It's been over five years since our daughter Anna was diagnosed with childhood apraxia of speech, and before she was diagnosed we had never heard of this surprisingly common motor-speech disorder. We felt so alone. But we found help from fellow parents online and we found the Childhood Apraxia of Speech Association of North America (CASANA). We weren't as alone as we thought.
Fifteen years earlier, Kathy Hennessy had to grapple with this same diagnosis twice. Both her daughter Kate and her son Andrew had apraxia. Fifteen years earlier there was nowhere to go for support. The internet was in it's infancy, and apraxia was little known even among speech language pathologists. I can't imagine how alone she felt.
Kathy and Kate both share their stories in "Anything But Silent: Our Family's Journey Through Childhood Apraxia of Speech." A poignant collection of short essays written by both mother and daughter trace their path together from diagnosis through to resolution and Kate's adulthood.
In Kathy's stories I find so much to relate to. All the same questions, worries doubts, and fears. Common childhood experiences-school, playtime, and even a trip to see Santa Claus are fraught with peril in Kathy's mind. How will Kate and Andy communicate? How will they be treated? Will they be accepted for who they are-wonderful, bright children-or will they be shunned, ignored, or bullied? We faced all those same fears and I know that every parent of an apraxia kid faces them too.
Kate's stories alternate with Kathy's and it's wonderful to be able to hear her side of things. There is so much that she saw differently than her mom, and reading her memories of the same events reminds me that Anna sees her experiences differently too, and someday when we look back at them she's going to remember very different things than I do.
Together as they each take a turn telling the story of their family, they give a bigger picture than would be possible. And the reader never has to decide which version is "true" or even "more accurate." Their differing perspectives belong side by side where they can strengthen each other and make the book better by leaving the tensions between them unresolved.
Along with Leslie Lindsay's "Speaking of Apraxia" (which I previously reviewed), "Anything But Silent" is a must read for all parents of apraxia kids. And as the kids grow older it will be a great read for them too. Children with apraxia of speech need a voice of their own and this book is one they will relate to as they see how a fellow apraxia kid found her voice too.
Everyone has a story... and Kathy and Kate Hennessy, a mother-daughter author team, narrated theirs perfectly in the book Anything But Silent.
Kathy Hennessy is the Director of Education at CASANA (Childhood Apraxia of Speech Association of North America) and was also one of its founding members. Kathy has an intimate connection to this nonprofit group because her two children, Kate and Andrew, were both diagnosed with childhood apraxia of speech when they were kids.
Anything But Silent is told from two perspectives and chapters alternate between a mother and daughter's voice. It is the story of a mother's struggle to help her children find their voices. Simultaneously, it is the story of her daughter and how apraxia looked through her eyes, not only when she was growing up, but also now.
This book is about moving mountains. It is about courage, strength, and determination. It is about pushing forward when life is really terrible. It is about winning. It is about struggle. It's about having all the odds stacked against you and coming out on top.
It is about beating apraxia, but also intensely appreciating the everyday moments that occur on the road to recovery. It is about becoming a better person because of the challenges that have been placed upon you. It is rejoicing in the small victories that most people wouldn't think twice about.
My favorite chapter was their Christmas story. This synopsis can be found at http://jakes-journey-apraxia.com/2014/12/07/anything-but-silent-a-christmas-story-and-giveaway/
This book is a memoir written by Kathy Hennessy, one of the founding members of CASANA (Childhood Apraxia of Speech Association of North America) and her daughter, Kate. The book was extremely relevant to me as my youngest son has Apraxia. There were heartwarming stories and challenges I could relate to. I would highly recommend to anyone with a family member with apraxia to read this book. I am hoping to one day get to a CASANA national conference!
I sought out this book because my son was diagnosed with Apraxia. I really liked how it was written by the mother and her now grown daughter to get a different perspective on things. It also helped with finding resources to reach out to. I am really glad they wrote this book.
SUPER book to help you understand what families go thru with Apraxia
Super great book! Gave it to my daughter when I was finished. She is all over the book. My 4 year old grandson has Apraxia and just yesterday was diagnosed with Dispraxia among many other problems. It helps to be informed and know more about the trials and troubles families go thru. My granddaughter may be Apraxic as well. She is too young to know yet but is showing signs. I want to order this book for everyone that thinks its just a speech delay, if only I could be sure they would read it
A must for moms stressed over Apraxia
Every mom with a child who is learning to talk with Apraxia needs to read this. So do their closest friends and families. The perspective this can bring is huge. Great book.
I am an intervention specialist who works with a student with CAS. This book gave me such insight into working with this child. I wish I'd had it 4 years ago. There were even a few strategies for teaching embedded in the text. Excellent for parents and professionals who desire to understand the experience of children and families living with the disorder.
I found out my child has Childhood Apraxia of Speech a few months ago. I've been searching the internet for information and came across this book. I'm so glad we bought it! What a really cool perspective both from a mother with TWO children that have apraxia, and from a girl in college that has apraxia. I can't even begin to tell you how helpful it has been and how much hope it has given me. I've been going through all the stages of grief and this book brought me hope, gave me knowledge, made me cry... it's written in a way that makes me feel like I'm reading the journal of a friend. It's not a technical book (although I did learn a lot about everything!) but it's more about the experience as a whole - from a parents perspective. I'm very impressed. I'm so grateful that this book was written. Thank you!
I loved reading this book!! As the mother of a 5 year old, I often wonder what my daughter will remember about her childhood. This book helps give some insight into how the same events are interpreted so differently by parents and children. I really enjoyed the 2 points of view in the book. I also appreciated the honest and sometimes painful details the author gave as she raised 2 children with apraxia. Would definitely recommend to all those who raise children with any kid of disability as well as for all of us who try to provide care for these children.
This was an inside look at the challenges of a single parent raising not 1 but 2 apraxic children. Her determination to be the voice for her children until they find their own was astounding. She never gave up, she devoted all of her time and energy to her children who are now young adults functioning at normal levels. I loved the son and daughter's perspective of how they overcame their challenges. As a grandmother of a grandson with apraxia, this gives me hope and I'm on the path now to overcome the obstacles we face. Thanks Kathy for sharing your journey with us.
Very interesting. Very informative. This is an important book. This book details, on a deeply personal level, a devistatimg and little known condition that becomes a challenge to the human spirit. What happens to us when we are born unable to learn to form words?