Books are often used as a treatment tool in speech and language therapy. But, there is one particular category of books that are highly recommended and beneficial for our little ones with childhood apraxia of speech. So if you have a kiddo with childhood apraxia of speech (CAS), or suspected apraxia of speech, keep reading!
One thing I highly recommend to parents of kiddos with CAS is to practice the sounds combinations/words we are working on in therapy, outside of the therapy room, frequently! The key word here is frequently. The repetition helps to make it more familiar and over time, easier to say. But it takes a lot of repetition, time and patience! So where do the books come in? Great question!
Books, specifically, repetitive books are great for various reasons. They are predictable, they have phrases that repeat (in the speech pathology world we use a fancy term called “carrier phrases” to describe these repetitive phrases), they have lots of opportunities to practice sounds you may be working on (aka “target sounds”), and more! One of the best parts is when you have phrases that repeat, it provides opportunities for you to leave part of the phrase open at the end for your child to start filling in (AKA a “cloze task”), without having to give them the word to directly imitate. Why is this important? Because when your child can start participating more, they will be encouraged to take more risks and they will feel empowered to communicate more. This is something we always want to strive for, especially because CAS can be very frustrating (for you and your kiddo).
So what are these books that you need to get our hands on ASAP? Check the following list, you may already have some in your kiddos home library (and if you don’t try amazon by following the link or borrow from your local library).
· Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? By Bill Martin Jr.
· Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? by Bill Martin Jr.
· Panda Bear, Panda Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr.
· Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin, Jr.
· Are You My Mother? By PD Eastman
· Green Eggs & Ham by PD Eastman
· Go, Dog, Go! By PD Eastman
· The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
· Have You Seen My Cat by Eric Carle
· The Big Book of Exclamations! By Teri Kaminski Peterson
· Good Night Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
· If You Give A Mouse A Cookie by Laura Joffe Numeroff
· If You Give A Pig A Pancake by Laura Joffe Numeroff
· If You Take A Mouse To The Movies by Laura Joffe Numeroff
· If You Give A Pig A Party by Laura Joffe Numeroff
· If You Give A Cat A Cupcake by Laura Joffe Numeroff
· If You Give A Dog A Donut by Laura Joffe Numeroff
· The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry, And The Big Hungry Bear by Audrey and Don Wood
· I know An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Fly by Simms Taback
· I know An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Pie by Alison Jackson
· I Went Walking by Sue Williams
· The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
· The Napping House by Audrey Wood
· Caps For Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina
· Sheep In A Shop by Nancy E. Shaw
· Sheep In A Jeep by Nancy E. Shaw
· The Little Red Hen by Paul Galdone
Helpful Tip #1: Remember when reading with your little one, it is important to provide opportunities for them to fill in words in repetitive phrases, but give them extra time to try to do it before jumping in and doing it for them. It does take time!
Helpful Tip #2: Children LOVE to hear the same book over and over again! And that is a GOOD thing for children with CAS. It’s okay to read the same book or books for a month straight. Follow your child’s lead and read what they request. Just make sure the choices are from the above list in order to help them participate more in your book reading!