapter A review of the ASHA 2007 Ad Hoc Technical Document on Childhood Apraxia of Speech, which summarized what is known about CAS and advanced three theories about is causes. . Familial factors, infectious diseases, and medically based diagnoses that may involved with …

Special Edition: Speaking of Apraxia is HERE!!

By Leslie Lindsay This just in:  Speaking of Apraxia: A Parent’s Guide to Childhood Apraxia of Speech has arrived!!  I knew the book was scheduled for release Wedneday, March 28th but that as the author I would be receiving the book slightly ahead of schedule.  And it wasn’t able to be delivered to my home address, due to the need for the books–all 100–to be signed for.  So, I dutifully gave my publisher the address to my hubby’s office and waited on pins and needles to hear of the delivery. One day, about two weeks ago, my darling husband had said in passing “I can’t wait to open up those boxes and see it for myself.”  “Oh no, you don’t!” I responded.  “You will bring those books home and let me have the first look.  You will not–and I repeat–not–be opening that box at work!”  He grinned.  I wasn’t sure if he was teasing, or he just enjoyed seeing me get all fired up.  Alas, the books arrived yesterday around 1:30pm.  All 100 of them.  Each …

Write on, Wednesday: What a Writer Needs

By Leslie Lindsay Even good writers need a break.  Bad ones, too.  Writing it hard work.  You may beg to differ, especially if you are not a writer.  “How hard can it be to sit and think and type?” you may wonder.  Oh, but it is.  Let me explain: To be a writer, one has to be creative.  Then, one has to channel that creativity into something meaningful.  Read: organized. So, to be a writer, one has to be organized and creative?  Well, yes.  At least to some degree.  (And don’t those two qualifiers sound a bit like an oxymoron?).  Exactly. A writer also has to have time.  Time to ponder.  Time to process.  Time to live life.  Time to be out in the “real world,” (because good writing is based upon experience, and not just assumption).  A writer needs time to read.  Because good writing is often the product of good reading (and points one and two above).  But most of all, a writer must have time to write. A writer must also have …

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: Assessment and Diagnosis, an excerpt from Chapter 4

By Leslie Lindsay Here’s chapter 4 from Speaking of Apraxia: A Parent’s Guide to Childhood Apraxia of Speech.  Here, you’ll get a glimpse of what it’s like to go to the very first (initial assessment) appointment with your child, what the SLP is doing and why…read on to learn more. At the Appointment : You’re there. You might be excited, nervous, indifferent, or in complete denial. Depending on the type of SLP you have—and how she or he prefers to work—you’ll likely see a combination approach to formal and informal testing at your first appointment. If your SLP is completely informal, you may be skeptical of his or her approach. “How can playing with Play-Doh and blowing bubbles really help?” you may wonder. Your SLP should have enough toys to hold your child’s attention for a good hour or so. You’ll want to feel like you just walked into a toy superstore. But on another note, it should be organized and well-maintained, and not too overwhelming. A good SLP will know this and perhaps only …

Apraxia Monday: Chapter 1

By Leslie Lindsay Welcome to the first installment of a series of excerpts of forthcoming, “Speaking of Apraxia: A Parent’s Guide to Childhood Apraxia of Speech” (Woodbine House, March 2012).  Here we begin at the beginning: chapter one.  You may have some suspicions that your child isn’t talking like he or she should; maybe you’ve heard of apraxia (CAS), but you just aren’t sure if that is why your little punkin isn’t chatting like all of the other children. Consider these scenarios: “Sarah, age 2, was a puzzle to her parents. She was obviously quite bright and alert. She knew the names of all the birds in her Big Book of Birds and would point to the cardinal, chickadee, etc. when asked. But she struggled to say even the simplest words.” “Jake was an active three-year-old who loved cause and effect, an engineer in the making.  He appeared to be a typically-developing child, with one exception: he was not talking. His grandmother kept saying, “Boys are late to talk–don’t worry.” But his parents were concerned. …