Jake's Journey with Apraxia

And the Friends We Met Along the Way


In February, April was a guest writer on my site and now she is joining us again to share some book recommendations. If you happened to miss her original post, this is how it started … 

I have spent the last 3 years trying to understand why my daughter, Alessandra, has speech and language delays. Click here to read more …

Throughout this time I read numerous books on the topic of speech development. One of which was Late Talking Children by Thomas Sowell (1997). This is an older book and did not provide any helpful speech tools but it was an amazing book of hope for me. It discusses how a lot of late talking children tend to have strong analytical abilities in the areas of math and computers. The author speculates that some bright children are late in talking because the demands of their analytical abilities, localized in the left half of the brain, are being met at the expense of the speech function.

late 2

I saw this in my daughter at a very early age. By age two she was finishing levels on the Mario Brothers video game (she has older brothers), yet when I gave her a doll at age 5 to play with, she started to cry and stated, “I don’t know what to do with it!” (Not those exact words, but the message she was giving me). Creative play is still not her thing, but I do see a future engineer in her.

Another book I found at the library was called It Takes Two to Talk by Jan Pepper (2004). I thought this was one of the best books for giving practical tools for promoting speech. When my daughter’s school offered an 8 week program for parents based on this book, I jumped at the opportunity to attend. We spend the most time with our children, which means we have the most opportunity for teaching moments. I incorporated a lot of these tools into our daily lives and after while I didn’t even notice I was doing them.

It Takes Two

I’m sure people wonder why I repeat every statement Alessandra makes like a parrot. I also make a point of just working on one speech issue at a time. There is no rhyme or reason to what I choose to work on. I just randomly choose something that I notice keeps coming up and that I think Alessandra is ready to learn. For example, this week we have been working on “Can I have x please?” instead of “I want x.”

what's eating 2

My daughter is rarely ever sick. Seriously! She doesn’t suffer from any allergies either, but she does have a limited diet. Extremely limited diet. When we introduced baby food at 6 months of age, she inspected it and pushed it away. We laughed. Well, we’re not laughing anymore. She is still eating the same finger foods that she started to eat as a baby. I first brought it up with her pediatrician when she was two. He looked at her height and weight and said I had nothing to worry about and dismissed my concerns.

One day I came across a book called What’s Eating Your Child? by Kelly Dorfman (2011). I LOVED this book. I think every parent should read this regardless of whether their child has any health problems. This is the first time I thought maybe the food (or lack of) was connected to Alessandra’s speech issues. I find this issue frustrating because so many people (doctors, even speech pathologists) don’t consider that there might be a connection.

Kelly Dorfman specializes in finding nutritional solutions to common childhood ailments such as anxiety, recurrent ear infections, stomach aches, picky eating, rashes, ADHD, etc. The main idea throughout What’s Eating Your Child? is that either something in the diet is bothering the child or something is missing in the diet. She uses case studies to explain how things work and does a great job explaining the science behind it so everyone can understand it.

The chapter that caught my attention was “The Child Who Couldn’t Speak In Sentences.” In this chapter about speech delays, the author discusses her Best Dyspraxia Program Ever. You can find a condensed version here: http://devdelay.org/newsletter/articles/pdf/372-the-best-dyspraxia-program-ever.pdf. The program includes fish oil (omega-3), vitamin E and phosphatidylcholine.

* Disclaimer: Dorfman’s dyspraxia program sites high doses of vitamin E . A child should be under a doctor’s supervision before adding any type of supplement.


7 thoughts on “Keep Calm & Read A Book

  1. kim says:

    Hi Tori, I’m an Australian speech pathologist who just loves reading your blogs. Thanks for giving everyone an insight into your family and Jake’s life. I recommend your site to all parents struggling with CAS.
    Back to April’s post: The Hanen book “It Takes Two to Talk” has always been one of my favourites too! This is mainly because parents can learn strategies that can make a huge difference to their child’s language development.The book April refers to is an old one but the basic premise of the book is timeless. “The Hanen Centre, a world-renowned leader in early childhood language development, has committed the last 35 years to putting parents first when it comes to helping their child build language and social skills. Driven by the firm belief that parents can and should be their child’s most important language teachers, Hanen has developed several research-based programs and resources specifically for parents of children from birth to five years of age to show them how they can make the most of every interaction they share with their child”.
    Hanen is a Canadian based, not for profit organisation and its site is well worth a look as they are always updating their resources. They have great tips for parents & books & DVDs. I’m just waiting for them to develop a few Hanen Apps! My endorsement sounds like I work for them. I don’t!! I’ve just done two of their professional training courses and use their resources all the time.

    1. tstarmom says:

      kim – Thanks so much for your comments & for sharing your experience with It Takes Two to Talk. Can’t wait to check it out.

  2. Kim says:

    This is off subject but I believe you mentioned Epsom salt baths one time. Did you try these? If so, any results? Thanks!

    1. kim says:

      This is the first time I’ve posted anything. Must be another Kim!

    2. tstarmom says:

      Kim – Yes. I did try epsom salt baths with Jake, but I have stopped. Our doctor recommended we do them twice a week, but (surprise, surprise) I think Jake is a little allergic to them b/c his nose gets super stuffy when he’s in one. Also, the first 2 baths he stayed up until 11:00, which he is a good sleeper & has never done that before. This is unusual. From what I’ve read, it’s supposed to make kids chill out & sleep better.

      I will say, however, that he began imaginative play for the first time while taking one of these baths & now does much more pretend play. People may think it’s just a coincidence, but when you have a child who has NEVER done anything like this and then he’s in the tub making a pretend pizza & serving up slices, it’s definitely something that makes you take notice. I personally tried an epsom salt bath and it made my heart race for about an hour afterwards. It’s just like any other supplement, it affects every one differently I think.

  3. Naomi says:

    These are great book recommendations. I’m going to order these books. I just found out that Kelly Dorfman has a new book coming out next month that includes new chapter about gluten. This is great. We won’t be able to see Dr.Bhatia until end of July, but these books will definitely help. Thank you for sharing.

  4. tstarmom says:

    Naomi – I started about this time last year educating myself and my first appointment with Dr. Bhatia was August 1st. It was nice going in knowing what to expect – b/c of that, none of the tests, results, or process involved were a surprise for me. Can’t wait to hear how your appointment goes. Keep me posted. 🙂

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