Childhood apraxia of speech (CAS) is a challenging and complicated neurological speech disorder which makes speaking difficult. Generally, kids who are diagnosed with CAS have an understanding of language and what they want to say; however, they have difficulty carrying out the complex sequenced movements that are necessary to create intelligible speech. This creates the challenge to accurately produce sounds, syllables, and words. There is no cure for CAS; the only proven treatment is appropriate, frequent, and intensive speech therapy.
For many parents the first time they hear the word “apraxia” is when their child receives a diagnosis for it. Dealing with an unfamiliar disorder can lead to fear, worry, and isolation for many as they search for answers and understanding. Knowing these feelings all too well, three moms of children with apraxia founded the foundation Apraxia Kids® to empower families and speech therapists with knowledge, tools, and a supportive community. Over 20 years, the organization has grown into the nonprofit leader on apraxia information and education for both parents and professionals.
The mission at Apraxia Kids is to strengthen the support systems in the lives of children with childhood apraxia of speech by educating professionals and families; facilitating community engagement and outreach; and investing in the future through advocacy and research. We work to build an understanding of CAS in parents, speech professionals, and their greater communities so that every child can access the resources they need to communicate successfully. We envision a world where every child with apraxia of speech reached their highest communication potential through accurate diagnosis and appropriate, timely treatment.
We want everyone to have access to the best, most up-to-date resources to treat apraxia. Our website, https://www.apraxia-kids.org/about-apraxia-kids/, is the leading provider of education and information on apraxia providing articles and webinars on a variety of topics from parents, therapists and researchers. Encouraging everyone to gain a greater understanding of childhood apraxia of speech, Apraxia Kids offers free print materials and informational downloads to help explain CAS. These resources are often shared with teachers, doctors, co-workers, friends, and family. When everyone in a child’s life has a basic understanding of the effects of apraxia, they are better equipped to help the child they love and support to communicate successfully.
There is so much to consider when a child is diagnosed with apraxia, it can feel incredibly overwhelming. First and foremost, we want newly diagnosed families to remember they are not alone. Whether you are taking the first step towards better understanding childhood apraxia of speech, continuing your education, seeking support, or just trying to raise awareness, Apraxia Kids and our whole apraxia community is here to provide support on the journey!
Brianna is the Outreach Coordinator for Apraxia Kids.