ApRaXiA mOnDaY: Back-to-School

By Leslie Lindsay

It’s that time of year again…and so we load up the backpacks and lay out a freshly pressed outfit, new shoes, and the IEP.

Wait. I don’t mean to be glib, but it’s definitely on the minds of us parents who have a child with special concerns. 017

Except me. No, I am not gloating. We definitely  have been there. We *are* there. Only the IEP is no longer for apraxia. It’s for “other health impaired’ (OHI), and no I am not skirting around the issue by semantics. Kate definitely had apraxia, and it most certainly impacted her ‘access to the cirriculum’ as is the criteria for establishing an IEP. She couldn’t participate in circle time very well, reading was a challenge, so was writing.

But then something clicked. It could have been the years of speech therapy. It could have been her motivation, but most likely, it was a combination of all of that along with Kate’s developmental age finally “catching up” with her peers.

For those of you who are curious, the “clicking” happened for us when Kate was a 2nd grader (about 8 years old). There’s a reason CAS is called “childhood apraxia of speech,” it is usally limited to those early years of a child’s speech-language development. But that’s not to imply that your child will simply, ‘outgrow’ apraxia. Nope. There is a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes, namely: working directly (and exhaustively) with a qualified SLP. But parents and guardians aren’t off the hook just yet. CAS requires plenty of home practice.

At fourth grade (??!) Kate is still struggling with the remnants of CAS. Slower reader, yes. Poor speller–yep. But what she lacks in those areas, she makes up in imagination and creativity, and well-energy.

Which brings me to her next issue: AD/HD.

This is why the IEP reads, “Other Health Impairment” (OHI).” It’s the combination of residual apraxia and AD/HD that have given her that–cringe–label.

Back up a week and some change. We head over to the elementary school for the meet-and-greet welcome night. We peek into the library, the old classrooms of grades past, and then make our way to the 4th grade wing. Kate unloads her school supplies and shyly checks out the other students. Ah! A friend.

Her teacher comes by, hand outstretched, a big grin on her face as she introduces herself. And you know what? Kate smiles in response and in a clear voice says, “Hi. I’m Kate.”

A surge of pride swells within. Did I even mention apraxia? No. I can safely say that this little beast is well behind us.

Coming Up:

  • We will be taking a hiatus from apraxia on Mondays while shifting our efforts to AD/HD. In fact, it’s one of the most cited co-occuring disorders with apraxia/CAS. Those posts will run on TUESDAY.
  • There will be NO MORE “Apraxia Monday” blogs. But you can still find me on Twitter, @LeslieLindsay1 and also on the companion FB page, SPEAKING OF APRAXIA where I’ll continue to post blurbs, photos, updates, quotes, etc. on/about apraxia.
  • I’m always open to fresh, new voices! If you have a story, insight, worry, etc. about apraxia and would be interested in being a guest blogger, by all means, give me a a holler at leslie_lindsay@hotmail.com
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ApRaXia MoNdAy: Dell’s Journey Through Mommy’s Voice

By Leslie Lindsay

Sometimes when I feel I am the only one raising a child with apraxia (CAS), I am reminded just what a small world we live in. This story comes from “apraxia mom” Tricia and her son, Dell. It’s a reminder that we aren’t in this alone and we’ve got to “go at it with all of our might.”

“Dell’s Journey through Mommy’s Voice”

By Tricia B.

Dell with CASAt Dell’s 18 month check I brought up to his doctor that I didn’t think Dell was talking as much as he should be. She referred me to Early Intervention(EI) & our journey began.

At 21 months Dell had his first speech-language evaluation. He was diagnosed with Expressive Speech Delay. He starts speech therapy in February 2012 for one hour once a week. Some progress is made, however deep down inside, I always had a gut feeling there was something more.

In February 2013, we changed his therapy to 30 minutes twice a week. And again, a month later, in March we changed his therapy to 30 minutes three times a week. At the end of March he had yet another evaluation.

When a child turns 3 they transfer out of Early Intervention & into the school district. Right after the evaluation was done I heard the results: severe expressive speech delay The women who evaluated him suggested we ask the school district for 30 minutes four times a week. *

April comes, and Dell’s SLP and myself attend the CPSE [IEP] meeting.  Dell’s speech therapist reads over the completed evaluation and shares her strong suspicions that Dell has Childhood Apraxia of Speech.  She requests his [IEP] accomodates  30 minutes [of speech therapy] four times a week. The chairperson turns down the additional day.*

“But this is a 3 year old little boy who needs help!!” I said. I go at her with all I’ve got.

She reluctantly agrees to another meeting in August to re-evaluate Dell’s diagnosis and progress. What she really wanted was data…(and data was what we were going to give her!)

As a concerned mother, I took Dell to first see his pediatrician & sheAnother of Dell CAS agreed with the diagnosis of Childhood Apraxia of speech.  As a safe-measure, she writes a letter to the school district. Data point #1–check!

The second step was to have an apraxia specialist formally diagnose Dell.  Data point #2–check! She, too writes a letter to the school district.

I was on a roll and it felt empowering.  The final step in our data collection was to have Dell see a neurologist. We did just that. Another letter was drafted and sent to the school district. Data point #3.

When we arrived in August for the follow-up meeting, I had my data and was overjoyed when Dell’s speech therapy was approved for 30 minutes 4 times a week.

Yet I will never forget hearing the Apraxia specialist say that there was ‘no doubt’ he has childhood apraxia of speech (CAS). Hearing my son was severely delayed [in his speech] was tough to hear. Even though I knew the diagnoses, I was still devastated. As a parent you never want your child to suffer.

Yet I am the type of person who knows to deal with these kinds of things ‘head on.’ Like you, I would do anything for my child.

But that’s not to say any of this was easy. There certainly is a grieving progress & I knew I had to allow myself to grieve.

I have been in acceptance for awhile now. I think what has help me stay in acceptance is the progress that Dell has made. In September he started his 4 days a week therapy each session 30 minutes & two days a week preschool. He went from saying “maw” for ‘more’ to being able to say “more” in just a a matter of a few months. He now is putting two words together.  All of this from a little boy a year ago that didn’t have more than 10 words.

Our journey is far from over, but the progress has been amazing. A couple of months ago I was in the kitchen making dinner. Dell came in the room and said to me,”Mom, I hung.” I knew he meant he was hungry. I started to cry. It’s absolutely amazing to see Dell advocating for himself. At that moment, I knew he was going to be fine. I believe childhood apraxia of speech (CAS) is about the journey, not the destination. No matter how hard this journey feels, I wouldn’t change a minute of it.

Tricia apraxia momBio: Tricia Batz is a stay at home mom of three children. She has devoted her time helping her son Dell overcome his Apraxia. She is from the Rochester, New York area. You can follow her sons journey with Apraxia on Facebook at Apraxia: Dell’s Journey through Mommy’s voice.

For more information on IEPs, preschool & apraxia, taking your child’s apraxia to school, please see chapters 9-12 in SPEAKING OF APRAXIA: A Parent’s Guide to Childhood Apraxia of Speech, an award finalist resource from Woodbine House. Available thru Amazon, B&N, and the publisher. Now in KINDLE!! 9781606130612

Apraxia Monday Interview with Heather Ziessler

By Leslie Lindsay

Here’s a repeat post from spring 2013…a great book and tips from Minnesota “apraxia mom” and author! 

Here’s a special treat–interview with mom times 4 and author of the recently released children’s book, hi My nAMe is MiLLY, Heather Ziessler. Heather Zeissler[Author and book images courtesy of Heather Ziessler]

Thanks a bunch for taking the time to chat with us, Heather. We are super-excited to learn about your new book for kids on apraxia, specifically siblings. Let’s start by getting to know you a bit.

Thank you for having me here. I am delighted to share my passion for helping other families who are experiencing CAS.

L4K: First of all, you are a busy mother of four—one of which has CAS. Can you tell us a little about the family you are raising and how they have accepted your child with apraxia?

H.Z.: I certainly can, Leslie. I am married with 4 children, 3 boys and a girl who are currently in elementary and middle school. As far as sibling acceptance within the family goes, the children have never known anything different. We have worked very hard as a family to provide a loving, supportive environment for each of the children to thrive in. This involves lots of communication and individual time with each of them.

L4K: I understand you have a background in sociology. How do you think your education prepared you for raising a child with apraxia? In what ways?

H.Z.: Sociology by one definition is the study of social problems. So being non-verbal in a verbal world is a social challenge. This in turn, leads back to the main definition of sociology which is the study of cultures, more specifically, the study of social relationships between people. Surprisingly, the degree has been very helpful. It has provided a framework of reference, in regards to how various people treat Malcolm. It is so easy to be caught up in medical or therapy worlds and how those institutions relate to a person as compared to providing typical childhood experiences on a regular basis. It is a balancing act, to say the least. It also helps that I have a natural, life long, curiosity to understand what is going on inside a person. What makes them tick? Being able to understand and read between the lines of apraxia research is also a benefit. These skills enable me to be a better advocate for all of my children.

L4K: How did you dream up the idea to write a book for children about apraxia? I am assuming it all came to you as a mom…but maybe I am wrong? Cover (with copyright notice)

H.Z.: I didn’t dream this up; I LIVED it. [chuckle] When Malcolm was first diagnosed, I had a very verbal 5 year-old, a 1 year old, and was pregnant with our 4th child. My husband was out of town quite a bit for work, so things were beyond crazy in our house. It didn’t help matters that the extended family was convinced that Malcolm would simply “grow out of it.” I looked and looked for a book to read to my 5 year old about what it was like to have a non-verbal sibling. So, I finally took the advice of author Toni Morrison, Pulitzer Prize and Noble Prize for literature winner who said, “If there is a book you really want to read but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” “hi, My nAMe is MiLLY” is the direct result.

L4K: I have to ask about the title—specifically it’s appearance in upper and lower case letters. Was this intentional on your part? And if so, can you share the significance? Funny you should ask, Leslie. The book, “hi, My nAMe is MiLLY” is written from 5 year old Milly’s perspective. Yes, it was intentional and the primary goal is to remind the reader that this is a book from five year old sister Milly’s perspective.

L4K: What do you think siblings of children with apraxia struggle with the most?

H.Z.: I think the siblings of apraxic children struggle with many of the same issues of neuro-typical children. This is not an inclusive list by any means: Who does Mom or Dad love more? Am I getting my share of the attention? Are they interested in me? In addition to, there are other themes that have come up in our experience; such as, the feeling of protectiveness towards the CAS sibling, more so than the others.

L4K: How can siblings work with one another in the day-to-day struggles of CAS? Do you see them as an instrument in the overall resolution of the speech disorder. How have your own children worked with your child?

H.Z.: Leslie, I firmly believe that the immediate family is the first and best teacher of our children. The siblings of children with apraxia, have a monumental task. They not only teach each other the typical things, they are also responsible for giving the apraxic child their first examples of interpersonal communication. The siblings provide a source of strength and also may act as interpreters, when interacting with children outside of the family. The siblings are instrumental to each other in developing friendship skills. The siblings also have the ability to bring speech therapy into play on a peer level basis. What I mean by this is that the siblings can embrace ‘therapy games’ as regular play. They can be the informal follow-through to regular therapy. One of our speech therapist’s said that the younger sibling of a CAS child pushes more than she can pull in terms of developing speech. Several examples of how siblings have incorporated therapy into play are given in the book, “hi, My nAMe is MiLLY.” [this image from http://www.sheknows.com/parenting/articles/847367/middle-child-syndrome, to represent siblings] three-siblings-middle-child

L4K: What advice would you give to a parent(s) just learning of their child’s diagnosis?

H.Z.: Advice is easy to give, but hard to take. I think back to what I would have liked to have known when our journey started. First, remember this is a marathon, not a sprint. It will take time. There will be successes and struggles, try to remember to look at the forest and not the trees. Educate yourself, so that you in turn, can educate others. Make time for each child to have one on one time with their parent(s). Make time for your spouse! Read to your child(ren), even though your CAS child may not respond with the same verbal cues as the other child(ren). Don’t assume that they do not understand the story. There is an amazing person on the inside. Don’t sell them short.

Wow! Thank you, Heather! That was truly empowering. We wish you and yourBack Cover with copyright (1) family much success with your book.

For more information about this book and it’s author, Heather Ziessler please see:

Apraxia Monday: America the Beautiful…All-American Speech Tips & Ideas

By Leslie Lindsay

Happy Veteran’s Day to all!  Without these indivduals fighting for our country, where would we be?  Veteran’s Day began in 1918 as a way to remember those who fought for our country.  Other countries also participate and may call the day of rememberance Armistice Day. 

Our local elementary school puts on a wonderful presentation, complete with a cookies and punch reception, plus kids can bring in their favorite veteran (usually a grandpa) to show off.  What a treat for all.

In the meantime, I came across this darling book–a beautiful conglomeration of illustrations from artists across the nation.  Perhaps you’d like to add it to your child’s library, use it as inspiration for for a budding artist, or talking points as you discuss all-American facts, trivia, and history.

Along with those ideas, here are some speechy tips and crafts you may be interested in for extending the holiday into your daily speech practice.

  • A pet rock?!  Sure.  Head outside with your little one(s) and see if you can scrounge up a smooth, flat rock.  Talk about the shape, color, feel, even temperature of the rock.  What words can  your child contribe?  Then take it home and paint it up with acrylics to resemble the American flag, or something else that represents America to you (stars??).  http://www.enchantedlearning.com/crafts/rocks/patrioticpebble/
  • Can you name something patriotic for each letter of the alphabet?  It’s a challenge for older kids and parents alike!   Army…battle/bell…Coast Guard…Defend…Liberty…star/strips…treaty…you get the idea!
  • What about listing A M E R I C A down the length of posterboard or construction paper.  Have your child help you write the letters (or place alphabet stickers).  Then come up with a word for each letter. 
  • Break out your old Neil Diamond music and throw on his 1980’s hit, “We’re Coming to America.”  Sing and dance with your child.
  • Read a story.  Talk about the pictures.  See what patriotic words your child can approximate.  (check your local library for books related to America and Vetern’s Day)
  • Have Fun!!

Other books you may be intersted in:

Product DetailsProduct DetailsProduct Details

Want to feature your little apraxia cutie on the SPEAKING OF APRAXIA Facebook Page?  For the next two weeks, you can!  Simply send me a photo attachement of your child (grandchild) and this information: 

[book images retrieved from Amazon.com and all are by Katharine Lee Bates.  The author of this blog has no affiliation with Ms.Bates, merely presenting these titles as resources and entertainment]. 

 

The Teacher is Talking: FALL Series–Bullying

By Leslie Lindsay

Yesterday, I wrote this beautiful post on the prevalence of bullying.  Okay, perhaps the word, ‘beautiful’ is so wrong when it comes to this terrible social aggression we’ve all come to think of as a ‘normal’ part of growing up.

Right before I was about to hit, “publish,” the whole plonking thing when bye-bye.  Since I’m kind of a superstitious person, I wonder if the original post wasn’t meant to go out?  Or, perhaps it’s because I ran across something better in the meantime?  Ah yes…the muse is at play here.

Product Details

I came across something better.  A book.  A literary book.  THE SALT GOD’s DAUGHTER eloquently and articulately.  In fact, I think you’ll glean so much more if I share an excerpt or two from the book.  But first, you must know a couple of things:

1)  The character I am discussing is a 12 year old girl who was born with two feet (not so uncommon, eh?) but one of those feet has been affected by syndactylysm, a rare condition in which the toes do not separate in utero.  She has a webbed frog-like foot.  (Hint: bullies make fun of the different or known).

2)  This is fiction, but it’s so relatable.

“Julio was trying to get my attention.  I could feel his eyes searing my back, cutting into me, causing me to shift in my seat and finally to turn back and glance at him.  I lifted my chin.  This time, he gave me the finger.  I gave it back to him again.” 

“Raise above Naida,” my mother always said.  But I was not that  godly.  Not a saint, and certainly not enough of a wallflower, though I wished to be.  Lift off like a huge white bird…

…”She’d gone after me for no reason, so I didn’t know why I was so willing to be her friend.  She first learned the secret of my foot when I was six and had authored a series of stories of my hoof and claw, had pretended to like me in order to get my phone number.  Now she was almost as tall as our teachers…her authoritative presence had everyone afraid of her…mostly her meanness.” 

…”The bully drills.  Those torturous things.  There were instructions to walk away, as if away were a better place.  To ignore a bully.  Not give a bully attention….it gets better, they say.  It never did.  I walked away.  It didn’t help.  My bullies followed m.  My teachers, they could not help at all.  Tell on bullies made things worse.  The bullies would come back angrier, or perhaps satisfied they were in trouble.”

Oh!!  Doesn’t your heart just break for young Naida?  Mine, too.

The best suggestions I’ve heard on combating bullies is from Judy S. Freedman and her book, EASING THE TEASING.  Product Details

  • Agree with the bully.  “You’re right.  I do have a frog foot.  Big deal.”  (Or, “You’re right…I do have a big nose/glasses/freckles).  This stops the bully cold.
  • Flatter the bully with kindness.  “Yep.  Math’s hard for me now.  You’re good at it, maybe you can give me some pointers?” 
  • Tell the bully you appreciate being noticed.  “Thanks for noticing…there are lots of kids in this class/school and you chose to pay attention to me.  Cool.” 

Try discussing this scenario with you child(ren).  Ask for their thoughts on bullying in general.  You may be surprised. 

Please, if you have any major concerns about a child being bullied, speak up.  Bullies are real.  They hurt.  They can even kill. 

[iamge sources: amazon.com retrieved 10/30/13]

The Teacher is Talking: FALL Series #2: Making Friends

By Leslie Lindsay

Long ago, a wise person once told me, “When you arlook back on your life, and you think of all of the relationships and people who have come and gone, you’ll see that the number of true friends will fit on the fingers of only one hand.”

I looked at my right hand, flipping it over so I could see the ridges and swirls of my palm. It was pink and youthful. I counted my friends, wiggling each finger as I did. More than five. I looked back at this person, my eyes full of questions. At the time, I was young–about to graduate college. My whole life lay out ahead of me. How could it be possible to only have five individuals to name as ‘true friends’ as I became an old lady; there was a lot of living left between now and then.

And how it is that we teach this lesson to our youth? Perhaps, we don’t. Maybe it’s intended to be one of those mysterious life’s lessons that we learn along the way? In the meantime, your child will undoubtably have friends and want more of them. In fact, at this particular stage my daughter is in, she sees popularity as a virtue.

Here are some ideas to get the discussion going at home:

  • Why is it important to meet new people?
  • What kinds of people would you want to be friends with? (list out some qualities you look for–and identify some not-so-good qualities, too; those are ones you’ll want to avoid)
  • How will you know when/if new people meet your qualifications?
  • What information might you want to know about someone new? (where do you go to school? Grade? Age–only for kids? where do you live? What do you like to do for fun? What games do you like? Sports? Do you have a big family/brothers or sisters?)
  • How can you let others know you are interested in them as they share information?

Test your knowledge by role-playing at home:

My kids love when we do this kind of thing. My 6 year old and 8 year old daughters often try role reversals with me and my hubby. We’ll be the kid, they’ll be themselves (or sometimes a parent/teacher). We’ll try to make friends with each other by practicing the skills we learned or discussed as a family. Make it fun! Be silly!

  • Choose the right words for your introduction. “Hi! My name is ________. Nice to meet you!”
  • Choose the right time. Is the person busy? Did you make eye contact first ? Offer a smile?
  • Give good non-verbal clues (happy eyes, friendly posture, a smile). This helps others see you are friendly and offers a good first impression
Pair of HandsFollow-up with a discussion about why friends are so important. Talk about good friendships beingt he result of quality and not quantity (back to my daughter’s notion that popularity is all the rage). You may even want to extend the activity by tracing your child’s hand and having him list the friends he’d call in bind by writing those names along the fingers of the traced hand.As for who that wise person was…my grandmother.

Next Week on THE TEACHER IS TALKING:  Identifying and Expressing Feelings.  Next new blog, Monday, October 21st is Apraxia Monday!

Apraxia Monday: SOARing into School with these Study Skills & Give-a-Way

By Leslie Lindsay

Great new series on Apraxia Monday!  I am thrilled to share various products to help you and your child with academics, organization, time management and more! 

Today, we’re flying right into SOAR study skills, “a simple and efficient system for earning better grades in less time.” This innovative program has been carefully developed and researched by entrepreneur/ mom Susan Kruger, M.Ed. who identifies herself as a former struggling student.  What’s more, the program is being used in over 1,500 schools across the country and in 14 nations worldwide. SOAR can be tailored to individual student needs and applied to all content areas. (author Susan Kruger, M.Ed.  Image retrived 9.8.13 from www.studyskills.com)

Susan Kruger

When my daughter came home from school with a backpack filled with smashed notebook papers and wads of used Kleenex, I groaned, reached in and dumped the materials into the trashcan.   When it happened again, I repeated the actions but shouted, “Why can’t you just stay organized?”  Her face fell. 

She’d melt down every afternoon with math homework, flinging pencils across the room and screaming, “I hate homework!  I’m stupid!” 

She’s anything but.

Having a daughter with AD/HD and childhood apraxia of speech (CAS) has opened my eyes to the many programs and aids out there.  Some work, some don’t. 

SOAR emphasizes “soft skills,” such as:

  • Reading comprehension
  • Critical thinking
  • Active listening
  • Written expression
  • Time management
  • Organization
  • Active learning
  • Attention to detail
  • Learning strategies         .
  • Independence

I love every one of those!  These so-called soft skills are what will help folks get ahead in life.  It’s what drives corporations and long-term success.  In fact, in a Carnegie Melon study, researchers found that these skills compromise 95% of top skills in the workplace.  Yet, they are often ignored in educational settings, favoring your traditional* math, science, and social studies. 

Wouldn’t it be great if instead of long-division, your child’s teacher had a lesson on time management and critical thinking?  Or what about an organization module in which she taught learning strategies, binder organization, how to use a planner?  (Don’t get me wrong, the traditional* school subject areas are very important, but how much better would they be if these soft skills were enmeshed?)

The School/ADHD Success Toolkit is my favorite product from the vast line of SOAR study skills.  Here’s why:

  • SOAR is simple!  It’s not a complicated regime that will crumble once begun.  It’s intuitive and efficient.
  • It involves one binder, not a collection of folders and notebooks, just one item that does it all. 
  • SOAR is systematic and individualized.  The ADHD and Student success kit contains a digital portion in which you and your child can customize your own scorecard for success.  How great is that?
  • SOAR is Rated A for “anyone.”  It can be used for all students—good students, “bad” students, and indifferent ones—of all ages/grades and abilities. 
  • The SOAR Study Skills book is loaded with graphics and easy-to-understand step-by-step directions for streamlining your student’s projects.  Love the ideas on how to plan a paper, organizing book bags, and note-taking strategies. 
  • SOAR emphasizes that all students have different types of intelligence.  Take a quiz and learn if you/your student is math/visual/word/music/people/self/body/nature smart.  Use  your strengths to your advantage to be the best student possible!

(image source: www.studentuniverse.com)

SOAR has generously provided a give-a-way kit for a lucky blog reader!! Here’s what’s included:

  • SOAR Study Skills book
  • Personalized inventories and action plans
  • All supplies to get organized (binders, tabs, folders)
  • “How to” video and audio segments
  • $100 gift credit towards a Strategic Learning Class
  • Planner, timer
  • A $299 value all YOURS when you share this post with others (via FB, Twitter, email).  But you have to email me leslielindsay(at)hotmail.com and say “Shared—enter my name!” OR leave a comment on the blog so I know you shared.  That’s it–good luck!  081da-152

For more information on SOAR products, case studies, and to receive a FREE guide to “Conquer the Chaos,” head over to http://studyskills.com/

The fine print:  A name will be selected at random on Friday, September 13th.  You will be notified by email if your name is chosen.  Please check your “junk” mail promptly.  Must respond within 24 hours of being contacted with your mailing address, otherwise another name will be selected.  Open to contiguous US residents only.  Your products will be mailed Monday, September 16th from the Chicagoland area.  Your email won’t be used or sold, it is for contest purposes only. 

 

Apraxia Monday–Taking Apraxia to School: Making a Good First Impression/Social Stories

By Leslie Lindsay

Just recently, I got an email from a parent who was concerned her daughter wouldn’t be ready for school.  Sometimes, the most important thing a parent can do for a child is to model good first impressions themselves.  Start by relaxing and curbing your own anxieties of back-to-school and things ought to go easy-peasy, lemon-squeezy.  (above image retrieved from blendtec.com 8.19.13)

Making a good first impression certainly comes from within.  When you are happy and confident, you project a happy and confident you. It’s really that simple–and that complicated. 

A good starting place for our kiddos with CAS is to make a list of all things they are good at..grab yourself a big piece of posterboard and solict their help.  You can draw pictures, snip images from catalogs and magazines, use real photographs you print out, or simply write those things down.  This is ______.  He is really good at….Hang the poster in his room or on the fridge.

Kids going to kindergarten can be exciting, overwhelming, and nerve-wrecking. But never fear–with the right amount of prepaparation and support, kiddos (with, and without) apraxia can thrive.
 
Also, you may consider making a social story for your kiddo. Social stories feauture your child as the main character. There was once a little girl named ____ (your daughter’s name). She had a wonderful summer doing ___, and ____. But as August drew near, we started preparing for kindergarten. We bought some school supplies, a new outfit and new shoes. She looked so pretty. Here is a picture of ____ on her first day of school. (You can add real photos or have your son draw them). She was excited and a little nervous, but he was going to be just fine. Here’s a picture of ____’s teacher. What a nice teacher!First Day of school 2013 003

The concept behind social stories is you use your child’s name, photo/drawing to tap into common feelings and emotions. Make it positive as show him overcoming some fears. And yours, too!

Being the bookish kind of girl I am, try looking for some first day of school books at your local library or bookstore.  The Night Before Kindergarten is one of my favorites (there are other versions as well…night before preschool, and 1st grade for example).  Other books to consider–I Want to be Your Friend by Angela Baublitz is all about her daughter was apraxia, and how she loves doing things that everyone else does, too.  Look for it at Amazon.com and the CASANA website. 

Rhyming can be notoriously hard for children with apraxia. Read rhyming books like Dr. Seuss and Sandra Boynton often. Joke around with rhymes throughout your daily routine. Practice with phonics and books that use explosive language, yikes! bam! Kapow! Have your child repeat if he can. 

As for speech…remember that kindergarten kiddos aren’t expected to be 100% proficient in language–it’s still a developing skill. You may want to conference with his teacher just so she knows what is going on with your son–that she’s a bright girl with great receptive language, just that his expressive is lagging.

Best wishes for a happy and successful school year! 

For more information and tips on back-to-school social stories, see: