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Speaking of Apraxia

The Harried Parent's Book Club Review

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Speaking of Apraxia
Cover image courtesy of Woodbine House

50-Word Review

If you're looking for one resource with pretty much everything you'll need to know about Childhood Apraxia of Speech, Speaking of Apraxia may stop your search. It's written by a parent, so the explanations are accessible, the experience is personal, and the advice is practical and tested in real life.

250-Word Review

As a reviewer and a parent, I'm often frustrated by opportunities missed in books on special needs. Lots of good research with no practical application, maybe. A focus on one treatment or therapy or passionate point of view to the exclusion of all others. Solutions that are only available in certain geographical areas or fantasy school districts. Advice that lacks awareness of all the other things families have to do in a day, like eat and sleep and work.

It's hard to fit everything a reader might need between two covers, and my first thought upon picking up Speaking of Apraxia was, so that's why authors don't even try -- you wind up with a 450-page textbook-looking thing, even for a relatively finite topic like Childhood Apraxia of Speech. Despite the enchanting little face on the cover, it's a pretty daunting package.

Fortunately, the insides aren't daunting at all. Written by a parent who's done some research rather than a researcher talking down, the text is accessible and friendly, full of explanations you can understand, experiences you can relate to, and exercises you can start doing right now. The format, reminiscent of "for Dummies"-type books with their subheads and boxes and bullet lists, makes it easy to flip through and find what you're looking for, at whatever stage you child is at, from diagnosis through therapy through IEPs. And if somehow this comprehensive guide doesn't answer all your questions, lists at the end of each chapter point you toward further resources.

Read an excerpt from Speaking of Apraxia.

Is This Book for You?

It's definitely for you if: you're hungry for information about CAS and can never get enough ... you like books you can flip through to find what you want and then put back on the shelf for future use ... you're looking for a book with a parent's point of view and advice.

It may be for you if: you're wondering if CAS could be the right diagnosis for your child ... your child has a different speech problem, but you're willing to read around CAS-specific information for more general thoughts on speech therapy and living with a speech-challenged kiddo ... you're a teacher or therapist looking to learn more about this topic and how families deal with it.

It may not be for you if: you're suspicious of a parent's authority to write at exhaustive length about a neurological disorder ... your child does not have CAS and you're looking for information specific to another speech problem ... you'll be bothered by discussions of alternative medicine or wisdom gleaned from online chats.

It's definitely not for you if: you prefer to get your information on speech issues directly from a speech therapist ... your child's issues are not speech-related and you don't have time to spare learning about other special needs ... you like to read books that are a good size to tuck in your purse.

Table of Contents

  1. Does My Child Have Childhood Apraxia of Speech?
  2. An Introduction to Speech, Language, and Listening
  3. When You Suspect Childhood Apraxia of Speech: Where to Go and What to Ask
  4. At the Speech Clinic: Your First Appointment with a Speech-Language Pathologist
  5. Getting the Apraxia Diagnosis: Initial Reaction
  6. So What Caused All of This?! Theories and Medical Diagnoses Related to CAS
  7. All About Speech Therapy: An Introduction to Theories and Methods Best Suited for Kids with Apraxia
  8. Fish Oil, Diet, Horses, Music, and More: Complementary and Alternative Medical (CAM) Approaches to Childhood Apraxia of Speech
  9. What You Can Do at Home: Tapping into Your Inner Speech-Language Pathologist
  10. An Eye for Design: Creating a Language-Rich Environment at Home and Encouraging Sound Sleep
  11. Off to School: Preparing Your Child (and Yourself!)
  12. Phonological Awareness: Learning to Read and Reading to Learn
  13. CAS Affects Us All: Coping as a Family
  14. I Am More Than CAS: Tending to Your Child's Feelings
  15. Resolving Apraxia: Where Do We Go from Here?
  16. Shaking Your Groove Thing: Networking, Advocating, and Resources
Appendix A: A Guide to the Most-Asked-About Conditions in Relation to CAS
Appendix B: Health Insurance
Appendix C: Summer Speech Camps and Enrichment Programs
Appendix D: Speech and Language Milestones
Appendix E: Research on Reading Difficulties and Speech and Language Disorders
Appendix F: Glossary

Try This Now

The chapter on "What You Can Do at Home" features forty pages of speech activities you can integrate into your family life, from games to toys to talk around the dinner table. Though my article on Five Familiar Games for Sneaky Speech Therapy wasn't written specifically with the needs and challenges of kids with Childhood Apraxia of Speech in mind, it takes a similar approach to making speech drills fun and appealing to kids. You can also find inspiration and tips right now on author Leslie A. Lindsay's blog, Practical Parenting ... With a Twist.

Disclosure: A review copy was provided by the publisher. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.
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