Some Things to Know about Childhood Apraxia of Speech


What is apraxia of speech?

Apraxia of speech, also known as verbal apraxia or dyspraxia, is a speech disorder in which a person has trouble saying what he or she wants to say correctly and consistently. It is not due to weakness or paralysis of the speech muscles (the muscles of the face, tongue, and lips). The severity of apraxia of speech can range from mild to severe.

Some excellent tips for what parents can do for their child when working with them at home:

  • songs (monkeys swinging in the tree or jumping on the bed , Old MacDonald )
  • poems
  • verbal routines (pat-a-cake , Willaby Walloby Woo)
  • repetitive books (i.e. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? , Dear Zoo , Goodnight Moon)
  • daily routines (prayers, social routines, pledge of allegiance)
Childhood Apraxia of Speech Does Get Better! Not all kids will gain speech growth in the same manner, but they do get better.  This is a wonderful thing!  There’s a reason it’s called ‘childhood’—the duration of CAS is typically birth thru 8 years.  It could be a little less or a little more, depending on your child’s personality, determination/motivation, overall intelligence, access to therapy, home practice, and co-occuring disorders like AD/HD, autism, Down’s syndrome, anxiety, etc.  Sure, your child may slip up from time to time on challenging words, when they are tired or stressed, or learning a new set of vocabulary (math terms, history, science), but overall your child’s speech should be on-par with peers around age 8.
If you have any questions or concerns contact Speech Language Pathologist Christine Wilson.

Grants for Autism Spectrum Disorders

This list is only a resource to assist you in finding possible grants from charitable organizations. All questions regarding grants should be directed to the organization listed, via their website or phone number.The Kaufman Children’s Center has made every effort to provide high-quality and helpful grant information listed below, but they cannot be held liable for errors or the quality of the grant sources. Information should be independently verified and confirmed.

Posted by Emily K. Hulse Aid for Autistic Children Foundation, Inc.™ mission: Reduce the financial burden on poverty stricken and disenfranchised families and caretakers coping with autism, through debt forgiveness, so attention and resources can be focused on creating a proper living and learning environment for their autistic loved one.
is strictly a fundraising foundation whose main function is to distribute money to families in the Toledo area so they can have their children diagnosed, treated, and moving forward while living with Autism.
fund effective treatments, assessments and needed life supports with grants from $100-$5,000. Applications with multiple children with ASD and households with income below $100,000 are reviewed first.
real help for military families dealing with autism.
A.N.G.E.L. Inc offers assistance and support for children with autism living in Wisconsin.
This collaborative agency offers funding to families across the US who are living with autism and also are coping with a major crisis such as flood or fire. AutismCares assists families who meet the eligibility criteria to cover costs associated with housing, automobile repair, insurance premiums, medical care, prescriptions, daycare, funeral expenses, and other items on a case-by-case basis. Income cap of $40,000.
primary purpose is to arrange air travel on private jets for families in need of medical care for their children.
$80,000 annual income cap and grants for $2,000 for therapies.
Provide financial assistance for medical bills, therapy, equipment, therapeutic horseback riding and respite care for Michigan residents.
Many individuals with autism suffer from treatable conditions like gut issues, sleep disorders and mitochondrial dysfunction which directly impact speech development, behavior and focus. Our grant program provides the opportunity to pursue treating these underlying symptoms of autism
Spectrum of Hope Foundation provides advocacy grants to families in California.
The ISAAC Foundation provides financial grants for therapy to families in Spokane, Stevens, Lincoln, Whitman and Kootenai Counties in Washington state.
provides interactive technology to children (0-22) with an Autism Spectrum Disorder, and educational training on interactive technology to families, educators, and service providers of children with special needs.
Jack’s Place for Autism Foundation has created “Jack’s Dollars”, a Scholarship Program to help families in Michigan afford the support they need for a variety of programs
/ a unique program that provides interest free microloans (in the amount of a few hundred dollars) to families from other families. Families interested in receiving a loan post on the blog, and may receive contributions that must be paid back over time.
The Lil MAC Kids Foundation was formed to assist needy families in Ohio and Minnesota bridge the gap for therapies for ASD. Applications are accepted October-November and awarded by December 15th.
always looking for ways to directly help families in need that are affected by autism
The purpose of MyGOAL Family Grant is to enrich the body, mind, and spirit of individual(s) with Autism Spectrum Disorders, resulting in a higher quality of life. New Jersey residents only.
NAA’s Helping Hand Program was developed as a financial aid tool for families most in need. Do not apply if annual net income exceeds $50,000.
Pervis Jackson Jr Autism Foundation has start a fund to help needy parents of children with disabilities to get respite or other support services
assistance with diagnosis, DAN! Conference, DAN! Appointments, follow up and lab work.
organization committed to educating and assisting African American families with Autistic children. The Back to School iPad Program opens several times through out the year.

If you have any questions or concerns, contact Speech-Language Pathologist Christine Wilson!

All About Stuttering


What is Stuttering?

Posted by Emily K. Hulse

Stuttering is a communication disorder that affects around 1% of the population around the world. Many factors contribute to a stuttering problem, including genetics, another speech disorder, neurophysiology and family dynamics. Stuttering can usually be successfully treated through speech therapy and certain home and lifestyle changes, such as joining a self-help group, creating a relaxed home environment, avoiding criticism and having an understanding attitude toward the stutterer. Certain exercises may also help.

Stuttering is more than dysfluent speech: It has an emotional and social impact as well. Unlike most other disorders, stuttering often is a source of shame and embarrassment that prompts stutterers to avoid speaking situations and refrain from discussing their stuttering. Try the following exercises at home.

Breathing Exercises

Stuttering often increases during times of stress and anxiety. According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, regulating your breathing may help reduce stuttering. One simple exercise to try is called diaphragmatic breathing. This breath technique can help you to become calmer and more relaxed, especially if you need to speak in front of an audience or in another situation that makes you nervous. If possible, sit in a quiet room where you’ll be undisturbed for a few moments. Close your eyes and focus on your breathing. Place one hand on your belly and notice how it rises and falls when you inhale and exhale. Deepen your breath and try to make your breathing slow and relaxed. Allow thoughts to flow out of your mind. Practice this technique for five minutes each day.

Reading Exercises

Just as with the slow speech exercise, reading exercises can reduce stuttering through slowing your vowels, concentrating on your breathing and trying to relax. Read a paragraph out of your favorite book without placing any pressure or stress on yourself to get it right. Just relax and read, trying to enjoy the process instead of focusing on not stuttering. If you stutter, keep reading and don’t blame yourself. Practice reading out loud for half an hour every day.

Seeking help from a Speech and Language Therapist

Speech therapy is not “one size fits all.” Speech therapists use different approaches to treat stuttering and often combine several methods to meet individual needs.

A speech and Language Therapist will carry out an in-depth assessment with the adult or child who stutters and discuss a suitable treatment approach. The Speech and Language Therapist works to help people who stutter lessen the impact or severity of dysfluency when it occurs. The goal is not so much to eliminate disruptions in fluency-which many people find difficult to do-but to minimize their impact upon communication when they do. The aim is not for total fluency but to help the client stammer more easily.

How to support a person who stutters

Stuttering may look like an easy problem that can be solved with some simple advice, but for many people, it can be a chronic life-long disorder. Here are some ways that youthe listener, can help.

  • Don’t make remarks like: “Slow down,” “Take a breath,” or “Relax.” Such simplistic advice can be felt as demeaning and is not helpful.
  • Let the person know by your manner that you are listening to what he or she says — not how they say it.
  • Maintain natural eye contact and wait patiently and naturally until the person is finished.
  • You may be tempted to finish sentences or fill in words. Try not to. Use a relatively relaxed rate in your own speech — but not so slow as to sound unnatural. This promotes good communication.
  • Be aware that those who stutter usually have more trouble controlling their speech on the telephone. Please be patient in this situation. If you pick up the phone and hear nothing, be sure it is not a person who stutters trying to start the conversation before you hang up.
  • Speak in an unhurried way — but not so slowly as to sound unnatural. This promotes good communication with everyone

If you have any questions or concerns, contact Speech Language Pathologist, Christine Wilson.

Your Child at 5 Years


How your child plays, learns, speaks, and acts offers important clues about your child’s development. Developmental milestones are things most children can do by a certain age.

Check the milestones your child has reached by his or her 5th birthday. Take this with you and talk with your child’s doctor at every visit about the milestones your child has reached and what to expect next.

Social and Emotional
  • Wants to please friends
  • Wants to be like friends
  • More likely to agree with rules
  • Likes to sing, dance, and act
  • Shows concern and sympathy for others
  • Is aware of gender
  • Can tell what’s real and what’s make-believe
  • Shows more independence (may visit a next-door neighbor [adult supervision is still needed])
  • Is sometimes demanding and sometimes very cooperative
  • Speaks very clearly
  • Tells a simple story using full sentences
  • Uses future tense; for example, “Grandma will be here.”
  • Says name and address
Cognitive (learning, thinking, problem-solving)
  • Counts 10 or more things
  • Can draw a person with at least 6 body parts
  • Can print some letters or numbers
  • Copies a triangle and other geometric shapes
  • Knows about things used every day, like money and food
Movement/Physical Development
  • Stands on one foot for 10 seconds or longer
  • Hops; may be able to skip
  • Can do a somersault
  • Uses a fork and spoon and sometimes a table knife
  • Can use the toilet on his/her own
  • Swings and climbs

Act early by talking to your child’s doctor if your child:

  • Doesn’t show a wide range of emotions
  • Shows extreme behavior (unusually fearful, aggressive, shy or sad)
  • Unusually withdrawn and not active
  • Is easily distracted, has trouble focusing on one activity for more than 5 minutes
  • Doesn’t respond to people, or responds only superficially
  • Can’t tell what’s real and what’s make-believe
  • Doesn’t play a variety of games and activities
  • Can’t give first and last name
  • Doesn’t use plurals or past tense properly
  • Doesn’t talk about daily activities or experiences
  • Doesn’t draw pictures
  • Can’t brush teeth, wash and dry hands, or get undressed without help
  • Loses skills he/she once had

If you have any questions or concerns, contact Speech-Language Pathologist Christine Wilson.

Posted by Emily K. Hulse

Dyslexia Awareness Month!


Dyslexia is a reading disability that occurs when the brain does not properly recognize and process certain symbols. Dyslexics think in pictures, struggle with language and may even struggle with sequencing. Listed below are a few activities you can do at home to help your child improve their learning skills and gain confidence.

Activities for Children with Dyslexia

Clay models for non-picture words – Dyslexic kids are visual learners and need images to connect to the words they are reading. Using Play dough or modeling clay to form letters, words, correct reversals in numbers and in letters can provide the visual tactile connection they need.

Write note cards – Again, as visual and tactile students, note cards provide them something to look at while also giving them something to hold. Making and reading note cards aloud, helps cement the learning, while engaging employs their motor and auditory skills.

Make sand trays – Sand trays are simply tray-like containers that contain sand, beans or shaving cream. Like clay models, sand trays allow children to spell words or draw pictures in the sand, engaging their tactile and visual skills.

Audio books – Recorded stories are great for children who may struggle to read the words in a book. While they continue to develop their reading skills, they can enjoy reading while listening. Read and record a favorite book that they can follow along with, rent from the library or download some family favorites.

Hands-On Museum Visits – While we want all children to develop strong literacy skills, not all learning comes from the written word. Hands-on museums provide hands-on learning experiences and interactive activities that visual children thrive on.

iPad Apps: Along with hands-on activities, there are some iPad Apps that help children improve their reading abilities. These are two, of many, that work well for children with dyslexia:

Prizmo: When children struggle with reading it can affect all of their homework assignments. This app can help them keep up. Prizmo allows users to scan any type of text document and the program reads it back aloud.

The Writing Machine: Because dyslexic kids are highly visual, connecting images with words is highly beneficial. The Writing Machine App helps children develop literacy skills by correlating pictures and words, reading text and sounding out letters.

If you have any questions or concerns contact Speech-Language Pathologist, Christine Wilson.

Posted by Emily K. Hulse

How to Make Articulation Practice Fun at Home

Ways to Make Speech Homework FUN!

Does your child have a hard time focusing when practicing articulation skills at home? Here is a list of games and activities that will help make practicing articulation skills fun for your child!

1. Board games: This is a classic way of drilling with flashcards. This can be easily implemented by parents at home, as most children own some type of board game. The parents should also play the board game with the child so it is more motivating and special for the child. The parent should also draw an articulation flashcard and say the word to provide the child with auditory reinforcement of the correct production. The parent might want to say a word incorrectly on purpose once in a while so the child can catch him or her and correct the error – this teaches self-monitoring, and children love it when adults make mistakes and they can correct them.

2. Memory card game: This is another simple way of making speech homework more fun. The parents simply use the flashcards provided by a speech and language pathologist to play a memory game. The child uncovers the flashcard and tries to get a match while doing articulation drills.

3. Hopscotch: Parents can play this game in two different ways. One way is to actually draw a hopscotch court with a chalk outside or to draw one on the piece of paper. The child will throw a rock or a paper wad (when playing the paper hopscotch) then say the word multiple times from the flashcard determined by the number the rock or the paper ball ended on.

4. Bucket ball: Parents can play this game using multiple small buckets or cups. The targeted words are written on pieces of paper that are rolled into small balls. The child draws a paper ball, opens it and reads (or repeats) the targeted word. When produced correctly, the child can crumple the paper back into a ball and throw it into one of the buckets/cups.

5. Egg hunt: Parents can write targeted words on pieces of paper and put the pieces inside plastic eggs. The child is asked to find the hidden eggs. Upon opening an egg, the child reads (or repeats) the words inside the egg.

6. Lights out: Parents hide flashcards or written words on pieces of paper in a dark room and ask the child to find them using a flashlight. The child drills with the found words.

7. Make up silly stories: This can be played by the whole family. Each family member draws a few flashcards or written words and makes up his or her own story. (Older children can write them down.) The family meets after a few minutes to listen to all the stories. The stories can be audio or video recorded so the child then can retell each story for more practice.

8. Word challenge: This also can be played by the whole family. Each member is asked to come up with as many words as possible, starting or ending with given sound, within two minutes.

9. Make up silly songs: Similar to making up silly stories but this time the child and/or family are asked to make up songs.

10. Design your flashcards: This art project involves creating personalized flashcards with targeted words. The parents and children can draw, color in or cut out pictures from the magazines to create their own cool flashcards. Parents and children can then trade their cards to practice different phonemes (sounds) at the carrier phrase level (e.g., “ I will trade my rocket card with you,” etc).

11. Design your own board game: This is another family art project. Children can create their own board games by drawing a board game inside a folder and decorating it with stickers, etc. The child plays his or her own game while drawing flashcards.

12. Guess what?: The parent describes the targeted words and the child guesses the word (for example, “It is a yellow animal that quacks”).

13. Draw or act out words: Same as above, but the targeted words are acted out or drawn.

14. Design your own magazine: The child and parents can use the articulation flashcards provided by a speech and language pathologist or their own materials to create a magazine. The child is asked to come up with different short “articles” containing the targeted words.

15. Create your own newsroom: Similar to the above, except the child is video recorded telling news stories involving targeted words. For example, the child could be asked to come up with news stories using the words “raccoons,” “rake” and “rain.”

If you have any questions, click here to contact Speech-Language Pathologist Christine Wilson.

Important Milestones: Your Child at Four Years


How your child plays, learns, speaks, and acts offers important clues about your child’s development. Developmental milestones are things most children can do by a certain age.

Check the milestones your child has reached by his or her 4th birthday. Take this with you and talk with your child’s doctor at every visit about the milestones your child has reached and what to expect next.

What most babies do at this age:

Social and Emotional

  • Enjoys doing new things
  • Plays “Mom” and “Dad”
  • Is more and more creative with make-believe play
  • Would rather play with other children than by himself/herself
  • Cooperates with other children
  • Often can’t tell what’s real and what’s make-believe
  • Talks about what she likes and what she is interested in

Language and Communication

  • Knows some basic rules of grammar, such as correctly using “he” and “she”
  • Sings a song or says a poem from memory such as the “Itsy Bitsy Spider” or the “Wheels on the Bus”
  • Tells stories
  • Can say first and last name
Cognitive (learning, thinking, problem-solving)
  • Names some colors and some numbers
  • Understands the idea of counting
  • Starts to understand time
  • Remembers parts of a story
  • Understands the idea of “same” and “different”
  • Draws a person with 2 to 4 body parts
  • Uses scissors
  • Starts to copy some capital letters
  • Plays board or card games
  • Tells you what he thinks is going to happen next in a book

Movement and Physical Development

  • Hops and stands on one foot up to 2 seconds
  • Catches a bounced ball most of the time
  • Pours, cuts with supervision, and mashes own food

Act early by talking to your child’s doctor if your child:

  • Can’t jump in place
  • Has trouble scribbling
  • Shows no interest in interactive games or make-believe
  • Ignores other children or doesn’t respond to people outside the family
  • Resists dressing, sleeping, and using the toilet
  • Can’t retell a favorite story
  • Doesn’t follow 3-part commands
  • Doesn’t understand “same” and “different”
  • Doesn’t use “me” and “you” correctly
  • Speaks unclearly
  • Loses skills he once had

If you have any questions or concerns, click here to contact Speech-language Pathologist Christine Wilson.