St. Mary’c College, Notre Dame, Indiana is featuring Kate and “Anything But Silent” on the front page of their website. Click here and check it out over at the SMC website. There are also some great pictures of Kate on the set of some of the movies in which she has been involved.
The second Apraxia Awareness Day was May 14, 2014 and several bloggers chose to review “Anything But Silent.” Click here to check out the review at “Jake’s Journey to be a Little Man” where Tori says, “What I really, truly loved about this book was that I could relate to every sentence that Kathy wrote. Many times through this book, my eyes would swell with tears because I felt like she articulated my own thoughts and feelings so well. And Kate’s point of view just made the story that much more insightful.”
David Ozab, at “Fatherhood, Etc., A stay-at-home dad’s thoughts on parenting and life,” also reviewed “Anything But Silent.” He says, “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.” Click here to read David’s full review.
Kate and I truly appreciate that both Tori and David took the time to read our book and give us such wonderful reviews.
Kate and I were so excited to be interviewed by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Check out the article in today’s paper and let us know what you think, http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/news/health/a-family-relates-the-challenges-of-dealing-with-childhood-apraxia-693822/.
Anything But Silent has been out for just a few weeks and it’s getting great reviews!
Tammy: Excellent!!! I could not put it down! I read it in less than 24 hours from recieving it.
Katie: Got it and read it in 2 days.
Emilie: Had to finish it today – I loved it!!! I will definitely be lending out my copy…
Chrissy: I’m only a few pages in and already it’s a great read!
Angela: I’m only a few chapters into Anything But Silent but it’s really, really good.
Donna: What a rollercoaster of emotions for anybody who “gets it.” I loved it.
Lisa: Thank you so much ladies for such a poignant read. Hits so close to home.
You can read more reviews of Anything But Silent on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Anything-But-Silent-Kathy-Hennessy/dp/1595718923/ref=sr_1_1_bnp_1_pap?ie=UTF8&qid=1370177619&sr=8-1&keywords=kathy+hennessy. Kate and I are so grateful to those who have taken the time to read our book and share their thoughts with us.
Kathy and Kate
What would you go through as a parent to give your child the power of speech?
Parents dream their children will achieve many great things, but most parents do not dream their children will struggle for years just to speak what is in their hearts and minds. Kathy Hennessy faced this challenge with not one but both of her children when they were diagnosed with childhood apraxia of speech.
What does a child feel like when no one in the world understands what she is trying to say? Imagine the frustration when even your mom doesn’t get it. Young Kate Hennessy understands all too well those feelings of exasperation and defeat.
In this forthright and emotional story, Kathy tells of the mountains they climbed just for her children to have a chance at speech. Hennessy tells of the battles she waged with insurance companies, pediatricians, school systems, and family, while Kate shares her own experiences and those of her brother with bullies, friends, and following their dreams.
Heart-breaking and heart-warming, the Hennessys’ tell of the intense commitment to therapy, the magic of Santa Claus, and the sadness of teaching children to defend themselves. Daughter Kate tells of the determination of her brother and herself not to be consumed or broken by their disability; Kathy shares her creative solutions to their early speech limitations and her pride in seeing them as young adults speak in public at national conferences on childhood apraxia of speech. Not only had they conquered their own challenges, they were leading the way for other children like them.
So this is actually happening, huh? I distinctly remember when this whole journey began after I read one of my mom’s old essays. I was stunned to discover my mother’s fear over things I had always thought of as ordinary, such as Andy and me visiting Santa Clause. It wasn’t until that exact moment that I think I finally realized and understood the overwhelming fears she had kept silent about. Having children with apraxia changes absolutely everything and the mundane suddenly becomes the crushing.
Our differing views on events are what pushed us toward actually working on Anything But Silent. I think I started writing the individual essays when I was fourteen or fifteen; every summer promising my mother that would be the summer I finally finished my half of it. As the years passed, it quietly moved down the priority list, further and further until this past summer when I think my mother finally had enough. She successfully urged me to finish my last remaining chapters. Once I had, I sent them to her and moved on to my next film, diving into the 17/18 hour workdays, almost forgetting about our little-book-that-could. If it wasn’t for my mother finding a publishing company and really diving into this whole process head first, none of this would have happened.
If nothing else, this book is a story of love. Committed, never-ending and never-swaying love. Andy and I would never be where we are today if it wasn’t for this truly astonishing woman I am so proud to call my mother. She fought the insurance companies, the public school system, the therapists, and anyone else that ever doubted Andy and me. When they told her my brother’s miracle was that he could walk and that he would never be able to talk, my mother fought even harder for a future that included his own voice. We are who we are because of her.
This spring can’t come soon enough because I am so excited to share with all of you our story. It’s a side of me that very few people know about, and there are stories in there about my family that are more personal and honest than many might expect, but it’s how we got here and while it’s been a rough ride, I don’t think any of us would change it.
Stay tuned for more!
Welcome to our Blog! We have begun a journey, Kate and I. Last week we signed a contract with a publisher and in about 3 months our book will be a reality. All my life I have loved books, beginning with Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden. I love holding a book and being somewhere else for a time. I love the smell of a roomful of books. Even though I do own a Kindle, there are still books that I buy in hardcover just to have on the shelf. And now, a book written by Kate and I will also be on my shelf.
“Anything But Silent” was never meant to be a book. It was never meant to be anything at all. For years now, I have kept journals and written essays about the things in my life that are meaningful to only me. Consequently, I wrote quite a few essays on what it was like to raise two children with Childhood Apraxia of Speech. Years ago, Kate came across an essay I wrote about taking two kids who couldn’t really communicate with their voices to see Santa Claus. She sat in my office in the attic and with knees folded into the papasan chair read the story that was about her and her brother. When she finished she looked up at me and said, “That’s not the way that I remember it.” Our journey began when Kate wrote her version of the same story.
When I read a book I never think much about the process. When I finally got the nerve to show our book to someone, Kate and I had already been through five rewrites. That seemed like a lot to me, but somehow now I think we haven’t even begun to scratch the surface. I sat across from the owner of the publishing company and tried to look at anything but him as he skimmed through the book. Finally, he looked up and said, “You know that you are a good writer….right?” Ah, no Tom, I really wasn’t quite sure about that. Quietly, I answered, “Well, I was hoping.”
Contract negotiated, we have been assigned an editor and I have no idea what to expect. She is a mother herself so I suspect that will be our common ground through this journey. We are thrilled, excited, nervous and, frankly terrified, but I guess you have to throw caution to the wind and learn to live with being uncomfortable if you care about dreams.
If you are interested at all in what it’s like to publish a book then stop back here and I’ll keep you updated.