Have you ever noticed how you end up reading the same three books to your kids over, and over, and over again? Many times, these same books are the ones that your kids learn to "read" first, a.k.a. they have them memorized. Your kids will call you out if you so much as skip a word, let alone sentences, or heaven forbid pages. <GASP>
In our house we USED TO have a rule that we would only read the same three books for three nights in a row, and then they'd go up on the shelf and three new books would be picked for bedtime. Once we'd had a week or so break, those three books would make their way back into rotation. While this did save our sanity at times (I literally have all the Little Blue Truck books memorized) it wasn't until I had my son with apraxia that I realized I was doing my boys a disservice.
All children benefit from repetitive, predictable books, in which they can finish the endings of sentences or fill in the rhyming words. But, children with apraxia need this predictability in order to ease the mental load of comprehension, so they can focus on word and sound production. The words and phrases can instead be memorized and repeated on auto-pilot; much like an adult can sign a familiar song in their head while completing another task.
Little Elf, my son with apraxia, has many words in songs memorized and will say or sing them if doing so on his own, or along with his favorite character on the TV. The second I try and have him replicate and produce this same word independently, or on cue, the apraxia kicks in, and he struggles mightily.
So, I've come up with a list of great books I've found to read to children with apraxia (and typical children), to encourage this inherent muscle memory, and focus on word production.
Brown Bear, Brown Bear (Eric Carle)
Chicka Chicka, Boom Boom (Bill Martin & John Archambault)
Dear Zoo (Rod Campbell)
Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed (Eileen Christelow)
Go Dog Go (PD Eastman)
Goodnight Goodnight Construction Site (Sherri Duskey Rinker & Tom Lichtenheld)
Goodnight Moon (Margaret Wise Brown)
Llama Llama Series (Anna Dewdney)
Little Blue Truck Series (Alice Schertle)
My Truck Is Stuck (Kevin Lewis & Daniel Kirk)
The Napping House (Audrey Wood)
Panda Bear, Panda Bear (Eric Carle)
Polar Bear, Polar Bear (Eric Carle)
Peek a Moo (Marie Torres Cimarusti)
Pete the Cat Series (Eric Litwin)
These are just some of the favorites in our house. I'd love to hear what books you've found to be helpful and those you read that have your kids finishing the sentences and phrases!