When something that is seemingly effortless for most people is a struggle for your child, you wonder why. That has been the case with our daughter, who was diagnosed with childhood apraxia of speech.
CAS is a speech disorder that seriously interferes with a child's ability to develop clear speech. CAS makes it difficult or impossible for an affected child to plan the movements of the lips, tongue, jaw, etc., that are needed for speech. Children with CAS generally have a good understanding of language - they know what they want to say - but have difficulty learning or carrying out the complex movements that underlie speech. Apraxia is one of the most severe childhood speech and communication disorders.
Tuesday marks the first ever Apraxia Awareness Day. I want to bring awareness to our community about this speech problem in children because it is still little known, very misunderstood and has a huge impact on kids and families. Speech and communication are critical skills for young children to develop. We need to find ways of supporting children with apraxia and their families because speech therapy, the only proven treatment for apraxia, is quite costly and will extend over many years for these children. These children must work and struggle so very hard just to learn a skill - speaking - that comes effortlessly to other children.
Thanks to a very patient and dedicated speech therapist, our sweet and happy girl is making slow but steady progress.
On Oct. 5 in Cobleskill, local families and friends of children affected by apraxia from Otsego, Delaware, Montgomery and Schoharie counties will walk to raise funds and awareness for CAS. We invite the people of this community to join with us to help all of these children find their voice. They have so much to say-please help them say it.
Learn more about apraxia at Apraxia-kids.org. You can find out more about the Cobleskill Walk for Apraxia on our Facebook page (just put "Cobleskill Walk for Apraxia" in the search box), our walk page online at secure.apraxia-kids.org/cobleskillwalk4apraxia, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We'll have more details as we get closer to the walk date.
BRETT and ELISABETH TISSIERE