Today, the girls and I took part in an Apraxia of Speech walk. We walked in support of a dear friend’s daughter. Four year old, Arianna was diagnosed two years ago with Apraxia of Speech. Apraxia of Speech is a speech disorder in which a child has trouble saying what he or she wants to say correctly and consistently. This is present from birth. Some doctors believe it is a neurological disorder that affects the brain’s ability to send the proper signal to move the muscles involved in speech. The children have trouble communicating with their parents, teachers and even with other kids on the playground. Children with Apraxia will not out grow this on their own, they will need speech therapy for years to help them overcome.
The money earned from the walk goes toward several things. To support CASANA’s programs and research. To create new educational multimedia apraxia resources. To fund and support apraxia resources. To bring apraxia researchers together to coordinate efforts. To provide iPads and cases to children with apraxia in need.
For the walk, we did two laps around a beautiful lake. Some of the kids walked and some found comfort in wagons and strollers. There were 29 children present who are affected by apraxia and over 200 friends and family members there in support. During the walk a tearful grandfather told us that for a while he didn’t realize his young grandson was suffering from apraxia. He had never even heard of it. It seemed comforting for him to know that his grandchild was not the only one suffering with it. After the walk, the kids were free to play games for prizes, make holiday crafts, listen and dance to great music, and get their face painted. There was plenty of free pizza and drinks for everyone. This walk was very well organized, fun for all the kids, and overall a great time. Our family looks forward to supporting Ari and other apraxia children next year.