Welcome to Ethan's Dream Team fundraising page!
**REGISTER BY SEPTEMBER 1st TO GUARANTEE A WALK T-SHIRT**
Thank you for visiting our fundraising page for the 2019 DC Walk for Apraxia! This walk means so much to us, especially Ethan who’s been asking about his walk for weeks now! Yup, you read that right – he’s asking! You know why? Because he can talk!! Our joy cannot be measured! And, Ethan knows this is a special day set aside just for him; a day where we celebrate years of hard, hard work and thank all the special people who’ve supported Ethan and our entire family - Ethan's Dream Team! This journey has felt like a lifetime and we couldn’t have gotten this far without all of you!
In 2013, Ethan was diagnosed with Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS). He was four years old and could barely say ten words. It didn’t surprise us as Ethan does everything in his own time, but as we researched CAS and realized the severity of his speech disorder, we were terrified. I can’t imagine one day without speaking. In Ethan’s case, it was years! As his frustration escalated so did our anxiety over his future. Fast-forward six years and Ethan is now able and willing to say anything he really wants. He’s initiating conversation, asking questions, commenting, telling us how he feels, what he likes to do, joking around and even doing a little talking back! And we wouldn’t have it any other way! As he becomes more intelligible, we are learning so much about this kid – how funny, smart, lovable, patient and loyal he is!
But, as much progress as Ethan has made, he’s not out of the woods. CAS is a frustrating disorder making communication extremely difficult. Words still come out distorted or in the wrong order. Ethan becomes stressed when he's not easily understood. And, navigating this new world of reciprocal conversation is difficult for him. Ethan receives daily speech therapy from school and private providers who are helping him improve his articulation as well as undo all the different ways he learned to get his point across. They also help us navigate all the behaviors that come with being locked up in silence for so many years. We are so grateful to his therapists for working so hard and never giving up on him or us!
In addition to Ethan’s speech therapists, we want to thank the rest of Ethan’s Dream Team including family, friends, and all of Ethan’s teachers, past and present. He is surrounded by so much love and encouragement from so many amazing people we would have never met if not for CAS.
Lastly, we want to thank Ethan for showing us patience, persistence, and all the excitement and happiness that comes with each new word. CAS didn’t just happen to Ethan. It happened to all of us and we are all better people for being on this journey with him. Ethan is our hero!
You can help spread the word about this devastating disorder! Register to walk with us, donate, or share this link with your family and friends! Your donation goes to fund amazing programs like iPads for children who need it to communicate, parent and speech therapist workshops, research, and a program to assist families in need with speech therapy costs.
We appreciate your support!