Do you believe, "Every Child Deserves a Voice?”
We do… and we invite you to join team Speakin' for Scarlett as we walk for our 3rd year at the 2020 Greater Allentown Walk for Apraxia. By joining our team, you will walk beside us as we celebrate all the Apraxia Stars and support our efforts to raise funds for Apraxia Kids. With these funds, Apraxia Kids will continue 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. So please, will you consider spending this day with us as the community, friends, and family all come together to recognize and applaud the amazing accomplishments that our young Stars work so very hard for?
Unable to walk? That’s ok! You can still participate in helping our team meet our fundraising goal by making a donation now.
Together we can accomplish amazing things for our Apraxia Stars!
Scarlett starting receiving speech therapy at age 1 1/2 because of “delays” and not meeting age appropriate speech and language milestones. After about a year of therapy, and not much progress, her pediatrician guided us on our next step… a referral to see a developmental specialist. Finally, on April 4, 2018, Scarlett received a diagnosis I had never even heard of before – childhood apraxia of speech (CAS).
Not only was I unfamiliar with CAS, I did not know what to do about it. The first thing I remember reading were the words “neurological disorder”. After that my mind started racing. I felt so sad for my baby girl. Sad because of the “unknown” and what this would mean for my baby’s future. Would this “disability” be with her for the rest of her life and how it will it affect her. What do we do about this?
We now know that apraxia of speech is a rare neurological disorder in which a child has trouble making accurate movements of the mouth when speaking. The muscles of the mouth are not weak, but rather they cannot function “normally” because the brain has difficulty directing and coordinating the movements. Apraxia does not mean that a child does not know what he or she wants to say; in fact, that is quite the opposite. The child KNOWS what they want to say, but they just need HELP saying it. Sometimes, they even work very hard to say just ONE word!
Through intensive therapy and repetition, the hope is that these children will be able to “retrain” their brain into sending the correct “signals” so that words can be formed and said with more clarity. Apraxia of speech has nothing to do with intelligence. In fact, Scarlett’s receptive and non-verbal skills are AMAZING!
It breaks my heart to see my child struggle, especially since I can’t just “fix” what is wrong. What makes it even harder to accept is the reason why. Why does Scarlett have this disability? She never had a stroke, never had an infection in her brain or experienced a traumatic brain injury, and she was never diagnosed with another disability… in Scarlett’s case, the cause will remain unknown. So for now, Scarlett and I make every effort that we can to ensure that we attend her multiple, intensive speech therapy sessions every week because endless therapy along with repetition is what is going to help my baby girl soar!
Not only does supporting Scarlett take a ton of patience, commitment, and time, it also requires a lot of ADVOCATING and a ton of awareness! We have participated in the last two walks so that we can help to raise awareness and funds not only for my baby girl, but for all of the children whose sweet voices are yet to be heard. Like many, Scarlett works incredibly hard every single day and she deserves a day of recognition! These children are true champions!