Susan TenEyck

by Susan TenEyck aka A Girl Named Suess
(Toccoa, Georgia, USA)

"Charlie Hart"

I have a five-year-old son with Apraxia of Speech (severe). He is verbal, even though unintelligible. We have found that sign language is extremely helpful in cueing him to remember the sequence of sounds to speak and several times he has signed a word and said it simultaneousy (very clear). We always verbalize the words with our signing to him.

There is one thing I have learned in my research and observations, and it is appropriate to tell you also that I am a licensed nurse; so, I use my research skills to learn all that I can to help my son. What I have learned is that new and different experiences (and some of the same repetitious ones as well) help to strengthen existing neural pathways in the brain and also these experiences help to build new neural pathways in the brain. The significance of this is that by strengthening existing neural pathways and building on existing cognitive skills as well, the brain will develop new pathways to 'bypass' the damaged pathway(s) (the ones creating the Apraxic condition)and help your child learn to talk.
We do not have a lot of money, so we seek out free events to provide different experiences for our son. (for example like Christmas or other parades, hay rides in the fall, free grand openings at places like Jump in Joy, and other kid-type events) Sometimes we do things like fly a kite, go out in the snow (when it snows,,,lol), stand in the rain, and so forth. I try to think like a kid thinks and any opportunity I can find to do a "different" event for him is a great opportunity in my eyes. The more "emotional" the event is, the more it will help your child. Emotional stress (as I call it)-good or bad-is a powerful force.
Apraxia is a neurological problem and so, I have found that "treating the brain" in the above-mentioned ways by providing new and different experiences often while at the same time using some repetitious events,is an excellent way to provide some therapy to help in overcoming Apraxia.
Just a thought and it may help some other families out there.
Susan

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Jan 01, 2016
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Charlie Hart's Mom
by: Anonymous

Thank you all for your wonderful and kind comments. Since this writing, we have learned Charlie Hart has a comorbid diagnosis of aphasia due to a birth injury.
He is progressing well, and now learning to read. He speaks in short intelligible sentences and sign language has been an awesome aid in helping him speak and understand language. I wrote an award-winning children's book about his disability, which also has helped him to read!! I was coerced to publish the book and eventually did. The book won the Mom's Choice Award for the best in family-friendly media, products and services. You can view information about the book at www.specialneedspublications.org or find Special Needs Publications on Facebook. You can read about me, Susie TenEyck, on Goodreads, Georgia Writer's Association, Society for Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), or on Amazon authors.
I would like to create an app, which will complement the book, but also help children who are speech/language or otherwise learning impaired. Look me up, as I would love to chat. I manage a fairly large speech and language group on Facebook called SPEECH & LANGUAGE DISORDERS IN CHILDREN.

Nov 03, 2015
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Susan TenEyck
by: Anonymous

We're a group of volunteers and starting a new scheme in our community. Your website provided us with valuable information to work on. You've done a formidable job and our entire community will be thankful to you.

Addison

Oct 30, 2015
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brook hill
by: john

It is delightful to read this post and i get much useful point through this post. Please keep posting such kind of post brook hill.

Oct 29, 2015
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Susan TenEyck
by: Anonymous


Unquestionably believe that which you said. Your favorite reason appeared to be on the web the easiest thing to be aware of. I say to you, I definitely get irked while people consider worries that they plainly do not know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top and defined out the whole thing without having side-effects , people can take a signal. Will probably be back to get more. Thanks

Adler

Oct 15, 2015
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Susan TenEyck
by: Anonymous


Unquestionably believe that which you stated. Your favorite justification appeared to be on the web the easiest thing to be aware of. I say to you, I certainly get annoyed while people consider worries that they just don't know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top and defined out the whole thing without having side effect , people can take a signal. Will likely be back to get more. Thanks

Alex

Dec 26, 2009
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What a lucky kid to have you as a mom
by: Marianne

You're absolutely right. I'm an Occupational Therapist, and my Eva (3.5) has apraxia, and I have been applying the same strategies. In one year she's gone from being unintelligible to now having 50% intelligibility. Your munchkin' is very fortunate to have such a sharp mom to provide him with everything needed. Another helpful thing for us has been applying the principles of "Brain Gym", which basically encourages whole brain use, and interhemispheric connections. It might be even more useful for your 5 year old. Keep up the good work!

May 22, 2009
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on the right path! :o)
by: Robin Cruze

Hi Susan,
I am a special needs preschool teacher and early intervention specialist, currently working on my doctorate in communication systems for children with communication impairments (that's how I ran across your webpage). I have worked with several children with apraxia and what I have found during my 25 years of teaching is that movement and music have tremendous benefits for all children with communication impairments. Kudos to you for exposing your son to so many wonderful experiences!!! I am also a certified Kindermusik Instructor, although I currently do not teach, but do employ it in my work with communication impaired students...it is a wonderful program and I highly recommend it because it incorporates fine/gross motor skills, literacy, music, movement, pretend play, attentive listening, etc. Best wishes to you and your precious son!
Kindest regards,

Robin Cruze, M. Ed.
Doctoral Candidate
Pre-K Special Needs Teacher
Lake Joy Primary School
Warner Robins, GA

Jan 22, 2009
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Thank you
by: Kate

Thank you Susan for your contribution. We often times forget about the simple things in life. It's the day to day moments that matter and the little things you do that all add up big gains. Best of luck to you & your son for a full recovery.

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