Posts Tagged ‘Speaking of Apraxia – A Parents’ Guide to Childhood Apraxia of Speech’

Childhood Apraxia of Speech and the Benefits of Guided Relaxation/Yoga – a guest blog post by Leslie Lindsay, R.N., B.S.N

Childhood Apraxia of Speech and the Benefits of Guided Relaxation/Yoga

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

        When my daughter was in preschool, she came home with a CD that was intended to help kids transition from one activity to another.  It wasn’t your typical “Clean up” or “Good-bye” CD, either.  Dubbed as “The Calm Classroom,” this program is designed to help kiddos stop and take inventory of their body, their breathing, their proprioception (sense of body position and motion from joint and muscle receptors), and vestibular stimulation (sense of gravity and motion that comes from receptors of the inner ear) through simple yoga poses, focused listening, and breathing techniques.

        Being the type of parent who is open to all things that would better my child—or myself as a parent—I was all about trying the new CD.  We popped it in the stereo in our family room at first, all four of us lying on the floor in effort to relax and focus.  My daughter, who suffers from childhood apraxia of speech (CAS)* and wasn’t speaking much—but understanding plenty—skipped to the track she liked best: environmental sounds.  The purpose of this track is to relax and focus on sounds in the environment such as a rushing train, frogs croaking, water dripping, and ____.  She loved this and soon we were all experiencing greater focus and relaxation. 

         But just why was The Calm Classroom so effective for my daughter?  And what does childhood apraxia have to do with it, anyway?  For those of you who aren’t familiar, CAS is a neurologically-based motor speech disorder.  Rooted in the brain, but expressing itself in the verbal communication (or lack thereof) of children, CAS is a complex disorder characterized by the inability to produce verbal sounds to form intelligible words.  Here is the definition offered by ASHA in 2007, “A neurological childhood (pediatric) speech sound disorder in which precision and consistency of movements underlying speech are impaired in the absence of neuromuscular deficits.”   In plain language, children with apraxia of speech want to speak, yet they just can’t coordinate their thoughts with their mouth. 

        In the exercises provided on the Calm Classroom CD, my daughter was able to become more self-aware.  She was able to make the brain-body connection that is so vital in a neurologically-based motor speech disorder.  Not only that, but some of the tracks require chanting or mantra style vocalizations (humming, buzzing), which is all a part of early communication.  And—there is a good deal of breath awareness in these exercises and any yoga practice.  Finally, the repetitive aspects of relaxation exercises and yoga poses are key: the body craves repetition to gain mastery over motor-based movement.  These very same principles can be applied to speech-language pathology, and specifically childhood apraxia (CAS).

          If you feel like this is a path you would like to explore, look to see if your child’s speech clinic offers occupational therapy, sensory integration therapy, or yoga.  It really can be quite beneficial to children of all ages with all types of motor speech disorders.  Worst case scenario:  your child has tapped into a new coping strategy that may prove helpful for the future. 

        The Calm Classroom went into retirement for awhile at our house until just recently, when our now-7-year old daughter rediscovered it.  She suggests we join her in a type of relaxation class in which we all are all provided with a note card to collect punches–much as we would if we were taking a class at a health club.  Of course, this is all her design.  And this time around, she is speaking quite normally and will be in 2nd grade, “Come on!  Don’t you want to relax, mom and dad?!  It will do you some good.”  My husband and I just look at each other with that, oh-what-have-we-got-to-lose look and give in to her request. 

         And you know what, she was right. 

*Childhood apraxia of Speech (CAS) is sometimes referred to as “developmental apraxia” in countries other than the U.S., and in the U.S. before 2007. 

Bio:  Leslie Lindsay is former child/adolescent psych R.N. at the Mayo Clinic-Rochester.  She is the mother of two school-aged daughters and a basset hound, named Sally.  Lindsay and her family reside in the Chicago suburbs where she writes full-time.  She is the author of “Speaking of Apraxia: A Parents’ Guide to Childhood Apraxia of Speech” (Woodbine House, March 2012).  Read more on her blog, “Practical Parenting…with a Twist” where she writes about apraxia, parenting, education, and more 5 days a week, www.leslie4kids.wordpress.com  

Information about The Calm Classroom:  For more information about the research-based Calm Classroom program mentioned in this article, please visit their website, http://calmclassroom.com.

Disclaimer:  The author has no professional affiliation with The Calm Classroom/Luster Learning.  This article is for information and entertainment purposes.  It is not meant to be a “cure” for Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS).  The most effective treatment for CAS is a multidisciplinary approach which encompasses motor, sensory, and speech work.  All children with CAS present in their own unique ways; not all will respond as positively to yoga or relaxation-type exercises.  The key is finding that perfect fit for your child.

References:

Kurtz, Lisa A.  Understanding Motor Skills in Children With Dyspraxia, ADHD, Autism, and other Learning Disabilities.  Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2008.

Note from OMazing Kids: I greatly appreciate Leslie sharing her daughter’s experiences with relaxation & yoga! Her book is FABULOUS… see my review at: http://wp.me/p1t7TU-x1.

Do you have a child with special needs who has benefited from relaxation, yoga or other wellness activities? We would love to hear your story! Feel free to share it in the comment section below 🙂

Angela Moorad, MS, CCC-SLP, IAYT, RCYP-2

Speech-Language Pathologist at the JD McCarty Center (http://www.jdmc.org/)

Founder of OMazing Kids, LLC – inclusive wellness activities for kids of all abilities

Radiant Child Yoga Certified – Levels 1 & 2

E-Mail: amoorad1@juno.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsYoga

Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/amoorad

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/amoorad1

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/OMazingKids/

Blog: http://omazingkidsllc.com

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Review & Giveaway: Speaking of Apraxia – A Parents’ Guide to Childhood Apraxia of Speech

Wow! This is the most comprehensive yet easy to read book on Childhood Apraxia of Speech  (CAS) I have ever read in my 22 year career as a SLP.

I LOVE how the book is organized in an extremely easy to read and user-friendly format. It is overflowing with a wealth of information, helpful resources & tips. I also love how well she covered commonly co-occuring diagnoses and lots of therapeutic techniques. Yoga for kids is even mentioned a few times 🙂 There are lots of practical ideas that would be easy for most families to use. I highly recommend this book as a “must have” addition to the library of all pediatric Speech-Language Pathologists, other therapists, teachers and parents of children with CAS.

Amazon has a very extensive preview inside this book: http://www.amazon.com/Speaking-Apraxia-Parents-Childhood-Speech/dp/1606130617#reader_1606130617

Product Description:

At last, a parents’ guide to understanding, treating, and living with childhood apraxia of speech (CAS). Written in an empathic style by a parent who “has been there”, Speaking of Apraxia offers hope and practical advice for parents of toddlers to teens with this neurologically-based motor speech disorder. Characterized by difficulties with planning and producing the complex set of movements necessary for intelligible speech, CAS can be a child’s only diagnosis or can be accompanied by other special needs such as learning disabilities, Down syndrome, or autism. Parents and professionals will appreciate the author’s clear explanations of everything from diagnosing CAS and working with speech-language pathologists (SLPs), to understanding how to distinguish it from other speech disorders, and getting appropriate early intervention and special education support.

Drawing on the latest research, professionals’ insights, her own and other parents’ experience, the author covers these important topics:

  • I: The Straight Scoop on Speech Basics–CAS definition; An Overview of Speech & Language; Where to Get Help and What to Ask; Your First Appointment with an SLP
  • II: Now What?!–Getting, Coping with and Understanding the Diagnosis; Health & Genetics; All about Speech Therapy
  • III: Helping Your Child–Complementary and Alternative Medical and Treatment Approaches (Diet, Music, Movement Therapy and More)
  • IV: Off to School–Getting Ready; Special Education Ins & Outs; Phonological Awareness; Reading Issues
  • V: Coping & Hoping–Dealing with Emotions and Family Life; What the Future May Hold; Networking, Support Groups, and Advocacy
  • Appendices: Information on insurance, summer camps and enrichment programs, speech-language milestones, and a glossary of terms

Speaking of Apraxia is a comprehensive and authoritative resource any family, SLP, occupational therapist, or pediatric practice will be glad to own or recommend.

ISBN: 978-1-60613-061-2
2012, Paperback, 7″ x 10″, 450 pages

Price: $24.95 (the best deal on the date of this post was $16.47 on Amazon)

Available for purchase on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Speaking-Apraxia-Parents-Childhood-Speech/dp/1606130617, Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/speaking-of-apraxia-leslie-a-lindsay/1110915108, and Woodbine House: http://www.woodbinehouse.com/main.asp_Q_product_id_E_978-1-60613-061-2

About the Author: Leslie Lindsay was formerly a Child and Adolescent Psychiatric nurse at the Mayo Clinic. She attended the University of Missouri-Columbia and earned a B.S.N. from the Sinclair School of Nursing with a minor in psychology. She and her family, including a daughter with CAS, live in suburban Chicago. She writes about a range of parenting issues on her blog, Leslie 4 Kids: http://leslie4kids.wordpress.com/. Find her on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Speaking-of-Apraxia-A-Parents-Guide-to-Childhood-Apraxia-of-Speech/235772599837084

Disclaimer: I received a free sample of this product to facilitate my review. Opinions expressed are my own.

See another great review of this book on the Consonantly Speaking blog: http://consonantlyspeaking.com/posts/2012/06/abcs-4-slps-a-is-for-apraxia-of-speech-speaking-of-apraxia-a-parents-guide-to

How to enter the giveaway:

  1. Enter via the “Giveaways” tab on the OMazing Kids FB page (http://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsYoga?v=app_197602066931325) & mention how this book would be helpful & whether you are a therapist, teacher or a parent/caregiver of a child with CAS (or suspected CAS). (comments must be in English; must include full first & last name; 1 entry per Facebook account).
  2. For one additional entry, leave a comment on this blog post. Must mention how this book would be helpful & whether you are a therapist, teacher or a parent/caregiver of a child with CAS (or suspected CAS)(comments must be in English; 1 entry per person; must have a valid e-mail address)
  3. Tips: You increase your odds of winning by entering via both methods. Entering via the “Giveaways” tab will save me the step of having to obtain your mailing address – the info you complete on the tab comes directly to me via an e-mail.

Entry Deadline: Enter by any of the methods listed above by 11:59pm CST on June 12, 2012.

Rules of Participation:

  • Must be 18 years or older with a valid e-mail address.
  • International entries are being allowed for this particular giveaway.
  • Employees or family members of OMazing Kids, LLC or the product’s company are not eligible.
  • No purchase required.
  • Comments submitted via the Enter Giveaways Here…. tab on Facebook may be copied & pasted into the blog post.
  • Odds of winning will depend on the number of eligible entries received.
  • One (1) winner will be chosen via a random drawing of valid entries on June 13, 2012.
  • The winner will receive one (1) copy of the book.
  • The winner will be notified via e-mail and will be posted on the blog post.
  • If a winner only entered via blog post, their mailing address will be obtained via e-mail.
  • In the event that a winner does not respond within 24 hours, a new winner will be selected via a random drawing.
  • The winner’s address will be forwarded to the company and they will be mailing the book directly to the winner.
  • Prize Value: $24.95

Other Legal Stuff: I know it’s just a book but just to be safe here is all the legal stuff…

This giveaway is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. You are providing your information to OMazing Kids, LLC and not to Facebook. The information you provide will only be used for our internal purposes in relation to the administration of the giveaway. Your information will NOT be sold to any outside parties.

Indemnification/Hold Harmless: By participating, entrants agree: (a) to the decisions of OMazing Kids, LLC, which shall be final in all respects; (b) to release, discharge, and hold harmless OMazing Kids, LLC and its respective representatives and agents from all liability, injuries, losses or damages of any kind to persons or property resulting in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, from the acceptance, possession, misuse or use of a prize, or from participation in and/or entry into the Contest or any Contest-related activity and for acceptance, delivery, or use of any prize; (c) that the foregoing parties have neither made nor are in any manner responsible or liable for any warranty, representation or guaranty, expressed or implied, in fact or in law, relating to any prize.

Angela Moorad, MS, CCC-SLP, IAYT, RCYP-2

Speech-Language Pathologist

Founder of OMazing Kids, LLC – inclusive wellness activities for kids of all abilities

Radiant Child Yoga Certified – Levels 1 & 2

E-Mail: amoorad1@juno.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsYoga

Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/amoorad

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/amoorad1

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/OMazingKids/

Blog: http://omazingkidsllc.com

NOTE: Please ignore any ads that appear below the wavy divider bar. This is a free blog site & I have no control over ads appearing here.