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Letters: Apraxia Awareness Day

Published: Friday, July 31 2015 9:27 a.m. MDT

Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS) is a speech disorder that seriously interferes with a child's ability to develop clear speech. CAS makes it difficult or impossible for an affected child to plan the movements of the lips, tongue, jaw, etc. that are needed for speech. Children with CAS generally have a good understanding of language — they know what they want to say — but have difficulty learning or carrying out the complex movements that underlie speech. Apraxia is one of the most severe of childhood speech and communication disorders.

Yesterday marks the first ever Apraxia Awareness Day. I want to bring awareness to our community about this speech problem in children because it is still little known, very misunderstood and has a huge impact on kids and families. My daughter (3 years old), has been diagnosed with apraxia. It is heart-breaking because she knows she is different. She tries so hard to be understood, but often isn't. We need to find ways of supporting children with apraxia and their families because speech therapy, the only proven treatment for apraxia, is quite costly and will extend over many years.

Michelle Brunson

Salt Lake City

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