On May 14, 2013, the Childhood Apraxia of Speech Association of North America (CASANA) invites communities worldwide to learn about the needs, challenges, and abilities of children affected by apraxia. Apraxia is among the most severe speech and communication problems in children. Affected children have difficulty planning and producing the precise, highly refined and specific series of movements of the tongue, lips, jaw, and palate that are necessary to produce clear, intelligible speech.
Apraxia affects many children in Eugene and many more throughout the state of Oregon. One of these kids is Anna Ozab, now age seven, who has been in speech therapy for over four years since her apraxia diagnosis, and benefited greatly because of it. Dedicated speech language pathologists (SLPs) across the country receive support and training thanks to donations made to CASANA. Many children like Anna also benefit from assistive technology funded by CASANA. This is why Anna and her parents, Julia and David Ozab, have participated in the Oregon Walk for Children with Apraxia of Speech each year since it began in 2012, and will be participating again this October. This is also why David has written a book, titled A Smile for Anna, about their experience raising a child with apraxia. He hopes to reach other parents who are sharing similar experiences and help raise awareness even further.
“We had no idea what apraxia was before Anna was diagnosed,” says David. “And we had no idea where to turn. An organization like CASANA and a special day like this can do so much to raise awareness and help other families struggling to find their way forward from an apraxia diagnosis.”
CASANA will be using social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube and blogs to mobilize families, friends, and professionals to help educate and raise apraxia awareness. An online Apraxia Awareness Day store has been set up to purchase t-shirts, buttons, and other awareness items. The first Apraxia Awareness Day will include an online apraxia quiz (on Facebook), Twitter chat (#ApraxiaAwareness), contests, and a question and answer webinar (Begins at 12 p.m. EDT. Cost $10. Pre-registration required.)
For more information on Apraxia Awareness Day visit CASANA’s Apraxia Awareness Day Facebook event page.
For more information about CASANA and childhood apraxia of speech visit Apraxia-KIDS.org.
For information about A Smile for Anna visit asmileforanna.com.
Press release by Sharon Gretz, Executive Director of CASANA, and David Ozab, apraxia parent and author.