ApRaXiA mOnDaY: Talking Tunes Music CD & Interview with its Creators!

By Leslie Lindsay Talking Tunes Promo Card

I have really special post today—and I am super-excited to share it with you! A hearty welcome to Dr. Diane Dynes, CCC-SLP and children’s songwriter, Kelly Donovan and a big congratulation on their compilation of the “Talking Tunes” music CD designed for kiddos with speech-language delays and disorders.

kellyphoto Talking Tunes
Kelly Donovan

Having an 9-year old daughter with resolving CAS, I know first-hand what an asset a fun, music-based approach to speech therapy can be for a child—and her family. With whimsical song titles such as “The Peanut Butter Song,” “Goodnight Sun,” and a favorite—perhaps of all parents—”Pick Up Your Stuff,” you can’t go wrong with Talking Tunes.Leslie Lindsay: Diane, let’s start with you. How did you and Kelly ever cross paths?

As a speech pathologist, I collaborated with several music therapists to develop programs for nonspeaking children. In speech therapy sessions, I adapted songs that I found in the children’s music genre to work on speech and language targets. Raffi was one of my favorites. Of course, there were the classic toddler and preschool songs, like “Twinkle, Twinkle…”, that offered practice with signs, gestures and some words. I found myself always listening to music for the potential in a therapy session. Eventually, I recognized the features of songs that benefitted kids that have severe speech impairments, such as repetitions of a single, simple word. Also, I looked for songs that had specific motor speech targets within the lyrics. It was very important that the tune be slower and that was harder to find than you would think. Along with that, I wanted the music for these songs to be high quality and not too many instruments. Unfortunately, I wasn’t completely successful in finding music with all of these features.

I heard a recording of a children’s song by Kelly Donovan on Facebook and I was drawn to her upbeat tempo and simple lyrics. It seemed that she had all ready had songs that were conducive to speech therapy practice. We started interacting about music and speech therapy and that is how we crossed paths.

diane dynes talking tunes apraxia
Diane Dynes, PhD CCC-SLP

L.L.: Kelly, what did you think when Diane suggested a collaboration on the CD?

I am always THRILLED anytime anyone enjoys anything I write. Diane felt that because I’m a classically trained vocalist and had perfect singing diction drilled into me for 15 years, that I would be and ideal candidate for her dream speech therapy album. In fact, she said some of the songs I had already written would be good for the project. She suggested that I write songs that fit the needs of children with speech delays. Diane had always had difficulty finding songs that met all of her needs so she wanted to give me some guidelines and then have me write the album. So, once we really got to talking she sent me an email with the type of music she was interested in and included the vowels, sounds and targets she needed to focus on and I did a lot of research on what some of the challenges of families with speech delayed kids were and tried to find ways that aspects of music therapy used in songwriting could help. (KD)

L.L.: And so you got to work writing songs? Can you describe the process?

Diane, CCC-SLP: That’s definitely a question for Kelly. I wrote her about kids on my caseload, mostly the severely speech delayed. I guess I never wanted to change the songwriting process. I just wanted to have special parts in the songs that were for the kids in speech therapy.

Kelly Donovan: Yes. It was a very involved process. If I showed you the ten-page email that Diane sent me covering the targets of speech therapy she wanted covered in the album it would blow your mind! I was a little intimidated at first, to be honest. But, I always try! I wrote all the songs for speech therapy in the key of C because in research that I’ve read that key easiest for engaging the brain when it comes to learning. There was a biofeedback study that was done with children with ADHD and they responded well to the key of C. When I was at Berklee College of Music I learned that traditionally Northern Indian music was taught aurally, (because the had no formal notation method,) and they learned over drones of C or A, (A is the relative minor to C in music theory, so that makes sense, but I’ll try to be a little less nerdy now.) So, I thought it couldn’t hurt to write these songs in a key that would put the kids in a great mindset for learning. There is only one song that isn’t in C on the album called, “Goodnight Sun.” It was recorded before Diane and I met but it worked for speech therapy so we used it. My process is different for every song. But for most of these I wrote out the lyrics in rhythm first because that was the focus. Then I would send them to Diane to make sure the lyrics would work. If they would then I would write a melody and harmony.

A lot of love and thought went into these songs. I always tried them out on my own kids who are the meanest little critics. My four year old told me when he didn’t like one song I wrote, “You are doing this wrong, mommy. Let’s have food now.” Every single time I wrote something I thought of the parents and the families who would have to hear these songs. It’s not just the child with a speech delay that will listen. If there are other children in the family who don’t have a speech delay I want the music to be just as engaging for them. When I took on this project I listened to a lot of speech therapy music. In listening to it I felt that it was very educational and that it FELT very educational. That’s not a bad thing, but when I wrote “Talking Tunes” I wanted the music to feel like it was a lot of fun. I liken this album to hiding vegetables in your kid’s dinner. They eat it and they love it and they have no idea how good it is for them. That’s what I wanted.

L.L.: Diane, with your experience in speech-language disorders, did you have song ideas in mind? Can you elaborate on how you use music work to accommodate speech-delayed kiddos?

These are the ideas for music that I wanted incorporated in the songs written for Talking Tunes:

  •  Songs filled with repetition of sounds, syllables and words that were chosen based on complexity of motor speech production
  • Songs address a variety of levels by incorporating a range of skills, from consonant-vowel syllables using early emerging sounds to simple phrases with later sounds
  • Songs incorporate “groups of twos & threes”, providing the child with a speech delay several opportunities to join in as well as more practice with target words.
  •  The music is SLOWER and some of the sounds are prolonged giving both time for the speech delayed child to participate as well as highlight the target sound
  •  Songs offer repetition of certain sounds within each tune that help young children learn to listen for their sounds and offer auditory bombardment of the speech target
  •  Songs incorporate the use of ‘echo’ encouraging speech imitation and turn taking in a motivating and fun medium
  •  the lyrics talk about everyday routines with concrete terms that reduce the “cognitive load” for children that process at a slower rate
  • Songs are high-quality recordings written to be engaging for both typical and speech-impaired children providing opportunities for inclusion and modeling

L.L.: When it comes to apraxia (CAS)—which is a big one here on the blog—what can you expect in terms of gains with the use of music-based therapy? What examples from the CD will target this particular disorder?

Diane, CCC-SLP: Most of the songs on “Talking Tunes” are slower so the child with apraxia is more likely to participate especially because the words are often ‘echoed’ or repeated. This gives our kids with slower motor speech response time a better chance to participate. There are several songs that address early emerging motor speech sounds for children CAS.

The song, “Outside” is a perfect example of a song with syllable combinations that are typical targets

for children with apraxia. I suggested words from the Kaufman Apraxia Treatment Kit for Kelly to use in the lyrics and also added some of my favorites. “The cars go BEEP, BEEP, BEEP. The birds go PEEP, PEEP, PEEP….. The frogs go HOP, HOP, HOP and the feet go TAP, TAP, TAP…” The words that are in groups of threes are all Consonant-Vowel-Consonant and use only early emerging sounds (p, h, t).

I have had good success with the song “Jump Up” which has simple two word combinations as speech targets, “Jump up, jump up; Sit down, Sit down; Walk through, Walk through….”. There is this wonderful timing to the song and the kids know just when to repeat the phrase. I love that the song is so full of action and location words as well. Of course, the kids are standing for this one and after the song is over, we keep singing the words and doing the actions. I have a yardstick with long ribbons attached to it and the kids “walk through” and then “spin around, spin around…”

Also, there are two songs that are on the CD that offer great vowel practice. “Fly to the Moon” and “I am a Tree” give both listening and speech practice with vowels /oo/ and /ee/. It is really helpful that Kelly holds the /ee/ in “tree” and “be” giving the child plenty of chance to try the vowel. I think it is important that we talk about the listening component as well. At our state conference this year in Ohio, there was a presentation about the need for auditory bombardment with children that have CAS. I think that these two songs offer that.

Finally, the song “Uh Oh” is a favorite on many levels because of the motor speech targets “uh oh” and “oh well” as well as the message of the song. Kelly wrote the song to address children’s feelings and the interactive phrases just happened to be typical phrases practiced with kids that have CAS.

There is a resource guide to go with the CD called “Targets for Talking Tunes” and it can be found on my website with other supplemental materials.

L.L.: Kelly, what is your understanding of what kids want from music?

Kelly Donovan: Kids want you to challenge them in the music you offer them more than a lot of people think. I write in many different styles and kids love all of them! Just on “Talking Tunes” there are songs in several different genres, like jazz, reggae and rockabilly. They like layers of sound. It’s all in how you present it to them. I like to have the songs fully produced and write vocal harmonies because children really do listen to those things. Once they hear the harmony or a different instrument in one place they start to hear more possibilities in other parts of all music. A lot of the time we, as adults like to see kids enjoying themselves and when it comes to music we look at that as the success of the music. That we can physically see the child enjoying it. But we don’t always have to see it. They don’t always have to be dancing around to the music to be getting something really fantastic out of it. Different children process music different ways. I’ve seen children just stand and listen and I know they love it as much as I do. I think almost always what children want is for you to let them surprise you with who they are. We are always getting to know our kids. They’re always changing and growing.

L.L.: Can you share some challenges of developing the CD, and how about some insights, humor, too?

Kelly Donovan: The biggest challenge has been time. This has been a long process and a lot of work. I am exhausted. I have been working on writing, arranging, recording, marketing, CD art, CD pressing and all the back and forth that goes with that. And that’s just for this album! I’m halfway through recording another album focusing on emotional development with corresponding music videos. That’s due out in the Fall. I have two 4 year olds, (not because they’re twins, just because they’re 10 months apart and they both happen to be 4 right now,) my home looks like I’ve been hording unfolded laundry for the last 6 months and I sleep somewhere between the hours of midnight and 7AM, but never all of those hours. There’s got to be some humor in there somewhere! It was challenging just because I’m a parent of two small children who really need me RIGHT NOW and if I don’t put the wheel back on my son’s dump truck RIGHT NOW the world may be at risk for a crisis of apocalyptic proportions!!! In all of this I have learned that social lives are overrated and that I have chosen really wonderful, patient people to work with.

L.L.: How can parents, SLPs, music therapists, and school teachers get a hold of TALKING TUNES?

The hard copies of the album will be available through Amazon and ReverbNation next month. But the digital download is available now!

diane dynes talking tunes apraxiaBio: Diane Dynes, PhD, CCC/SLP-L: Diane Dynes received her Doctorate in Communication Sciences and Disorders from the University of Cincinnati, OH and her Masters in Speech and Hearing Sciences from Miami University, Oxford, OH. She maintains a Certificate of Clinical Competence from American Speech and Hearing Association (ASHA), is licensed in the State of Ohio and holds a Speech Therapist Certificate with the Ohio Department of Education. Dynes specializes in severe speech delays and has been awarded grants for working with nonspeaking children. She served on committees of the Ohio Speech Hearing and Language Association (OSHLA), was assistant editor for the technology column in the OSHLA newsletter and has presented at numerous state and national conferences. Dynes was awarded “Therapist of the Year” by the Dayton Business Club. Dr. Dynes is an adjunct professor at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio and she has written articles and conducted research on pediatric feeding disorders, augmentative communication, childhood apraxia of speech and child language.

Dr. Dynes is the owner of Speech TherapyWorks, a practice which offers a wide range of clinical services built upon a combination of research-based methodology, time-tested techniques and solid experience. Dynes has been helping clients and families for nearly thirty years and has an impressive record of improving the speech, language and communication skills of babies, toddlers and adolescents. As a respected leader in pediatric communication disorders, her years of practice have taught her the subtle nuances of different childhood speech disorders and the time-tested strategies to overcome these communication challenges.

Bio: Kelly Donovan studied piano and voice as a child and began writing music at the kellyphoto Talking Tunesage of 14. After receiving her Bachelors of Music from Berklee College of Music in 2007, Kelly pursued songwriting in several genres, receiving awards for her pop music from international songwriting competitions, including The Billboard World Songwriting Contest. In 2009 she had her first child, and she decided to turn her songwriting focus towards children’s music. Kelly writes music for children with a specific focus on therapeutic needs, with many songs centered on feelings and imagination.

[headshots and cover art courtesey of Kelly Donovan and Diane Dianes, kids singing retrieved from on 4.27.14, girl in pink singing retrieved from on 4.27.14, colorful music notes]



ApRaXiA mOnDAy: Jake Recites The Lord’s Prayer

By Leslie Lindsay

I  have a really special guest post today. This one comes to you by “apraxia mom,” Tori and her son, Jake. It makes you wonder–or perhaps confirms–that there is more at work here than just a little boy with apraxia. I’ll let you determine who the real star is… be sure to see the video of little Jake reciting the Lord’s Prayer. It will melt  your heart. Take it away, Tori!

“My son Jake was diagnosed with apraxia of speech at age three and has been in speech therapy since he was 27 months old.

Jake began Pre-K 4 this year at our local church preschool and one month later turned five years old. When he first started school, his teacher explained that the class would be learning color-of-the-month songs and also The Lord’s Prayer, which they would recite each day in class

At the time, Jake could not memorize multiple words in songs or nursery rhymes. He would try, but the order of the words would always get jumbled up. I told the teacher that I would work with Jake every day in order to learn the color songs and that *maybe* by the end of each month, he would be able to sing it.

After all, I’d been dealing with apraxia for about three years at that point. I knew he could get it, but it would take a lot of practice to get there.

But, I didn’t even attempt to set goals or make promises to learn The Lord’s Prayer. How would a child who couldn’t sing the simplest of songs ever be able to learn such a lengthy and difficult piece?

A few weeks into school, Jake surprised me by coming home singing the first color song. He had learned it all on his own, just like the other kids! Wow! But I still didn’t commit to learning the prayer; I thought it was impossible.

One night about two months, later Jake shocked me again by saying this very special prayer in its entirety before he went to sleep. My boy has said this prayer many times over the past few months and each time it brings tears to my eyes and makes my heart beam with happiness and appreciation.

Last month, Jake started playing t-ball and my husband is the coach of the team. Because we are a church league, we pray at the end of each game. After the game, my husband called me out onto the field and surprised me by asking Jake to pray in front of both teams and the audience.

***Here’s that touchingly sweet video. Oh, I love it!***


Jake at cross speaking of apraxia

Jake’s confident voice filling the silence at the busy ballpark was one of the most remarkable moments of my life. It stirred emotion from deep within my soul and each word was golden. We fought for each and every one of those syllables that was so eloquently spoken that day.

Who would have thought that a child who could not speak until a few months after his fourth birthday would now, a little over a year later, be saying those beautiful words? This prayer signifies our full circle with apraxia – healing, love, joy, faith, tears, and determination.

Tori is a writer, wife, and stay-at-home mom to three sons (ages 15, 10, and 5). She documents her five-year-old son’s journey with apraxia, etc. at http://www.jakes-journey-apraxia.com.
Call for Submissions! If you have a video, photo, or guest piece to contribute to http://www.speaking of apraxia.com, please send me an email at leslie_lindsay@hotmail.com. I’d love to hear from you. Your words, experiences, and insights can help others walking the same path.
[Lord’s Prayer image retrieved from revjvfletcher.blogspot.com960 on 4.21.14]

The Teacher is Talking: Spring Reads

By Leslie Lindsay

Here’s hoping it’s spring–like in your neck of the woods! Here in Chicagoland we just got a dusting of snow as the temps plummeted from 77 on Saturday to 38 Monday. But not to fear, because we’re bringing a little burst of spring to you in this whimisical little book, FLIP, FLOAT, FLY by JoAnn Early Macken.Product Details

What a darling, poetic read which truly brings seeds to life for young kids–and caregivers! The text is crisp, rhymically enthralling, and a joy to read. Words like scamper, scurry, and scatter fill the pages as one sees how a tiny seed travels from point A to B and utimately becomes a flower.

FLIP, FLOAT, FLY can be used as teaching tool with kids of all ages, even the youngest kiddos with apraxia can benefit. It may be too soon in your area for the puffs of dandelions, but if by chance, you have them, by all means head outside with your little one, pluck a dandelion and blow the cottony mass. Can your child say, “puff?” Can’t find a dandelion? Have you got a cotton swab and straw at home? Lie the cotton ball on a table and have your child blow into the straw, pushing the cotton ball/dandelion head around. Puff! 

Other ideas:

  • Head to the store and allow your child to select several packets of seeds. Talk about the flowers they will grow into. Open the packets up once you’re home. Look at how different the seeds are from the plant they become. Compare and contrast seeds of different varieties. You may choose to plant the seeds, or perhaps you can make a collage or artwork out of them.
  • If you plant your seeds, you may consider starting them indoors in small Dixie cups. This will allow tiny seedlings to get stronger before they are in the earth. Maybe you’d like to invest in a small windowsill greenhouse. Watch, water, and see what happens. Have your child draw a picture of the steps involved, keep a garden journal of growth.
  • Planting outdoors is always fun! Make sure the threat of frost is gone in your area (for Chicagoland, they often say Mother’s Day is the best time), or shoot for Earth Day (April 22). Talk about the steps involved, introduce your child to new vocabularly, textures, and colors. Have him repeat them as best as he can.
  • Write your own FLIP, FLOAT, FLY. Create a small book by folding and stapling a few of paper together to create pages. You may choose to add your actual seed packets, draw your own, cut pictures of flowers/gardens, etc. from magazines and catalogs. Ask your child to say a few words about the picture(s) and then write the words down with her. Or, if she’s able, let her do it. toddler gardening

Most of all–have fun!  That’s it…class dismissed 🙂 For more infomation on kids and gardening, please see:

[Boy in garden image from http://www.sheknows.com/parenting/articles/827275/kid-friendly-gardening-projects on 4.15.14. Book image from Amazon.com on 4.15.14. This is a book the author of this post owns. No financial gain to author of this post is made by featuring this title]


Fans of From Seed to Plant, a perennial seller by Gail Gibbons, will want this lushly illustrated picture book. A gust of wind lifes a maple seed, sending it spinning like a shiny green helicopter throught the sky. Where wil it land? From splashing away in a raindrop to scurrying with scampering squirrels to hitching rides on your sleeves and socks, seeds have many ingenious ways to traveling to new laces, growing roots, and beginning the cycle again.


APrAxIa MoNdaY: I Need a Vacation

By Leslie Lindsay

Just recently, I was at a school musicial watching as some 120 third-grade students sang, skitted, and shouted words and phrases about needing a vacation. Well, gosh after this winter–don’t we all?!? 87c76-410_1target_group_kids_apparel_photography_los_angeles_mike_henry

The kids were pretty darn cute as they donned sunglasses, Bermuda shorts, straw hats, and flip-flops. A giant surf board (or two!) flanked the sides of the risers that some mom spent a lot of time decaling to be just so.

Directly to our right was a grandmother. She stood not with a proud smile upon her face, or a camera, but with a 4 year old child with autism. And she wasn’t standing either, mind  you. She was thrashing about on the floor, her petite frame rolled over, her strong arms tightly restraining the child. She called out his name. She whispered, “Be still. It’s okay. We’re here to see your brother in the show.”

My heart ached for her. I wanted to help, but I wasn’t sure what I could do. Not only that, but the woman looked familiar–like I knew her, or had met her before. The child continued rollicking and fighting her grasp. My 7 year old asked what was wrong with that boy.  I had an inkling.

Finally–and I say this rather emabarrassingly–I asked if she was M.R.’s [child’s initials] grandmother. “Why yes, I am!” Her grimace turned to a smile. I returned the expression but inside I grimaced. Really? Me, a former child psych R.N. a little out of practice, but still definitely able to recognize an over-stimulated autistic child, did nothing but ask this woman’s name–and poorly at that.

Yet, she smiled. And appeared to relax. We chatted about “our” kids. The two in the 3rd grade musical attended earlier grades together, they were both “poor” readers. Mine had CAS, hers typically developing (as far as I know). Yet, the child with autism squirmed and bucked against her hold. “Is there anything we can do to help you?” I offered. “Can we give yo a break?

She smiled kindly, “No, I’m afraid there’s nothing anyone can do. He’s autistic and gets overstimulated in crowded environments.”

I nodded. I knew.

The grandmother continued, “Mom’s in New York City and dad’s at a business meeting, it’s me or nothing. I thought he could handle it.”

The chorus started up, “School is cool, but I gotta cut loose…I need a vacation…”

And then it dawned on me–not everyone gets a vacation.  Yes, I am using “vacation” in a metaphorical sense. We don’t all get to get away from it all–not when it’s apraxia or autism, or asthma. It’s there always. It’s there at the school musical, at the grocery store, in traffic. It’s at your place or worship and in the library. And if you look closely, you’ll find it in your neighborhood, maybe even next-door.

When you are that child with autism, apraxia, anxiety, asthma, anorexia…well, you never get a vacation from your disorder or syndrome. It’s there. Always. Sometimes it gets better. Somtimes it may be almost non-existant, but it’s there, lurking in the dark shadows of life, peeking out from beneath the flaps, wondering if it will rear its ugly face.

Until someone steps in and smiles.

For more information on autism, please visit:

Also, for information on how grandparents can help with special needs, particularly apraxia, please refer to chapters 12-15 in SPEAKING OF APRAXIA, Woodbine House 2012, an award-finalist resource on childhoood apraxia of speech (CAS).cropped-9781606130612.jpg


Apraxia Monday: Spring It On, PART II

By Leslie Lindsay

The temperature gauge is slowly creeping up, and little ones who have been cooped up all winter are clamboring to get outside. What you may not realize is the wealth of speech-langage rich activities you can participate in for free or low-cost, you just need a little imagination.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Let your kiddos set the pace. My hubby used to be guilty of *not* doing this. He was a trained hiker who could easily cover 20 miles a day through rugged territory. Along came two little redheads and that pace was cut down by a lot. So your 4-year grumbles about a long walk, then start small. Play “I Spy” as you stroll around the block. This builds observation skills, receptive language, and starts working on expressive language, too.
  • Be prepared. Scrapes and insect bites happen. So does sun. Pack a little first-aid kit including Band-aids, first-aid cream, water, sunblock, maybe even bug spray. You may even solicit your child’s help in packing a kit, “Can you get mommy/daddy the water bottles?” (ah yes, there’s that receptive language again!).26 (3)
  • Respect Nature. We always talk about “leave nothing behind, take nothing but memories.” That’s hard for little ones (big ones, too). Remind your children not to pick flowers or leaves from plants and trees. Keep your voices low when exploring nature, not everyone appreciates loud children on a quiet hike. Perhaps you can talk about the consequences of leaving litter, picking flowers/berries/leaves. And remember, never eat anything along the trail unless you packed it.
  • Collect Rocks. My oldest (who has CAS), adores rocks.  You can find them just about anywhere, but ponds and rivers, beaches, are really great because these stones tend to be smooth. Whether smooth, jagged, striped, or plain, sparkly, or dull they provide lots to talk about. “What did you find?” “Tell me about your favorite rock?” “Why do you like this one better than that one?” Try to use open-ended questions for your little ones with CAS. You may not get a full answer–or anyone at all–but that doesn’t really matter. What does, is that  your are engaging with your child and looking to get his input. Also, try categorizing those rocks based on color, shape, etc. Kate Gymnastics and Graduation 013
  • Keep a Nature Journal. We love doing this! You can choose to do this in several different ways–or a combination! Take photos with a digital camera, print out pages in Word or use photo paper if you’d like. Then assemble in a book for (with?) your child. You can slip them into a low-cost photo book or make your own out of construction paper.  Identify the item you took a photo of with a big caption. FLOWER, for example or ROCK. CREEK. TREE. This helps with sight words, sounding out things, early reading etc. My kiddos really enjoyed photos of themselves at the park, in the tree, on top of the rock. This works on prepostions, etc. You may even think about collecting sticks, leaves, rocks, small items you can paste in your book. But be sure you’re not taking living things or those that belong to someone else.

Most of all–Have FUN!

For more reading on kids and the value of outside play, refer to:

  • THE LAST CHILD IN THE WOODS. By Product DetailsRichard Louv
  • GET OUT! 150 Easy Ways for Kids and Grown-Ups to Get Into Nature & Build a Greener Future. By July Molland
  • THE EVERYTHING KIDS ENVIRONMENT BOOK. By Sheri  Amsel [book cover image retrieved from Amazon on 4.7.14. The author of this post owns all three books referenced and does not benefit financially by mentioning them]
  • SPEAKING OF APRAXIA: A Parent’s Guide to Chilldhood Apraxia of Speech by Leslie Lindsay also includes several chapters on things you can do with your child to enhance speech-langauge work at home.


Apraxia Moms, Dads & Grads–We Want Your Stories!

By Leslie Lindsay

Spring festivities are fast approaching!  We’re talking about Mother’s Day (May 11th), Apraxia Awareness Day (May 14, 2014), Graduations, and other celebrations.


I’m looking for mini stories celebrating or acknowledging your apraxia success. Here’s how it works:

  • Got a really cute photo to share? By all means, send it on! I’d love to see your child’s victory dance when he gets a word or phrase “right,” her last day of speech therapy, his participation in Reader’s Theatre or the school play. How about her graduation from speech-based preschool? Or, maybe you’re an SLP graduating with a special interest in CAS?  Perhaps you have a great shot of your child with his SLP?  Maybe it’s just you and your child doing something ordinary?


  • Okay, got a photo in mind?


  • Spin a mini-story about it by telling me what’s going on in the photo; you know–an eye-Kate Gymnastics and Graduation 088cathing caption. Be sure to include first names, ages, and where you’re from. Example: “This is Kate on her preschool graduation. She’s 5 years old and super-excited to attend kingergarten in the fall. Kate and her family reside in the SW suburbs of Chicagoland. Yay for Kate!” You might say a few lines about your experience with apraxia. “Kate was diagnosed with apraxia when she was 2 1/2 years old and worked really hard in speech therapy, in conjuction with a speech-based preschool for three years…we’re so proud!”
  • Now send both the photo (as an attachment) and your mini-story to me at: leslie_lindsay@hotmail.com
  • I’ll share your mini-story on “Apraxia Mondays,” right  here on this blog. It’s a fun way to share your experience with apraxia, highlight your family’s celebrations, and increase awareness for childhood apraxia of speech (CAS). It’ a win-win for everyone.

Got questions? Need more information? Feel free to shoot me an email at leslie_lindsay@hotmail.com. Be sure to include “apraxia” in your subject line so I don’t accidently delete it. Oops!

I can’t wait to share your apraxia moments with our readers!!

The Teacher is Talking: Books about Books

By Leslie Lindsay

I read a lot. Grown-up fiction? You bet. The backs of cereal boxes? Guilty. Just about anything with written text in a language I understand? Totally.

But my absolute favorite part of the day is wrapping my arms around my girls and reading a children’s book. And I got to thinking, there are a lot of books about books. Sounds like a lovely combination, doesn’t it?

Here are a few of my favorites in children’s literature:

Product DetailsThe Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore. By William Joyce.  This book, published in 2012 may very well be my favorite. The illustrations are rich, engaging, and offer a slightly vintage nostalgia everyone can appreciate. But the story itself is sweet, touching, and terribly moving. I love it. The book also inspired an academy-award winning short film that will bring the story to life for any reader. [Amazon Prime Members can see the video free, or purchase reasonably here. http://www.amazon.com/Fantastic-Flying-Books-Morris-Lessmore/dp/B00EV6YJ9W/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1396369519&sr=8-2&keywords=Mr.+Morris+Lessmore%5D

Miss Dorothy and her Boookmobile, by Gloria Houston. When Dorothy was a little girl, she loved books and so she went to college to become a librarian. She married, left the Product Detailsbig city and lived in a rural area with little access to books. What did she do? Why she made her own bookmobile and eventually a small library. This sweet book shows the tenacity of one women’s desire to bring books to all and to share her love for the written word.

Rocket Learns to Read (2010) and Rocket Writes a Story Product Details(2012) by Tad Hillis are a complete package. First, Rocket must learn to read, which he does with the help of a sweet little bird. And then in book two, Rocket is so inspired he decides to write a book of his own. An adorable tale of learning, perseverance, and self-actualization. A winning combination!

A Story for Bear by Dennis Heasley. Oh my! This one is so sweet, thoughtful, and beautifully illustrated, one feels as if she’s right smack in the middle of the book. I absolutely adore the sentiment behind the love for books, the attention to nature and the way the author-illustrator have clearly teamed up to create this lovely story. While this is a picture book, it’s long and perhaps is best-suited for older children. My 3rd grader still loves it, and will study the illustrations for hours. Product Details

  • For more information and additional resources, please refer to the READ ALOUD Product DetailsHANDBOOK by Jim Trelease. It’s a gold-standard for parents and teachers alike who desire to share the written word with their children. In fact, research shows that continuing to read aloud to your children even after they can read on their own increases critical thinking skills, attention-span, vocabularly, and more. Select books that are just above your child’s natural reading level and make it a family tradition.
  • Just for grins and giggles, you may be intersted in taking this on-line quiz to determine which children’s book you are. I’m BAMBI. “Sweet and irresisitable and make people cry. A lot.” Not sure how true that is, but fun nonetheless!


That’s it…Class dismissed!