The longer I am a mama to a child with apraxia, the more I wonder if our lives will ever be the same again. It’s like when you are pregnant for the first time, you hear experienced parents say that all-too-familiar phrase, “A baby changes everything.” And as much as you try to ignore those comments and fight to defy the odds, the fact of the matter is, becoming a mother is a lifestyle change. It’s not something you do for twenty minutes a day, three days a week. Motherhood consumes your prayers, thoughts, actions, and words.
The same is true about parenting a child with apraxia … only it’s not something that everyone tells you about. You have questions, but not a network of people surrounding you to offer advice. You are full of doubt, wondering whether you are doing the right thing for your child, but no one you know has walked in your shoes to point you in the right direction. You spend hours googling and learning everything you can on this speech disorder, but usually only find you have more questions, doubt, fear, and confusion.
Leslie Lindsay’s book “Speaking of Apraxia,” which was released in March of this year, is a must-have for any parent who has a child with apraxia. It is a comprehensive encyclopedia on childhood apraxia of speech (CAS) and also a self-help book for both parent and child. In addition to having over 400 pages full of facts, Leslie chronicles bits and pieces of her own daughter’s journey with apraxia. Also, each one of the sixteen chapters includes a section called “Read on! Recommended Resources,” which lists additional books, programs, and websites to refer to if you’d like to learn more about a specific topic.
Before I read “Speaking of Apraxia,” I felt like I was fairly knowledgeable about this disorder, but I still had a few unanswered questions. After all, I have a Journalism degree and reading is my passion, so I had already spent an infinite amount of time researching on the internet. When I first pre-ordered this book at the beginning of 2012, my goals were to fill in the blanks I had about CAS, learn more about nutritional supplements, and also get some ideas for at-home speech activities.
This book far surpassed my expectations and “wowed” me! It reiterated some of the things I already knew, while at the same time, taught me many new things. One of my favorite chapters was “What You Can Do at Home: Tapping into Your Inner Speech-Language Pathologist,” which was almost forty pages long! This will be a great resource for me since Jake is now out of school for the summer and we’ll have a few extra hours together each day.
Someone commented on the “Speaking of Apraxia” Facebook page that, “This book is like the ‘What to Expect When You Are Expecting Book’ for apraxia.” And I agree. It is a book that will remain out, laying on your coffee table or nightstand with dog-eared pages and highlighted excerpts. A book to rely on when a question arises now or in the future (the last few chapters are “Off to School”, “Learning to Read & Write”, & “Resolving Apraxia: Where Do We Go From Here?”).
In the last chapter, Leslie shares how the idea of writing this book originated while she was talking to her daughter’s SLP.
“I went on to explain that I just wanted a book, a real-life book, I could hold in my hands and read and go back to refer to if I needed. I wanted a comprehensive guide that would start at the beginning and cover the definition of apraxia, what caused it (even if it was just a bunch of theories – I didn’t care – I wanted something, anything), and what I could do about it. Most of all, I wanted something I could relate to.”
And she has succeeded in doing exactly that. Only a mother of a child with apraxia could write such a heartfelt book that will tell you everything and more you ever wanted and needed to know about this speech disorder. Leslie blogs at http://leslie4kids.wordpress.com/ and you can get your own copy of “Speaking of Apraxia” at http://www.amazon.com.
** Four chapters into this book, I contacted Leslie Lindsay and asked if she would be willing to give away a free copy of “Speaking of Apraxia” in honor of Better Speech and Hearing Month. She said yes! To register, all of you have to do is leave a comment below (what you say is up to you) or shoot me an email. Registration will close at the end of the day on Tuesday, May 22nd and I will announce the winner a week from today. Best of luck to you! **