Apraxia Monday: Guest Post Surviving & Thriving with a Special Needs Child

By Leslie Lindsay 

Absolutely touched and honored to be mentioned in this lovely article written by Indiana mom, V. Cantwell for National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month (March 2016):

Surviving and Thriving with a Special Needs Child

A happy, easy baby: that’s what our daughter Lauren was from the time she was born. She nursed and napped often and easily and started sleeping through the night at just over four months old. Overall, our beautiful blue-eyed daughter fit into our family seamlessly. She and I found our rhythm as mother and daughter, and life with a baby in the house was sailing along smoothly.

Somewhere before her first birthday, my husband starting seeing signs that something was wrong. She wasn’t cooing or babbling. Because he has two older daughters, he knew this wasn’t normal. When she ate solid food, she stuffed her mouth full without swallowing. And then things started to snowball… her first words were late, she wasn’t walking yet, her vocabulary was nowhere near where her pediatrician recommended. It was clear: she was missing many of her milestones. Something was wrong with our little girl’s development. But what was it? Why was this happening?

Little did I know that we were beginning our journey with Childhood Apraxia of Speech, or CAS. We had a long road ahead of us, and it wasn’t going to be easy.

Around this time, our pediatrician referred us to First Steps, Indiana’s early intervention program. Lauren qualified because of her developmental delays, which led to over a year of physical and speech therapy. When she “aged out” of First Steps at age three, the next step was to see if she qualified for a Developmental Preschool based on her speech. (A developmental preschool is a preschool especially designed for children with special needs, whether it is a disability or a developmental delay.) She qualified, so she was able to continue getting the speech and occupational therapy she so desperately needed. On my daughter’s third birthday, we strapped her little backpack on, watched her make the big climb up the school bus steps, and sent her to preschool. She literally rode a school bus (with special car seats for toddlers, but still!). We also learned that music therapy and hippo-therapy could help, so she went to music classes and horse-riding therapy. We still had no idea why this was happening: her speech was jumbled, she couldn’t say her own name, and she couldn’t keep up with kids her age on the playground.download (12)

After Lauren started at her amazing preschool, we finally got our answer. Lauren’s speech therapist thought it was  Apraxia of Speech, a neurologically-based motor speech disorder. Without getting technical, basically this means that when her brain tried to tell her mouth or muscles what to do, the message got scrambled. She knew what she wanted to say, but when the words came out, they were often unintelligible. I immediately started researching. Thankfully I found an amazing book that changed my life: “Speaking of Apraxia: A Parent’s Guide to Childhood Apraxia of Speech” by Leslie Lindsay, an R.N. and mother with a child like mine. I knew it: this was it. We finally had our answer. We learned that CAS has nothing to do with intelligence. And we finally started to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Lauren is now seven years old, is just as easy going and happy as when she was born, and is the greatest joy in my life. She ended up spending three years in developmental preschool. We had to hold her back and start her in kindergarten a year later than her peers, upon her teacher’s recommendation at her annual IEP meeting. (An IEP is a document that all children who qualify for special services receive, and is developed by parents, therapists, teachers and other school staff during an IEP meeting.) She still gets speech therapy twice a week at school, and probably will until at least the third grade. CAS has slightly affected her ability to learn to read and recite her numbers. But overall, she loves school, is incredibly social, is keeping up with the other kids, and even participated in dance and swim lessons last year.

Lauren Dance Recital

Our daughter was lucky enough to be diagnosed early, had access to therapy, had a family and school that were extremely involved in her development, has had an easy-going temperament which didn’t cause her to get frustrated, and is motivated to try at her therapy sessions. All of these things have led her to where she is today.

This process of mothering a child with special needs has been challenging. I am an achiever, a perfectionist, and extremely type A. I have had to accept that Lauren will do things at her own pace, in her own time. Play dates were not easy for either of us when Lauren was younger. It’s not easy to hear that your child is struggling at school during IEP meetings. What I’ve learned through Lauren’s diagnosis of CAS is that life is not always easy, and sometimes the hard things make you better: kinder, more understanding, more empathetic, more patient.

If your child is struggling with a delay or disorder of some sort, no matter where you are with a diagnosis, hang in there. Keep the faith. Be your child’s advocate and biggest cheerleader. Do the work. Be patient with both yourself and your child. And know that it does get better, I promise.

About Vanessa

indianapolis_circle_logo-200x200Vanessa is a proud Hoosier, currently residing in and raising her family on the north side of Indy in Westfield. She earned an undergraduate degree in Real Estate and a Master’s degree in Accounting from Indiana University. After graduation, she built the majority of her career at an S&P 100 company in Indianapolis. Recently she stepped away from the business world to recharge and focus on her family. Vanessa met her husband Ian in 2008, as well as his two beautiful daughters Audrey and Olivia, and the two quickly welcomed their daughter Lauren to the world in 2009. She enjoys being a “girl mom” and having adventures around town as a family. Now that she’s out of the rat race, she enjoys volunteering at the Grace Church choice food pantry and planning parties for her daughter’s classroom as a room parent. Her interests include working out, reading, anything red velvet, spoiling her two cats Gilbert and Grady and traveling to Michigan as often as possible.

[Originally on Indianopolis Moms Blog 3.28.16.]

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: Summer Re-Run Series: How your child can help YOU learn

By Leslie Lindsay, R.N., B.S.N.

Kids have a way of warming their parents’ hearts. They make them laugh, force them beyond their comfort zone, and give them a surge of pride.   Yet, children can also confuse and baffle.

When my then-2 ½ year old daughter, Kate was given the diagnosis of childhood apraxia of speech (CAS), I had little idea what that really meant, or how I might grow into a better parent from all of this. But I did. Kate taught me many valuable lessons.  Here are some common speech-language pathology “rules” in regards to CAS—and why those rules are so important. But, the ‘best’ message is the one your child may teach you.017

“Speech Rule” #1: Have your child repeat, repeat, repeat! Movement repetitions build strong motor planning/programming/gestures. Can you say that again?

 What your child might teach you:  Patience is the key. If I don’t repeat the words you just said, don’t give up on me. I am new to this and need some time to digest the information.

“Speech Rule” #2: Provide lots of opportunities throughout the day to get your child to talk or vocalize—about anything. Your child will begin to see that communication is indeed a fun part of life. What color is that dog? Is the cup big or small?

What Your Child Might Teach You: It’s great that you want to work with me and help, but sometimes I get tired. Sometimes I just want to be quiet. Give me some down time, too. And most of all—don’t make me ‘perform’ in front of Grandma and Grandpa or the neighbors. I’m still pretty self-conscious about my speaking abilities—or lack thereof.

“Speech Rule” #3: Be goofy and funny. If you are relaxed and your kiddo is relaxed, words will come easier. Ask nonsensical questions to elicit a response, give silly options.

What Your Child Might Teach You: It’s good to chill-out sometimes, mom and dad. You take things too seriously sometimes. I love when we laugh together, we should do it more often.

“Speech Rule” #4: Make talking and speech practice more about your lifestyle and less about “sit and speak” time. In this sense, you “work it in” to your routine.

What Your Child Might Teach You: I spend enough time in speech and school. If you make me sit at the dining room table and go over speech words one more time, I might scream. If you make speech fun and functional then I just might go along with you.

“Speech Rule” #5: The more talking feels like work, the less willing your kiddo will be to do it.

What your Child Might Teach You: When you are worried and anxious about my talking, I feel it too. That doesn’t do either of us any good. Don’t make me ‘work’ for my snack, or something else I want. If I can’t say it perfectly, don’t stress; but do push me along sometimes. You’ll know when I’ve had enough.

“Speech Rule” #6: Imitation is huge, too. “Can you say what I say?” Try it. If imitation is too hard, try doing it in unison. Remember all of the chanting our grandparents did in school for memorization? Even singing the ABC song is a form of imitation in the form of chanting memorization. [image source: http://www.playriffic.com on 8.11.14]

What your Child Might Teach You: I like when we sing songs together. It’s fun and silly and helps me feel confident. Plus, I think it’s cool when you teach me a new, grown-up word like ‘independent’ or ‘gymnasium.’ It’s fun to try!

“Speech Rule” #7: You are mom or dad first. You do not need to become your child’s speech-language pathologist. Kids are smart. They will know what you’re up to and won’t participate if you act too much like their SLP.

What your Child Might Teach You: I totally get that you want me to talk more. But I want more time just to be your little girl/boy. I might really like my speech-language therapist, but don’t worry, mom and dad: YOU are the center of my universe.

Leslie Author PicBio:Leslie Lindsay is a former child/adolescent psychiatric R.N. at the Mayo Clinic. Her daughter, Kate is a bright and creative 2nd grader resolving from childhood apraxia of speech (CAS). It is because of her that Leslie wrote the first book designed for parents on this complex neurologically-based motor speech disorder. Speaking of Apraxia: A Parent’s Guide to Childhood Apraxia of Speech (Woodbine House, 2012) is as much as labor of love as it is a resource to help others along their apraxia journey. She lives in Chicagoland with her husband, two daughters, and a basset hound where she writes full-time. Follow her blog, http://www.speakingofapraxia.com about all things early childhood and apraxia. Hop over to http://www.leslielindsay.com for author interviews, literary things, the writer’s life. “Like” her Facebook Page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Speaking-of-Apraxia-A-Parents-Guide-to-Childhood-Apraxia-of-Speech/235772599837084?ref=hl. Follow her on Twitter at @LeslieLindsay1cropped-9781606130612.jpg


ApRaXia MoNdAy: Summer Re-Run Series-Complementing your SLPs Efforts

By Leslie Lindsay

This was originally written as a guest post for a fellow SLP blogger, but there are so many gret things in this article I think you’ll appreciate as you team up with your child’s SLP.87c76-410_1target_group_kids_apparel_photography_los_angeles_mike_henry

Giving my Child a Voice: The Role of the Parent in Childhood Apraxia of Speech

By Leslie Lindsay, R.N., B.S.N.

Throughout human history, and long before, mothers have been making sacrifices for their young. They tend to them, they groom them, they take care of their basic needs. And so when my then-2 ½ year old daughter, Kate was given the diagnosis of childhood apraxia of speech (CAS), I had little idea what that really meant, or how I could help. Aside from the fact that I would be schlepping my daughter to and from speech therapy, I was dumbfounded. I shrugged, rolled my lips into a tight line and accepted the challenge; I would give my daughter the gift of voice—even if I didn’t know how.

Of course, the pediatric speech-language pathologist (SLP) we worked with privately for the next few years, coupled with the special-education preschool Kate attended five days a week really helped her thrive, socially and academically. I wasn’t carrying the brunt of apraxia alone, yet at times it felt that way. It really does take a village to raise a child. Along the way, I learned some valuable lessons, insights, and therapy ideas that may also help you along your apraxia journey.

Parenting Primer

Here are a few things you need to keep in mind as your “golden rules” in working withyour child with CAS:  

  • Have your child repeat, repeat, repeat! Movement repetitions build strong motor planning/programming/gestures. Can you say that again?
  • Provide lots of opportunities throughout the day to get your child to talk or vocalize—about anything.Your child will begin to see that communication is indeed a fun part of life. What color is that dog? Is the cup big or small?
  • Be goofy and funny. If you are relaxed and your kiddo is relaxed, words will come easier. Ask nonsensical questions to elicit a response, give silly options.
  • Make talking and speech practice more about your lifestyle and less about “sit and speak” time. In this sense, you “work it in” to your routine.
  • Team up with your SLP. Have her give you ideas for homework and report back to her. Let her know what your kid does well at home and see if it works as well in the clinic. Think of your SLP-parent-kid connection as a circle with no beginning and no end; make it appear as if you are driving a fancy automatic car—smooth and effortless, even if it’s really a jumpy 5-speed jeep.
  • The more talking feels like work, the less willing your kid will be to do it.
  • Imitation is huge, too. “Can you say what I say?” Try it. If imitation is too hard, try doing it in unison. Remember all of the chanting our grandparents did in school for memorization? Even singing the ABC song is a form of imitation in the form of chanting memorization.
  • You are mom or dad first. You do not need to become your child’s speech-language pathologist. Kids are smart. They will know what you’re up to and won’t participate if you act too much like their SLP.
  • Your goal is to complement your SLP’s efforts in your own home. Talk to your SLP about a reasonable amount of home practice. This will also depend on the age of your child. As one apraxia parent named Mike shared, “An SLP is like a personal trainer at the gym. You go, your trainer works with you for an hour and teaches you things to do on your own, but it’s up to you to do the rest.”7f (1)

Once you have a good sense of these basics, it’s time to start incorporating moments in your daily routine which will help your child see that communication is indeed important and valuable. No worries, you don’t have to do anything fancy or special. Most of these ideas are free, or low-cost. Chances are, you already have a lot of toys, materials, and props at home that will spark your creativity. Remember, just about any toy or object can be used as a “therapy” tool.

  • 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.
  • Exercise by biking or sledding, walking, or swinging. Speech payoff: vocalizations and words are often heard with movement. Exercise also increases self-confidence, which these kiddos need more than anything. Children with CAS often crave movement.
  • Do some art. Speech payoff: Besides the 1:1 time all kids need, it also unleashes creative potential and gives you something to talk about: “What color should we make the tree?” Practice saying “tree” or “green” while you’re at it.
  • Listen to music. Speech payoff: Kids need physical movement, and what better way to get them to move than with some rockin’ tunes? Encourage singing; even if they can’tget the lyrics out, they can hum along. Plus, music has a positive effect on mood—even yours!
  • Bake cookies or cupcakes. Speech payoff: identify ingredients as you toss them into the bowl, have your child repeat the words (flour, sugar, butter, etc.) if she is able, talk about shapes as you roll out sugar cookies. Share your cookies with friends and neighbors and let your child do some of the talking—if possible—when the two of you deliver the goodies. It can be as simple as saying, “cookie” or “bake”–even an approximation will do.

 And when it’s all said and done (yes, pun intended), you can sit back and be proud, not just of your child—but of your efforts as a parent as well. Who knew you had it in you?! Thanks for giving your child the gift of a lifetime; the gift of speech.

For more information, see SPEAKING OF APRAXIA: A Parent’s Guide to Childhood Apraxia of Speech (Woodbine House, 2012) available thru Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble (in-store and on-line and thru http://www.woodbinehouse.com)



ApRaXiA mOnDay: Summer Re-Run Series


Talk of the Town: Gossip Queen & Child Development Expert Answers your Most Pressing Questions.

Today’s Topic: Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS)

Monday, July 16th 2014

By Staff Writer

Dear Miss Talks-a-Lot:

 My 3 year old son has so much difficulty talking. It’s like he knows what he wants to say, but he can’t quite get the words out. Everything else [developmentally] seems to be right on target, yet he just jibbers and gestures. What could be going on?

–Frustrated in Colorado

Dear Frustrated in Colorado:

It sounds like your son may be suffering from Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS), this neurologically based motor speech disorder is characterized by the inability to connect thoughts with verbal output. It’s as though the child knows what he wants to say, he just cannot coordinate the muscles of articulation with his brain. Often, kids with CAS will gesture or create their own words and phrases to get their needs met. Your best bet would be to have him evaluated by a qualified speech-language pathologist(SLP) who has a background in childhood apraxia of speech. From there, you will receive an official diagnosis, a treatment plan, and suggestions for next steps.

Dear Miss Talks-A-Lot:

I have heard of this new book, SPEAKING OF APRAXIA and wonder what your thoughts are?

–Curious Mom in Missouri

Dear Curious:

So glad you asked! SPEAKING OF APRAXIA was published in 2012 by Woodbine House, a leader in producing quality special needs books for parents, professionals, and caregivers since 1985. It is my understanding that it is the first non-academic book designed exclusively on the subject of CAS. Written by mom and former child/adolescent psychiatric RN from the Mayo Clinic, this book embodies everything the author, Leslie Lindsay thought about, worried about, and learned about during her course of raising a daughter with CAS. She wanted a book when her daughter was diagnosed, but was disappointed in the options available. Plus, she wanted to help others walking the same path. SPEAKING OF APRAXIA truly is a labor of love. It has received national and international recognition from SLPs, parents, and educators. A Georgia-based parent says:

“A comprehensive encyclopedia on childhood apraxia of speech (CAS) & self-help book for both parent and child. In addition to having over 400 pages full of facts, Leslie chronicles bits & pieces of her own daughter’s journey with apraxia.”

Anita, a speech-pathologist in Sao Paulo, Brazil shares, “Few professionals know Apraxia. Many children are without diagnosis, teachers and educators and parents completely unaware. I bought your book and loved it, it is very practical and thorough and sure I can use with parents of my patients….surely, it will be very useful for all children with Apraxia.”

For more information, or to obtain your own copy of SPEAKING OF APRAXIA (Woodbine House, 2012), head over to http://www.amazon.com, http://www.barnesandnoble.com, (in-store, too), as well as http://www.woodbinehouse.com


[this is a mock newspaper article. The quotes are real, but names have been changed to protect privacy.

Apraxia Monday: Summer Re-run Series

By Leslie Lindsay

It’s summer and that means–BUSY!  Between vacations, sticky popsicles, and kids home from school, this writer momma has a lot less time to write.  But you all still want some great apraxia content, right?  Of course you do!

If you’re just now joining us, welcome! And you’re in for a treat–we’re re-running some “Apraxia Monday” favorites. Already read them? Pass ’em on to someone new to the  diagnosis.

Got ideas for future topics, things you want to learn more about, personal stories, or just want to say ‘hi,’ by all means drop me a line at leslie_lindsay@hotmail.com or by leaving a comment on this blog.

In the meantime, enjoy the re-runs and your little ones!???????????????????????????

SLPs: Our Children with CAS Need your TLC (originally ‘aired’ on Future SLPs of America, Spring 2012)

By Leslie Lindsay, R.N. B.S.N.

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.

And why do I share this?9781606130612

Since you are about to embark into an exciting profession of working with children and their families, I’d like you to have an inside view of what it’s like to raise a child with CAS.

  • We are hurting. We feel a sense of loss in our child’s lack of verbal communication. We are grieving. We didn’t want this to happen. Heck, most of us don’t even know what CAS is!
  • We are frustrated. We don’t know what we are doing wrong (some of us blame ourselves on our child’s inability to speak). It’s hard to live a life where we only hear our child(ren) point and grunt to get their needs met.
  • We feel all alone. It’s not every day you run into someone else who is also struggling with CAS. It often feels like it is “us” against “the world.” If you know of anyone else who is open to connecting for play dates or support groups, hook us up!
  • We have a lot of other concerns. It may be that we have to take off work early—or stop working altogether to make sure our child gets to speech therapy. Money may be tight. Our insurance may be giving us a hard time. The demands of raising a family, running a household, and dealing with apraxia may have taken a toll on our relationships.
  • We have a full, busy life. Apraxia and speech therapy is a part of our life, but we are many things to many people. Please respect our time.
  • Deep down, we just want to have a “normal” kid. When we overhear a precocious 3-year old chatting with his mommy or daddy at the local park or coffee shop, our heart breaks. “Why can’t that be my kid?!”
  • We worry. Will this ever get better? Will my child be able to talk—when? What do I need to do?
  • We want to help. Let us into your speech-pathology world. You don’t have to give away all of the secrets to the trade, but let us be your partner.

As a professional SLP, here’s what you can do to help smooth our path:

  • Give us homework, tips, ideas, and more information on childhood apraxia. Some folks may request this, others might not know what they need or want. Feel us out. If you come across something in your professional life you think will help, but all means, pass it on.
  • Treat us with respect and compassion. We know a lot about our children and we want to help them.
  • But don’t tiptoe around our feelings. Go ahead, lay it on me. Tell me that CAS is serious and complex and can take years to remediate. Tell me, too that you will do all you can to help my child learn to speak verbally and that we are in this together. I need that right now.
  • Ask us about our home life. We may have some inside tips to help you with our child in therapy. For example, she really does get scared of bubbles; please do not blow them with her. She can’t go anywhere without her favorite stuffed puppy. Let her bring him to therapy and perhaps incorporate him into your activities.

7f (1)You see, as a former R.N. who worked with children day and night in an inpatient child psychiatry program at the Mayo Clinic, I know that children and their families matter. We are not simply a diagnosis who needs treatment. We are real people, with real feelings and real lives.

It is because of my daughter Kate that I wrote the first book designed for parents on this complex neurologically-based motor speech disorder. SPEAKING OF APRAXIA: A PARENT’S GUIDE TO CHILDHOOD APRAXIA OF SPEECH(Woodbine House, 2012) is as much as labor of love as it is a resource to help others along their apraxia journey.

The book is comprised of over 300 pages of tips, ideas, research, and more on various topics related—not just to CAS—but other speech disorders from suspecting a problem to getting treatment (what that treatment consists of), school challenges, what you can do at home, family coping, child coping, networking, advocating, and co-morbid conditions. Sprinkled throughout are quotes from parents speaking out about apraxia—what helped, what mattered, and what challenged them.

Speaking of Apraxia is a must-have for every practicing pediatric SLP. Read what others are saying:

” I was so excited to open up my Advancefor SLPs magazine today and see your book advertised! Your ‘baby’ is out there. I wish you lots and lots of success with it!” –R.W.

An SLP in Missouri shares this: “I already have a couple of families in mind that I am excited to tell about Speaking of Apraxia. What a great resource!”

“I could feel your blood, sweat and tears as I flipped through the pages (wiping my eyes).Outstanding! I just shook my head in amazement…I am in awe and I am still kind of speechless…really! This book will be just one of your legacies…well done!!”

–T.K.P., CCC-SLP in Minnesota

And remember, our kids need your special touch. For without the “magic” of dedicated SLPs, our children with apraxia wouldn’t be able to make the gains they do. Thank you.cropped-9781606130612.jpg

Apraxia Monday: How to Help Your Child Talk, The ebook by Katie Yeh, CCC-SLP

By Leslie Lindsay

Wow–could Katie Yeh, CCC-SLP be any cooler?! I think not.

Mom of three, pediatric speech-langauge patholgist, blogger over at Playing with Words 365, and now author of the ebook, HOW TO HELP YOUR CHILD TALK, there doesn’t seem to be anything this woman can’t do.

I recently had an opportunity to review this lovely ebook and let me tell you–I was amazed! What began a collection of popular posts from her blog, this 45-page ebook packs a punch, combining evidenced-based research to inspire and empower parents and early childhood professionals to enthusiastically engage with their children on a speech-language level.

The ebook opens as many do–with a disclaimer. If you truly belive there is something “more” to your child’s lack of speech or overall development, please seek out professional advice; a book can certainly help but it’s not a cure.

Moving along, Katie shows parents what to expect in speech development. Do you yearn to hear that first word? What about the second and third? Will he say momma first, or perhaps the name of the family pet? And if your child is already speaking, I am sure you recall that first magical word, the first time you heard that little voice.

But wait–there’s more! What Katie and I seem to agree on is this: kids learn through play. They love it; they seek it out. It’s a way to make sense of the world, experiment in safe and loving environment. Here are a few tips from the book regarding play:

  • Take your child’s initiative. What interests her? Does she love blocks or doll houses? Farms or cars? Let her “take you” to the toy she most wants to learn from. Get down on the floor. Engage with her.
  • Slip speech and communication in with your everyday, normal routine. Talk as you change your child’s diaper, pick out clothes for the day (“Let’s wear the green shirt…can you say ‘green’?”), prepare a meal/snack.
  • Toys. Get back to the basics. Who really needs a toy that buzzes, beeps, and flashes? Does that teach anything? Nope. Stick with things like blocks, Matchbox cars, dress-up clothing, doll houses, Play-Doh, and farms. Talk about the texture, color, make animal noises together, make the car go ‘vrooom.’ The beauty of these toys is they help your child connect play with fun and they elict sounds which build upon the foundation for speech development. 87c76-410_1target_group_kids_apparel_photography_los_angeles_mike_henry

But why do you NEED this ebook??

  • It’s fun, straightforward, no nonsense approach is just what busy parents and practioners need.
  • Hand-outs that are easily printed and used as your child’s skills and needs evolve.
  • Q&A. You have worries. Katie has answers. You know when a book is prescriptive and you try it and then you think, “Well, that did a lick of good.” This has several scenarios that will help you make sense of it all.
  • The power of waiting. (Anyone else have Tom Petty’s “The Waiting is the Hardest Part” running through their heads? Well, you do now, right?!). See why this is such an important step in child development and especially speech.
  • 100% of funds from the purchase of this ebook goes to Juvenile Arthritis.

For more information about Katie Yeh, CCC-SLP please visit her fantabulous site, Playing With Words 365. http://www.playingwithwords365.com/


[Cover image source: http://www.playingwithwords365.com/ retrieved on 6.15.14, stock image of children]



Apraxia Awareness Day 2014 Friday Give-a-Way

By Leslie Lindsay Apraxia-Awareness-Day-FB-Graphic-1

It’s FRIDAY and that’s another great reason to celebrate this weeklong Apraxia Awareness Event!

I’ve got two really great products to pass on:

1) Diane Dynes, CCC-SLP and Kelly Donovan have teamed up to put some new tunes into your hands with TALKING TUNES!  With fun children’s music for langauge development and speech therapy, this CD is sure to be engaging and effect as another tool in  your apraxia toolkit. JUST RELEASED this spring! See our recent “Apraxia Monday” interviewTalking Tunes Promo Card

2) Katie Yeh, CCC-SLP and MOMx3 has a fan-tabulous website/blog that you may already be following, Playing with Words 365 (http://www.playingwithwords365.com/) but what you may not know is she has a brand-new e-book filled with early childhood speech & language development tips, skills, ideas, etc. titled HOW TO HELP YOUR CHILD TALK: The eBook (http://www.playingwithwords365.com/2014/04/how-to-help-your-child-talk-the-ebook/)How to Help Your Child Talk eBook Cover 3D

One lucky winner will receive BOTH items. Here’s what ya gotta do:

1) Leave a comment on this blog or the SPEAKING OF APRAXIA Facebook page letting us know your interest.

2) Wait.

3) One name will be selected at random on Wednesday, May 21st to recieve both the CD and the ebook. We’re calling it #MediaFriday.

4) You’ll be contacted via FB and/or email if you are the winner. Kindly check spam/junk/other on Wedensday, May 21st after 5pm CST and respond promptly with a mailing address (for the CD). Your  ebook will be emailed to you.

5) GOOD LUCK!! cropped-9781606130612.jpg

The Teacher is Talking: THE BIG BOOK OF EXCLAMATIONS by Teri K. Peterson, CCC-SLP

By Leslie Lindsay Apraxia-Awareness-Day-FB-Graphic-1

It was 2009 when I bumped into Teri K. Peterson, CCC-SLP–literally. I was tired, overwhelmed, and worried. “Oh, excuse me!” I exclaimed as I brushed off my mistake, a bloom of warmth rising up my face.

“No problem!” she quipped. With just those two words, I pegged her as being from Minnesota. No, no don’t get me wrong…I’m not stereotyping. Okay, maybe a little. You see, my hubby and I lived in Minnesota for just over five years before relocating to the western Chicago suburbs. Our daughters, Kate and Kelly were born just outside of the Twin Cities, in a small bucolic college town called Northfield.

But I digress. As a mother who was keenly aware of words–of lack thereof–I heard everything related to speech: accents, prosody, stress, rate, and so forth. Our first born wasn’t speaking much. In fact, it makes sense that I bumped into Ms. Peterson at the 2009 CASANA conference held in Chicagoland. She was setting up a booth of this very book, THE BIG BOOK OF EXCLAMATIONS–the one I am giving away to a lucky winner today!! Product Details

Being a book lover, I was immediately smitten with this book. Neverminding the fact that Ms. Peterson and I were connected by books, Minnesota, and apraxia…I snatched a copy, slipped her my card, and we’ve been in close contact since. Not only that, but I am proud to share that my daughter’s apraxia is nearly nonexistent.

Did this book help? Well, to borrow a Minnesota phrase, “You betcha!”

To quote from Amazon:

The Big Book of Exclamations is an educational book written by a speech pathologist and designed to promote speech sound development and imitation of gestures, sounds and words. Unlike most books, it doesn’t have a story to read. Instead, along the bottom of each page there are prompts which teach parents/caregivers how to act out the illustrations and interact using gestures, sounds, words, or phrases depending on their child’s ability. The book shows parents how to modify what they say about each illustration in order to maximize their child’s communication potential. It is also filled with information which helps parents understand speech language development and it lists resources for those seeking advice. A wonderful book for young children with typical speech development and those considered “late talkers”. It makes a perfect gift for new parents, infants, toddlers, and preschoolers.”8be2d-giveawayfinalbanner

You’re in LUCK!!  Ms. Peterson has generously offered a complimentary copy for a blog reader THIS WEEK! Here’s what you have to do:

  • Share this link (copy and paste) via social media of your choice (Twitter, FB, an on-line group, Pinterest, even old-school email).
  • Send me an email at leslie_lindsay@hotmail.com with the subject line, “I Shared!” You’ll be entered to win. (your email won’t be used for anything else, promise)
  • A drawing will be held next Tuesday, May 2oth by 5pm CST.
  • If you’re the winner, you’ll be contacted via email, so be sure to check your “junk.” : )
  • The book will be mailed from Minnesota, courtesy Teri Peterson. [book cover image retrieved from amazon.com on 5.12.14]