Jake's Journey with Apraxia

And the Friends We've Met Along the Way

This morning I went through all the comments and social media follows and typed up each name to throw into a hat. I then randomly selected a winner. Yes, I am aware that a computer could do this job for me in under 10 seconds. Yes, I may work harder next giveaway to figure out how to make my blog communicate with Rafflecopter.


I want to say up front that I was blown away by the response of this giveaway. I read each and every comment and wish that I could gift these cards to every single one of you. It breaks my heart that so many children need help and how limited resources can be. I was also deeply inspired by how much love these children with apraxia have … both by hard-working SLPs and warrior mamas. I wish you all the best in your healing journeys with apraxia.

kit 1

The winner of the Kaufman Treatment Kit 1 is …

Lisa Rickert

A big thank you to Northern Speech for hosting this awesome giveaway!


Northern Speech would like to extend their generosity by offering a 20 percent discount on the Kaufman Kit 1.

Terms are as follows: 

  • Discount Code: 20Jake
  • Good for 20% off the Kaufman Kit 1 on our website, www.northernspeech.com.
  • Valid from Monday, 1.26.15 through Saturday, 1.31.15 (at 11:59pm).

journey thousand miles

The Nancy Kaufman Speech to Language Protocol was the first step in our journey with apraxia. When Jake first got diagnosed with apraxia, I was on a Google frenzy. I remember reading, “When a child has Childhood Apraxia of Speech he or she may need 3,000 productions of a sound combination or word to learn a muscle memory for that combination.

What?!? How is that even possible? So many words, so little time … and what a steep hill to climb. How would we ever make it to the top?

That statistic was mind-blowing to me because up until that point, our speech therapy lessons had been sporadic and inconsistent. There was no rhyme or reason to the words that Jake worked on. He didn’t work on the same letter or words each week and some of his first speech challenges were two-syllable words or complicated nursery rhymes.

When he got diagnosed with apraxia the week of his third birthday, he was speaking on a ten-month-old level. He spoke three words consistently: ball, pizza, and daddy. At this point, I began working with a new SLP at our public school system. I also started researching like crazy and learned that specific, repetitive therapy is required for apraxia.

A common thread in everything I read was Kaufman cards. Although our SLP at the time was not experienced with apraxia, she was willing to try this approach and purchased Kaufman Kit 1 for Jake. For the first time since we began speech therapy, I started feeling like we were moving in the right direction. Kaufman cards felt so structured and logical to me. Instead of entering into a world with a bazillion words to learn, we were starting at the beginning.

The first consonant sounds that a baby makes are: b, p, h, m, n, w, t, and d. This is one reason why a baby’s first words are “mama,” “dada,” and “bye-bye.” Kaufman cards focus on the first consonant-vowel (CV) combinations that a baby makes and once those are mastered, words are formed with those basic sounds. You begin with one syllable words and work up to two syllables. But, all words focus on those same beginning sounds.

baby first1 For the first two months our SLP drilled Jake on these consonants paired with each short and long vowel sound: ba,be, bi, bo, bu, pa, pe, pi, po, pu, etc. After he said a set of sounds, he would take a turn with whatever game they were playing that day. Once he mastered the absolute most basic sounds, we moved to the Kaufman cards.

A few of those early one syllable CV Kaufman words we worked on were: bay, B, boo, bye, bee, and bow.

The next progression was CVC (consonant-vowel-consonant) words: boat (a basic “t” sound added to bow), bone (a basic “n” sound added to bow), boot (a basic “t” sound added to boo), etc.

After a few months of public school therapy, we would eventually switch to yet another SLP who could offer more one-on-one, lengthier, productive sessions. This private SLP also continued on with the Kaufman cards and after about a year, Jake was ready to move on. I also worked with him almost daily at home on these words. For us, it was a progression of first being able to speak the words, but then being able to recall the word from memory just by looking at the card. Recalling was also very difficult for Jake.


In addition to the cards, we also used the following Nancy Kaufman methods:


Northern Speech Services is giving away a Kaufman (K-SLP) Treatment Kit 1!

A $199.00 value!

kit 1



1. Leave a comment and complete the following sentence: I’d love to have Kaufman cards because -

2. If you share the giveaway or follow me on social media, let me know in your comment. Each action will earn you +1 Bonus Entry.

The giveaway will run for five days. Registration will close at the end of the day on Sunday, January 25th. The winners will be randomly selected, verified for correct entry participation, and notified by email.

For more information on the Kaufman Treatment Kit 1, please click here.

Disclaimer: I was under no obligation to review this product if I so chose and I did not receive compensation for my review. Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway.

I keep it organic over here and draw for the giveaway the old fashioned way. This morning I gathered up all of the names, being careful to include the bonus entries, and threw them in my son’s baseball hat. I shuffled them up and then drew a name for the “Say & Do” Apraxia Fun Sheets.

apraxia fun sheets

The winner is …

Kelly Lawson

Congratulations! You will receive an email shortly for details on how to claim your prize.

Tune in this week for Giveaway #3 … Kaufman (K-SLP) Treatment Kit 1!!!

by Shanda Gaunt, M.S., CCC-SLP

Shanda Gaunt is a pediatric speech-language pathologist who has been treating the birth to five population for over 17 years. During those years of treatment she developed her own style of fun and interactive therapy activities for helping to elicit talking in children with limited speech. It was after years of compiling and creating her own apraxia treatment materials, that she decided to create a therapy workbook targeting age-appropriate sounds and words. Her activity book was created in early 2014 and was later published by Super Duper Publications in the summer of 2014. This awesome workbook was later named: “Say & DO”- Apraxia Fun Sheets.

apraxia fun sheets

“Say & DO” Apraxia Fun Sheets is a collection of interactive activities that have been designed to keep younger students happy, busy and engaged in the therapy process during a skilled speech and language therapy session. Examples of these fun activities include: saying and then gluing a picture with the targeted word onto a picture scene, dotting with a paint dotter next to a targeted picture, tracing lines to a targeted sound production, cute color by number coloring pages, and even simple mazes and roll the die games.

Shanda would love for you to try the activities with your own speech students (or own child) who may have characteristics of apraxia of speech to see if you too, can get a ton of repetitions from your students! Just start at the level that your student is ready for. Perhaps they are ready for the CV or the VC level? Or maybe they are a bit more advanced in their verbalization level to be able to start at the CVCV or CVC levels? The book targets the early developing consonant sounds of: P, B, M, W, D, T, N, and H. The vowel sounds included are the long and short A, E, I, O, and U.

No matter what, the workbook should provide you with the necessary activities and worksheets for a fun and productive speech therapy session for a large variety of students on your caseload because it is packed full with a large number of pages. There are four sections total targeting the areas of CV words, VC words, CVCV words, and one for CVC words. In fact, this workbook is a terrific buy because it has 160 reproducible activities inside of it!

Here are reviews currently at Super Duper Publications:

  • Amazing selection of fun activities to target apraxia in children. I love the way the book is organized from easiest (VC) to hardest (CVC) sound combinations. This book is a must for every pediatric/school SLP.
  • I was extremely excited to get this new product in the mail. After browsing through the material in the book, I am super pumped to start utilizing it in therapy sessions -perfect activities for the required repetition with apraxia of speech.
  • I love this book! As we know with apraxia, repetition is key! This book has MANY different activities that target the same word list, making it fun and interactive for both the clinician and client! I will definitely be using this book a lot!
  • I’ve been looking for a resource like this for years. While this product is designed for Apraxia, it is also appropriate for younger children developing speech or students with developmental or cognitive disabilities. I finally have resources to send home for practicing CV, VC and CVCV syllable shapes.

Please don’t delay taking a closer look at this helpful apraxia treatment workbook!


Shanda is providing one free copy of the “Say & DO” Apraxia Workbook as a giveaway.

It is a $21.95 value!



1. Leave a comment about anything apraxia.
2. If you share the giveaway or follow me on social media, let me know in your comment. Each action will earn you +1 Bonus Entry.
** Registration for the giveaway will close at the end of the day on Monday, January 19th. The winners will be randomly selected, verified for correct entry participation, and notified by email.

For more information on the “Say & DO” Apraxia Workbook, click here to visit Super Duper Publications.

Author information:

Shanda Gaunt, M.S. CCC-SLP
Speech-Language Pathologist
Contact email: shandagaunt@gmail.com
Co-author at Twin Speech, Language & Literacy LLC
Twin Speech, Language & Literacy LLC at Facebook
Twin Speech, Language & Literacy LLC Blog

I keep it organic over here and draw for the giveaway the old fashioned way. In case you’re wondering how the winners are chosen …


This morning I gathered up all of the names, being careful to include all the bonus entries, and threw them in my best rainy day hat. I shuffled them up and then drew three random names for the Speech-EZ Apraxia Picture Sound Card apps.


 The winners are …

Laurie Walters, Cristine Beach, and Tahnee Bernal.

Congratulations! You will receive an email shortly for details on how to claim your prize.

Tune in tomorrow for Giveaway #2 … Apraxia Say & Do Fun Sheets.


by Lynn Carahaly, M.A., CCC-SLP, creator of the Speech-EZ Apraxia Program

To read Part 1, please click here.

My mother saved all my report cards and test scores from preschool on. Now, as a professional, it is fascinating to look back at those and see I did in fact have an undiagnosed learning disability in reading comprehension, undiagnosed AD/HD Inattentive Type, and probably sensory processing issues as I was a tippy-toe-walker (considered a soft neurological sign).

IQ testing in early elementary yielded a Standard Score of 120 (90th percentile); IQ testing as an adult (age 26) yielded a Standard Score of 128 (97th percentile). Interesting, because “the experts,” yeah you know those guys, say IQ does not change. I think those are the same guys that tell parents to give up hope as their child will never speak.

Yet my SAT scores and GRE scores were in the gutter, less than 16th percentile. I took the SATs three times. If I had an IEP or 504 plan with a modification to take tests in a quiet room with no time limit, this would have been a night and day difference for me.


I explain all of this because I painfully remember certain subjects being really hard for me and I had to work harder than my peers. I did not feel smart at all. In fact, I began to label myself. Perhaps receiving the label of a learning disability and ADHD would have helped me understand myself.

I excelled in Math and Science but struggled with English. I remember doing most of my English reading assignments with books-on-audio. They held my attention.

Yet at 23 years old I graduated from Ohio State University cum laude with distinctions and had written two theses (one published). I started my private practice at the ripe old age of 26. The Type A personality helps.

I hope that in sharing all of this, mothers will not be so hard on themselves, as I often see. Furthermore, disabilities are not synonymous with impaired cognition. As a clinician, I see this far too often… mommies questioning themselves and trying to pinpoint the reason. When a child is diagnosed with a disability or even when you suspect there is a problem, the questions begin to stream in.

What did I eat/drink during pregnancy, OMG I had Botox when I did not know I was pregnant yet (I really did with my JoJo!), I had a little too much fun at that party that night….. Even I, as a respected professional with all the knowledge I have (and there is still so much I don’t know), could not have prevented Niko’s speech-language delays and sensory processing problems. It is just the genetic make-up my little Niko man was born with. Just like my daughter was tongue-tied and recently had surgery. Yes, very ironic for this SLP mommy!

The denial and depression phase of the grieving process are the hardest. What is even more difficult is when mom and dad are not at the same phase within the grieving process. It has been my experience that daddies tend to hang out in the denial phase for a much longer period of time, compared to mommies. I often see “mother’s intuition” keeping her completely away from the denial phase and shifting straight into acceptance and taking action. Thank you Mother Nature! Mommies sadly will hang out in the depression phase far too long, due to feelings of responsibility, helplessness, and even feelings of taking on the challenges of a special needs child alone.


Focus on what you can control. I can control my acceptance of the challenges he has. I can control my steps to take action to help him in any way I can. I can control my attitude and actions.

The brain is so pliable at a young age, and one can absolutely develop new neurological pathways for many cognitive processes, skills and motor plans. Truly amazing. I have worked with so many families who were told their child would not speak. Do not give up hope.

let it be.


Thank you Lynn for sharing your story! It has been so inspirational to hear your perspective.


Lynn Carahaly is giving away THREE Speech-EZ Apraxia Picture Sound Card apps. Please click here for further information.

by Lynn Carahaly, M.A., CCC-SLP, creator of the Speech-EZ Apraxia Program

I suspected my son, Niko, may have speech issues when he was eight months old because he only babbled a few sounds.

Lynn and Niko

At 19 months old, his Montessori school was offering speech screenings by a parent there that was an SLP. I signed him up and did not disclose who I was or what I did for a living. I, like many parents experienced friends and family telling me, “You are just paranoid, he is fine….he is a boy…..you are just overreacting because you are an SLP.”

I got the call later that day from the SLP who did the screening at his school and she gently explained to me that she had concerns regarding his expressive language skills, but receptive was great. She suggested I have a comprehensive evaluation. I felt validated for sure.

At six months old, I taught Niko sign language and when he was 18 months old, he learned hand cues. From the time he started on solid foods I suspected he might have sensory processing issues as well. He could not round his lips and could not move his tongue side-to-side with a model at 2.5 years. As he gained more verbal language, his speech errors were phonological in nature, although he did have several instances of atypical errors.

He is also dysfluent; stuttering runs in our family. Typically, kids will go through a very normal “stuttering” phase between the ages of 2-6 years old. It typically precedes a language burst, which has been the case for my Niko man.

What is concerning and what might be pathological rather than developmental, is he has gone through multiple “stuttering phases” which last for a few months at a time, and he is now exhibiting audible fixations, which could be a sign that this is not just developmental.

It is good that I know so much, but it also drives me crazy that I know so much. I worry too much.

direct the wind 2

I just had him evaluated by an OT and she confirmed a Sensory Processing Disorder. We enrolled him in gymnastics and got him a Strider bike (he picked pink!); both have been amazing. We recently started The Listening Program as well. He is doing great but we are not out of the woods yet.


While I know gesture (of course I use Speech-EZ® hand cues) helps significantly with motor planning, and speech sound disorders, I continue to be blown away with the results for phonological awareness and early literacy skills. The brain maps for sound without directly working on “letters.” I started sound-to-symbol recognition with Niko at two years old. At two and a half he was able to tell me the initial sound in a CVC word.

“Niko, what is the first sound you hear in the word ‘pig’?” He would say and gesture the hand cue for /p/. So cute, and so amazing.

As he would pair the sound with the gesture, his articulation and sequencing of sounds significantly improved. But the literacy aspect of it blows my mind. He can not only identify initial phoneme, but last phoneme as well. He can identify rhyme and create rhyme. He can also blend when given a CVC word segmented verbally. “What word do these sounds make?” … s-u-n … “Sun!” We recently started syllable counting. He is currently 3 years and 3 months old.

We also practice digit-span and word list recall, as working memory and attention deficit are intimately related, and run on both sides of the family. Yikes! He is up to four-unit recall. We make it a fun car game and he loves my antics.☺

Some may say I am crazy, neurotic, SLP mom, but I know too much. Good and bad I guess. Having a good understanding about our family’s genetic line drives me to waste no time. In addition to stuttering, ADHD with high intellect in the superior range, and dyslexia runs in our family.

Lynn and Niko

Lynn and Niko

Tune in tomorrow for Part 2. Lynn  will discuss her own learning challenges growing up, insight as both a SLP and mom, and advice. It is excellent and so inspiring. You do not want to miss it!


Lynn Carahaly is giving away THREE Speech-EZ Apraxia Picture Sound Card apps!

Each app is a $179.99 value!



  1. Leave a comment about anything apraxia.
  2. If you share the giveaway or follow me on social media, let me know in your comment. Each action will earn you +1 Bonus Entry.
    ** Registration for the giveaway will close at the end of the day on Monday, January 12th. The winners will be randomly selected, verified for correct entry participation, and notified by email.

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