St. Bernard’s recognizes Apraxia Awareness Day

SARANAC LAKE – St. Bernard’s School joined in the second annual Apraxia Awareness Day by wearing blue and white to support one of their kindergarten students, Avery Chamberlain, who was diagnosed with apraxia at 2 years old.

On May 14, the Childhood Apraxia of Speech Association of North America invited communities worldwide to become aware and educated 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.

A person’s brain has to learn how to make plans that tell your speech muscles how to move your lips, jaw and tongue in ways that results in accurate sounds and words. But the brain of a child with childhood apraxia of speech has difficulty planning these movements, thus resulting in little to no speech, or incorrect or inconsistent sounding speech.

“Families have truly longed to have a day recognizing the struggles faced by their children,” said Sharon Gretz, executive director of the Childhood Apraxia of Speech Association of North America. “There are many misconceptions about children who speak little or do not speak well. We aim to improve the public awareness so that accurate information is shared and understood.”

Proclamations and resolutions are being issued by state-level legislative bodies, and CASANA is pursuing the placement of a statement acknowledging Apraxia Awareness Day in the congressional record again this year.