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The Aegis
Harford County

Giving voice to children struggling to speak [Letter]

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.

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Wednesday, May 14, 2014 marks the second annual Apraxia Awareness Day. I want to bring awareness to our community about this speech problem in children because, although there is little that is known about the disorder, and it is still very misunderstood, it has a huge impact on children and their families. Speech and communication are critical skills for young children to develop. 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 for these children. These children must work and struggle so very hard just to learn a skill – speaking - that comes effortlessly to other children.

My son, Jacob Folmer, has Childhood Apraxia of Speech. He was diagnosed before his second birthday and has been working hard ever since so that he could be understood. Jacob is now 13 years old and is an honor student at Bel Air Middle School. Jacob is a Boy Scout with Troop 564. Jacob participates in Destination Imagination. He does not let anything hold him back!

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Learn more about apraxia at Apraxia-kids.org. Please help us raise awareness for these amazing children!

Tina Folmer

Bel Air


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