Raising Awareness of Speech Apraxia

In my blog introduction, I explain that I have Global Dyspraxia that impacts on my whole body, the most obvious when you meet me is its impact on my speech. This led to me being wrongly diagnosed at an early age. That was a ‘fun’ experience as I understood everything but couldn’t shout at them to tell them what I thought.

Luckily I have a tenacious family and a grandmother with numerous degrees in education including an M.Ed in assessment and learning. I was privately assessed for a text-based voice-output communication aid. Within two minutes I said, ‘I’m hungry can we go home’; I was ten years old. Subsequently, we won the legal tribunal we took out against the local education authority, for failure to meet my needs. It was greatly helped by us employing for many years a consultant educational psychologist who was fantastic. She observed me in schools and carried out assessments on verbal reasoning etc. At the age of eleven I was acknowledged as intelligent. That disparity between speech output and assessed intelligence is what leads to a diagnosis of developmental verbal dyspraxia (DVD; UK) or childhood apraxia of speech (CAS;USA).

My poor early education resulted in me having a diagnosis of PTSD for which I’m still having weekly EEG Neurofeedback. Would you believe that I received no speech and language therapy (SaLT) during my early years education other than private sessions funded by my family. Since I was eleven, I have had specialist SaLT in America and a fully-funded specialist home education programme. I have risen quickly through all levels of school education and intend to go to university in the next few years. My academic progress demonstrated the level of untapped ability and knowledge.

My speech is developing gradually through a specialist programme although I am wary of using it with people I don’t know. I have a realistic goal of having an increasing foundation of words and functional phrases, that I can use. I still have a US-based SaLT who I visit annually; she sets the programme and a trained team who deliver it. We regularly video my targeted programme and share them via iCloud and have Zoom meetings with the SaLT.

My whole programme is broader than SaLT and encompasses strategies for learning, vision and exercises for strength which is important in dyspraxia; it is modified as I make progress. My grandmother has a balance between her consultancy and managing the programme like a military operation. I know her skills are greatly valued by others and I try not to take her for granted!

I know I am no longer that damaged little boy but inside he is still part of me; I struggle at times but then don’t we all. The purpose of this blog is to raise awareness of the general tendency to equate speech difficulties or use of communication aids with a cognitive deficit. There’s a ‘does he take sugar mentality’ so people tend not to talk to you.

  • People are often uncomfortable when there is a speech deficit of any type and fill the vacuum with too much talk or ignore.
  • Slow down and look at the person and say something and wait for them to respond because most people will acknowledge verbally or physically in some way and human communication is often non-verbal anyway. Take the time to communicate.
  • If someone uses a communication aid use the same approach just include them in a conversation even if it’s a group.

In my team when we have a debate, we all use iPads and what a leveller that is. I interview all potential team members which current team members love sitting in on. Each candidate is given an iPad with a QWERTY key board voice output app. The increase in anxiety is tangible. All candidates have good psychology degrees with other experience. One candidate told me how she was planning to work her way through all ‘conditions’ then apparently was going to be a research fellow and cure the world. I am usually polite but always measured in my response. She was left in no uncertainty as to why I wouldn’t employ her.

If you passed me in the street you wouldn’t see any difference. I nod and smile to people when they let me pass or when they smile as they pass, which people do.

My message is simple. Stop being uncomfortable or afraid and actually look at and see the person; not their deficit.

My next blogs will spotlight individuals who are braver than me in taking action to raise awareness.

Keto Panera Broccoli Cheese Soup (copy-cat version)

Yesterday we went out for lunch to the local Marketplace, as it has a wide range of food concessions to choose from. It was relaxing and also dog friendly. When it came to dinner time, I wanted something light as I wasn’t very hungry. I decided on this soup recipe as I’ve enjoyed food at Panera during trips to America. It also includes the recipe for chaffle croutons.

This was very simple to make and was ready to east in 30 minutes. The flavour of the soup is incredible; the creamy, cheese-smooth flavour is delicious and with a healthy portion of chopped broccoli, what more do you need. It contains only 6.5g of Net Carbs, so it made me feel less guilty about lunch. I toasted two slices of Seriously LowCarb seeded bread. It’s my go-to when I’m cutting my carb intake.

YIELD: 4 servings. Prep time: 10 minutes. Cook time: 20 minutes. Total time:30 minutes

Nutritional information/portion: Serving size: 1 cup/ Kcalories: 389/ Total fat: 35g/ Saturated fat: 21g/ Unsaturated fat: 10g/ Cholesterol: 78mg/ Carbohydrates: 8g/ Net Carbs: 6.5g/Fibre: 1.5g/Protein: 10g


Pictorial overview of Ingredients and method:

Soup Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp butter (I used lactose-free butter)
  • 1/4 c chopped onion
  • 1/2 lbs fresh broccoli, chopped into small florets
  • 2 tbsp grated carrots
  • 1 1/2 c chicken broth
  • 1/2 brick/ 4 oz cream cheese (I used lactose-free cream cheese)
  • 1/2 c heavy cream
  • 1/2 c unsweetened almond or cashew milk (I used unsweetened coconut milk)
  • 1 tsp Tabasco
  • 1 tsp ground mustard powder (I didn’t use this)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt (I didn’t add salt until the soup was finished; cheese adds salt)
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg (I didn’t add this)
  • 1 c (4 oz) grated sharp cheddar (or more to taste)


  1. In a large pot, heat the butter over medium heat. Be careful that it doesn’t burn.
  2. Add the onions and saute until translucent.
  3. Add all the remaining soup ingredients except the grated cheddar
  4. Bring the soup to a low simmer; then simmer for 15 minutes, stirring frequently.
  5. Remove the soup from the heat and stir in the grated cheese until melted.
  6. Taste and adjust the seasonings to taste
  7. Serve garnished with extra cheese
  8. The recipe recommends garnishing with chaffle croutons (gives details on how to make them).

My Cavapoochon pup, Lola, decided the soup smelt delicious. She’s very keen on lactose-free cheese, given the opportunity. However, the soup contains onions and garlic powder, which are toxic for dogs. So she had to settle for her puppy biscuits with a little shredded chicken.

Butter Chicken (Murgh Makhani)

Gluten-free/lactose-free/low carb

Indian food varies in spiciness. I like subtle creamy flavours. This recipe ticked all the boxes; it’s simple to make. Even simpler when you use items from the pantry, like pureed ginger and garlic, both from tubes. I’ve made this recipe twice now, especially when I have lots of leftover roasted chicken. I don’t understand the current liking for chicken thighs; not even our dogs will eat them. When I’m doing this recipe, I just make the sauce, and then for the last 10-plus minutes, when it has thickened, I add the cooked chicken. It’s a very easy, quick dinner. I serve it with cauliflower rice. It has a lovely depth of flavours which is livened up by lemon or lime juice. I would highly recommend this recipe. Enjoy it, and let me know what you think of it. It supposedly makes 8 servings. but I would think 4 using leftover chopped roast chicken.

Nutrition: 1 serving Calories 332kcal/ Carbohydrates: 7g/ Net Carbs: 6g/ Protein: 22g/ Fat: 15g/ Sodium: 306mg/ Potassium: 313mg/ Fibre: 1g.


  • 1 piece of ginger minced (I used pureed ginger)
  • 3 cloves of garlic minced (I used pureed garlic)
  • 1 small lemon juiced (I used bottled lemon juice)
  • 1.25lbs of chicken thighs (I used leftover roast chicken)
  • 2 tablespoons of Tandoori curry paste or any paste you have
  • 1 tablespoon of butter (i used Arla lactose-free butter)
  • 2 tablespoons of ghee (I used 2 more tablespoons of butter)
  • 1 small onion sliced
  • 1 teaspoon of garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika
  • 1 x 14oz can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1.5 cups of chicken broth
  • 1.25 cups of heavy cream (I used Arla lactose-free cream).


  1. If you are using raw chicken, add it to a bowl with ginger, garlic, lemon juice, and tandoori curry paste. Mix it well.
  2. Add the butter to a non-stick pan and place over medium heat; once hot add the chicken and cook for 3-4 minutes, until no longer pink. Remove from the pan.
  3. Add the ghee to the pan, then the onion and all the spices; cook gently until fragrant. Note: The last thing you want is the bitter taste of burnt butter or spices. A small splash of water will reduce the heat and prevent burning.
  4. Add the chicken back into the pan, plus the crushed tomatoes and chicken broth. Bring it to a simmer.
  5. Once it has thickened, stir through the heavy (double cream in the UK). Let it simmer for 10-12 minutes or until it has thickened.

Note 1: If you make the sauce only like I do, start at method point 3 (above). Cook the onion in 1 tablespoon of butter. Remove the onions when cooked. Then add 2 tablespoons of butter to the pan (or ghee if you prefer) and gently cook all the curry paste and spices. Add the onion back into the pan with the crushed tomatoes and chicken broth and simmer the sauce until it reduces slightly. Add the cream and simmer for 10-12 minutes. When reduced, taste the sauce and add lemon juice to your taste. Finally, add the roast chicken and simmer until the chicken is heated through.

Note 2: if you use a single cream, you must simmer it until it reduces and thickens. Take care it doesn’t burn. Adding 1/2 teaspoon of Xanthan gum or arrowroot is an alternative to thickening. With Xanthan gum, sprinkle it onto the sauce and whisk in quickly. If not, you may get small lumps of it in the sauce.

You can store the butter chicken in an airtight container in the fridge. If stored correctly, it will last for 3-4 days.

You can freeze the butter chicken in an airtight-freezer container, labelled and dated, for up to 3 months. To reheat, defrost it in the fridge, then reheat it on the cooker top or in a microwave.

Low Carb Sticky Toffee Pudding

I made this for Xmas lunch. Please note though that I doubled the original recipe which made six small individual puddings. I also added fresh raspberries and drizzled Keto syrup over the top before serving. I’ve made this pudding several times before; it’s delicious as a topping over a base of stewed apple sweetened with erythritol and baked. This might look difficult but its not and it’s a seriously delicious dessert. If you’ve got a Keto syrup I wouldn’t bother making the sauce. I put parchment paper discs in the bottom of the ramekins so the finished cakes didn’t stick. Try it as it’s worth making.

Prep time: 5 mins | Cook time: 15 mins | Servings: 2 puddings

Nutrition per pudding: (original recipe): Calories 344 | Total Fat 33g | Saturated Fat 12g | Carbohydrates 7g | Net Carbohydrates 5g | Fibre 2g | Sugar 1g | Protein 9g



  • 1 egg, separated
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter, melted & cooled (I used lactose-free butter)
  • 2 tbsp double cream (I used a plant-based double cream)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder (I used gluten-free baking powder)
  • 2 tsp sweetener
  • 1/2 cup almond flour


  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 tsp sweetener
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • pinch of low-carb thickener, optional

NOTE: I doubled the recipe as I wanted to make enough puddings for 4 people. I also chose not to make the sauce, as I already had a Keto Sugar-free maple syrup.



Preheat the oven to 350 F / 180 C.

In a large bowl, mix together the egg yolk, melted butter, double cream, baking powder, and sweetener, until fully incorporated.

Whip the egg whites until soft peaks form, set aside.

To the egg yolk, butter and cream mixture, stir in the almond flour to make a thick paste.

I chose to also fold in some fresh raspberries into my mixture.

Next fold through the egg whites, being careful to not knock the air out.

Spoon the mixture into individual ramekins. Place on a baking tray & bake for around 10-12 minutes, or until the centre is cooked.

Allow to cool for 5 minutes, and then turn out onto a cooling rack / plate.


To make the sauce, add butter, sweetener, and water to a small pan. Bring to a boil and cook for around 5 minutes, add a pinch of thickener if using, and whisk until thickened.

NOTE: I chose not to make the sauce as I already had a keto maple syrup which I used instead.

Place the pudding onto a plate, and pour / drizzle the sauce over the top – I also added fresh raspberries to the top of mine.

Keto Pie Crust

It’s been cold here in the UK, and I fancied a warm hearty chicken pot pie. I wanted to try a new keto pie crust and found this recipe. This seemed simple to make, and once cooked was buttery and had a nice crisp texture. The pie dough was easy to make, and it was just like a traditional pastry recipe. I made a quick chicken pie filling using up what we had in the fridge. The pie was delicious, and met all our needs: warm and filling.

This is a very good basic pie crust recipe to have in your cooking repertoire and is versatile, in that it can be used for sweet and savoury dishes. I think next time I will try making a key lime pie and see if it withstands the soggy bottom test. Only those of you who watch the Great British Bakeoff will understand what I mean.

Prep time: 5 mins | Cook time: 12 mins | Servings: 12

Nutrition per serving: Calories 131 | Carbs 4g | Protein 4g | Fat 12g |  Fibre 2g | Net Carbs 2g


  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted (I used lactose-free butter)
  • 1 large egg

Chicken Pie Filling: (this is a favourite family recipe)

  • 1 small leek, finely chopped
  • 600g chicken breast, diced
  • 1 punnet of mushrooms
  • 300g spinach, chopped
  • 300ml homemade chicken bone broth
  • 1 teaspoon, xanthan gum to thicken the sauce


  • In a bowl, combine your pie crust dry ingredients and mix well.
  • Next, add the melted butter and egg and mix until combined.
  • Using your hands, shape the dough into a smooth ball and cover it with clingfilm.
  • Place it in the refrigerator for an hour.
  • Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.
  • Lightly grease an 8 or 9-inch pie dish and set aside.
  • Remove the dough from the fridge and remove the clingfilm.
  • Place the ball of dough between two pieces of greaseproof paper and use a rolling pin to roll it out into 1/4 inch of thickness.
  • You can either transfer the dough to a pie dish and blind bake for around 10-12 minutes, or you can add a filling and bake everything together.

(As I was making a chicken pie with a pie crust topping, I made the filling first and added the rolled pie dough on top).

  • To make my filling, I melted some butter in a large pan.
  • I then added leek, chicken, mushrooms, and seasoning.
  • Cook for 10-12 mins until the chicken is browned, and the leeks softened.
  • Next I added the chicken broth, and some spinach, as well as a teaspoon of xantham gum to thicken the mixture.
  • Once cooked, I transferred the filling to my pie dish.
  • Place the rolled dough on top of your filling, and press the edges of the dough to the side of the dish. Score the middle of the pie to allow steam out.
  • Cook in the oven for around 20 minutes, or until the pie crust is golden.
  • Once cooked, remove your pie from the oven and allow to cool slightly.
  • Serve and enjoy!!

Air Fryer Pizza Rolls

With the cost of living crisis here in the UK, we have started using the air fryer more. I have been testing out air fryer recipes, and came across this one for pizza rolls. They were simple to make, and ingredients can easily be added or changed, depending on your flavour of choice. I went for classic cheese and ham, and enjoyed them straight from the air fryer warm and crisp. Next time I might add mushrooms or pepperoni. These are great if you want a quick and easy snack! I would recommend you try them, and suggest you flip them halfway through cooking to ensure there’s an even crisp! For the second batch I put parchment paper in the bottom of the air fryer basket to reduce sticking. I would recommend making up a batch of the self-raising flour as I’ve used it in other recipes and it gives good results.

Prep time: 1 min | Cook time: 7 mins | Servings: 8 rolls

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 160kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 6g | Fibre: 1g | Net Carbs: 19g


  • 1 batch pizza dough (see ingredients below)
  • 1/2 cup pizza sauce (I used low-carb ready-made marinara sauce)
  • 1-2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded (I used lactose-free cheddar)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Pizza Dough ingredients:

Homemade self-raising flour ingredients:

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour (I used gluten-free flour)
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoon baking powder (I used gluten-free baking powder)


  • Combine all your flour ingredients in a large bowl, whisk together, until fully combined.
  • Next, prepare the dough by combining plain yoghurt with the homemade flour, until combined. Roll into a ball.
  • Transfer the dough onto a floured surface.
  • Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough into a rectangular shape, around half an inch in thickness.
  • Spread the pizza sauce on top, leaving room around the perimeter of the dough.
  • Add the cheese and pizza toppings of choice. I added some ham to mine.
  • The roll the dough, like you would a Swiss roll.
  • Use a wet knife to slice into 8 portions.
  • Lightly grease an air fryer basket.
  • Brush the exterior of the pizza rolls and place them in the air fryer basket.
  • Air fry at 200C/400F for 8-10 minutes, turning halfway through.
  • Remove the pizza rolls from the air fryer and serve immediately.
  • Enjoy!!