A curious set of events forever changed my future. The wonderful leadership at SSD, including the greats, Helen Bayer and Jo Tiemann hired me, a 7-12 English teacher, as the assistant to Laurie Guess in a Speech and Language kindergarten-first grade classroom. From that basement classroom at Marvin Elementary School, Laurie taught me everything she knew about Speech and Language Development and Therapy. I went on to get my master's in Speech Language Pathology and ASHA CCC's. By 2000, we were talking about setting up a research study for her CAS intervention system which was seeing great success, while she fought cancer and established the CAS kindergarten classroom in the Parkway School District. Laurie changed so many lives, from anyone who stopped to listen to her sweet southern voice, the children she worked with, the teachers and therapists who worked with her at SSD and Parkway, and she forever changed my life. The world lost an amazing human being on July 17, 2004. Her legacy continues in the field of speech and language and the lives she touched.
I am still practicing Speech and Language at Little Speech Boutique with an emphasis on Childhood Apraxia of Speech, speech sound disorders and emerging language skills. I think of her often and continue to use the skills and treatment strategies she developed.
On October 9, 2021, I will be walking in the Apraxia Kids Nashville Walk to support children diagnosed with CAS and their families, raise funds for research, and to honor Laurie Guess, one of the best Speech Language Pathologists in our profession. Her passion, dedication and training brought awareness of CAS and the need for appropriate diagnostic and treatment strategies from her classrooms in St. Louis.
In honor of Laurie Guess, I will walk to support all children diagnosed with apraxia of speech - our Apraxia Stars. To show these children they are not alone and to acknowledge all the hard work they must do to overcome communication challenges that affect their day-to-day lives.
In honor of Laurie Guess, I will walk to raise funds for the mission of Apraxia Kids – to strengthen the support systems in the lives of children with apraxia of speech by educating professionals and families; facilitating community engagement and outreach; and investing in the future through advocacy and research.
Because treating children CAS was Laurie's gift and she is missed everyday, I will walk to honor her legacy.
Please help me meet my fundraising goal by making a donation now or by joining our team. You, too, can make an impact for children and families affected by apraxia!