Apraxia-KIDS News – March 28, 2013

 

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The Latest News, Events, and Information on or Related to Childhood Apraxia of Speech

Helping Kids With Learning Disabilities Understand the Language of Friendship
Kids with learning disabilities sometimes struggle in social situations.  While they may know how to initiate friendships, many of their relationships fail because they don’t know how to sustain them. Children with learning disabilities often end friendships because they have been unable to work out conflicts. This article offers advice on helping your child avoid misunderstandings and conflicts.  Great Schools – By Janet Giler, Ph.D., M.F.T.

Families of Children with Disabilities Face a New Challenge – Medicaid Cutbacks
Recent changes to state Medicaid are leading to cutbacks that are hurting families who have children with disabilities. For many, the cuts couldn’t come at worse time.  Some families are even facing giving up their children because they can no longer support them. Colorado Springs Independent – March 27, 2013, By J. Adrian Stanley

Study Reveals role of SNX27 Protein in Brain Function – News Medical – Published March 25, 2013

DIBELS: Myths and Facts – Dibels – By Ruth Kaminski and Kelli D. Cummings, Dynamic Measuring Group

The Power of Movement in Teaching and Learning – Education Week – Teacher – March 20, 2013, By Susan Griss

Yogurt for Tess:  Saying Goodbye to a Sidewalk Speech Teacher – The Free Press – March 28, 2013, By Tanner Kent

Special Needs Parenting: Balancing Work and Your Child – Today’s Parent – Originally Published on January 15, 2013, By Amy Baskin

 

  

CASANA Issues 2013 Request for Applications  for Apraxia Research Projects
CASANA is now accepting 2013 “Request for Applications” to support relevant research on CAS. CASANA’s CAS Research Grant program is critically important as it is the only dedicated funding available for CAS research.  Funding will be expanded this year because of the great success of last year’s Walk for Children with Apraxia of Speech events.   Apraxia-KIDS.org – Published March 28, 2013

What is Apraxia?
A blog post from, The Path Less Taken, written by a mother of a child with apraxia of speech who is participating in the 2013 Arizona Walk for Children with Apraxia of Speech.  www.jennifermcgrail.com – Published March 12, 2013, By Jennifer McGrail 

Scholarship Applications Now Available for 2013 National Conference
A limited number of PARTIAL/ FULL scholarships are available for CASANA’s 2013 National Conference on CAS on July 11 – July 13, 2013 in Denver, CO.  Conference Scholarships are intended for those who would be unable to attend the conference without financial assistance. Apraxia-KIDS.org – Published March 25, 2013

Early-Bird Registration Ends Friday, March 29 for St. Paul, MN Apraxia Workshop
CASANA will be holding an educational apraxia workshop in St. Paul, MN on Childhood Apraxia of Speech: Assessment, Treatment, and Early Literacy Skills. This will be presented by Amy Skinder-Meredith, Ph.D., CCC-SLP. To qualify for Early-Bird Registration, registration form and fee must be postmarked no later than March 29, 2013.  Register online here:  Apraxia-KIDS.org – CASANA Events – St. Paul, MN Apraxia Workshop  

A Great Cause – Advance for Speech-Language Pathologists & Audiologists – Published March 13, 2013 – By Sharon Gretz, M.Ed.

CASANA Launches New Apraxia-KIDS Website – Apraxia-KIDS.org, March 2013

 

UPCOMING EVENTS

April 12, 2013 – St. Paul, MN Apraxia Workshop – Childhood Apraxia of Speech: Assessment, Treatment, and Early Literacy Skills – presented by Amy Skinder-Meredith, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, CASANA Professional Advisory Board Member and CASANA National Conference Presenter

April 13, 2013 – 4th Annual South Jersey Walk for Children with Apraxia of Speech

April 25, 2013 – Charlotte, NC Apraxia 101: A Parent Seminar on Childhood Apraxia of Speech – presented by Sharon Gretz, M.Ed., CASANA Executive Director and Founder

April 20, 2013 – Utah Walk for Children with Apraxia of Speech

April 20, 2013 – Phi Sigma Pi 5k Fun Run/Walk for Children with Apraxia of Speech

April 21, 2013 – Staten Island Speaks Up! 2013 Walk for Children with Apraxia of Speech

April 23 or 26, 2013 – Webinar – Executive Functioning: Helping Children to Plan to Succeed – presented by Ruth Stoeckel, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, international presenter on CAS and CASANA Professional Advisory Board Member

April 27, 2013 – Arizona Walk for Children with Apraxia of Speech

Click here to view more educational and awareness events

 

Register for a 2013 Walk for Children with Apraxia of Speech in Your Area:

2013 Apraxia Walk Locations

The Walk for Children with Apraxia of Speech helps to raise awareness about apraxia and how it affects children and funding for important apraxia programs and research.  If there is not a Walk near you, consider organizing one in your area or registering for a Virtual Walk!

 

 

CASANA | 416 Lincoln Ave, 2nd floor | Pittsburgh, PA 15209 | www.apraxia-KIDS.org

Request for Research Applications

HiResWe have issued our 2013 “Request for Applications” in order for researchers to apply for CASANA Apraxia research grants.   CASANA believes that our CAS Research Grant program is critically important as it is the only dedicated funding available for CAS research.  Funding will be expanded this year because of the great success of last year’s Walk for Children with Apraxia of Speech.  CASANA’s research funding program continues to emphasize an interest in clinical research projects aimed at the diagnosis and treatment of children with CAS.   Additionally, CASANA is interested in early identification as well as approaches which include biophysical evidence alongside behavioral evidence.  Finally, CASANA has expanded the program to include consideration of applications from Ph.D. candidates who are investigating CAS for their dissertation.  In all instances and in all potential study areas, CASANA’s primary interest is in high quality scientific research that, upon completion, will be suitable and acceptable to peer-reviewed publications.  As indicated in the evaluation “weight” given to research approach in the grant evaluation categories (see review criteria in the application), CASANA is interested in, and will only select for funding, relevant research proposals which are methodologically sound and which include appropriate and necessary experimental control.

  • Grants will range from $25,000 – $50,000
  • Ph.D. students who will be doing CAS research for their dissertation may apply for up to $5,000

An expert external review committee will read, evaluate, and recommend grants for funding to CASANA.   All information, requirements, and instructions are provided in the application packet.

Download the 2013 “Request for Applications” Childhood Apraxia of Speech Research

Scholarship Applications Now Available for 2013 National Conference

SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM APPLICATION INFORMATION

A limited number of PARTIAL/FULL scholarships are available for CASANA’s 2013 National Conference on Childhood Apraxia of Speech on July 11 – 13, 2013 in Denver, Colorado.  Conference scholarships are intended for those who would be unable to attend the conference without financial assistance. We regret that we will be unable to assist all of those who apply for conference scholarships; however CASANA will use the resources of the Scholarship Fund to assist as many applicants as possible.  CASANA’s Scholarship Committee will decide which type of scholarship to award applicants and its decisions are final.

  • ELIGIBILITY:  Parents or Guardians of a child diagnosed with Childhood Apraxia of Speech are eligible for a scholarship.  Priority will be given to applicants attending their first National Conference.  Special consideration will also be given to those applicants who are actively involved in CASANA activities.  Only one scholarship per family will be awarded.  Past scholarship recipients are not eligible. Scholarships are not transferable.
  • SCHOLARSHIP INFORMATION:
    • Partial Registration Fee – For individuals to whom a partial scholarship is awarded, $200 of the Early-Bird Registration Fee will be waived.  Individuals will also receive access to the electronic handouts through the Conference Handout website.
    • Full Registration Fee – For individuals to whom a full scholarship is awarded, the entire Early-Bird Registration Fee will be waived.  Individuals will also receive access to the electronic handouts through the Conference Handout website.
    • Full Registration Fee and Hotel Fee – For individuals to whom a full scholarship and hotel fees is awarded, the entire Early-Bird Registration Fee will be waived.  Individuals will also receive access to the electronic handouts through the Conference Handout website.  CASANA will also provide a hotel room at the conference venue for 2 nights at the conference group rate.  Individuals will be expected to guarantee the hotel room in accordance with the hotel’s no show policy with their own credit card and provide the hotel with a credit card for incidentals.  CASANA will not pay for a hotel room where the individual does not show up and the individual’s credit card will be charged.

DEADLINE:  All Scholarship Applications must be postmarked by May 1, 2013.  NO EXCEPTIONS.

TO DOWNLOAD SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATION, CLICK HERE!

For more information and details about the 2013 National Conference on CAS, click here.

Apraxia-KIDS News – March 21, 2013

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The Latest News, Events, and Information on or Related to Childhood Apraxia of Speech

Expressive Morphosyntactic Development in Three Children with Childhood Apraxia of Speech 
A research study to examine the expressive morphosyntactic development of three children aged 6 and 7 years old with childhood apraxia of speech (CAS) and language impariment. The results showed that participants’ expressive morphosyntactic difficulties were ongoing and could not be explained solely by their speech errors.  ingentaconnect – Speech, Language and Hearing, Volume 16, Number 1, March 2013, pp. 9-17(9), Maney Publishing

Tongue Reading:  Comparing the Interpretation of Visual Information From Inside the Mouth, From Electropalatographic and Ultrasound Displays of Speech Sounds
Speakers possess a natural capacity for lip reading; analogous to this, there may be an intuitive ability to “tongue-read.” This study compares interpretation of visual feedback from EPG and ultrasound. Informa Healthcare – Clinical Linguistics & Phonetics

Among Perinatal Factors, Only the Apgar Score is Associated with Specific Language ImpairmentNCBI, PubMed – Published March 18, 2013, By Diepeveen FB, De Kroon ML, Dusseldorp E, Snik AF

WordsWife and War, WordPress – Published March 17, 2013, By Amalie Flynn

 

Single Subject Randomization Design for CAS Intervention Research
An interesting post about childhood apraxia of speech research from a speaker at the CASANA 2013 CAS Research Symposium and also a CASANA Apraxia Research Grant recipient.  Development Phonological Disorders – Published March 2013, By Susan Rvachew

Walk for Apraxia Team Leaders Get Chance to Win iPad or iPad Mini for Fundraising Efforts
CASANA announces prize incentives for the 2013 Walk for Apraxia Team Leaders.  If you register a team for a 2013 Walk for Children with Apraxia of Speech (this includes Virtual Walks), you could have a chance to win an iPad or iPad Mini.  ApraxiaWalk.org – Published March 21, 2013

Registration Opens for 2013 National Conference on Childhood Apraxia of Speech
Join CASANA Thursday, July 11 – Saturday, July 13, 2013 for our 2013 National Conference on CAS at the Hyatt Regency Denver Tech Center in Denver, CO.  Download our official brochure and register today! Apraxia-KIDS.org – Published March 13, 2013

A Great CauseAdvance for Speech-Language Pathologists & Audiologists – Published March 13, 2013 – By Sharon Gretz, M.Ed.

CASANA Launches New Apraxia-KIDS WebsiteApraxia-KIDS.org, March 2013

UPCOMING EVENTS

April 12, 2013 – St. Paul, MN Apraxia Workshop – Childhood Apraxia of Speech: Assessment, Treatment, and Early Literacy Skills – presented by Amy Skinder-Meredith, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, CASANA Professional Advisory Board Member and CASANA National Conference Presenter

April 13, 2013 – 4th Annual South Jersey Walk for Children with Apraxia of Speech

April 25, 2013 – Charlotte, NC Apraxia 101: A Parent Seminar on Childhood Apraxia of Speech – presented by Sharon Gretz, M.Ed., CASANA Executive Director and Founder

April 20, 2013 – Utah Walk for Children with Apraxia of Speech

April 20, 2013 – Phi Sigma Pi 5k Fun Run/Walk for Children with Apraxia of Speech

April 21, 2013 – Staten Island Speaks Up! 2013 Walk for Children with Apraxia of Speech

April 27, 2013 – Arizona Walk for Children with Apraxia of Speech

Click here to view more educational and awareness events

Featured Apraxia-KIDS Product:

Here’s How to Treat Childhood Apraxia of Speech, By Margaret Fish

Here's How To Treat Childhood Apraxia of Speech  

CASANA | 416 Lincoln Ave, 2nd floor | Pittsburgh, PA 15209 | www.apraxia-KIDS.org

Apraxia-KIDS News – March 14, 2013

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The Latest News, Events, and Information on or Related to Childhood Apraxia of Speech

New Voices for the Voiceless:  Synthetic Speech Gets an Upgrade
If you don’t have a voice, who speaks for you?  Rupal Patel, a speech scientist at Northeastern University, estimates that between 50 and 60 percent of the people who use synthetic voices use the same one — the Perfect Paul voice.  Patel came to the conlcusion that people needed new options and now thanks to research, there are new personalized voices for AAC users.  “Every Child Deserves a Voice” NPR – Health News

Spotting Sleep Problems in Children with Special Needs
About 30 percent of children have a sleep disorder, but the rate is even higher in children with special needs, an expert says. “While a good night’s sleep is important for all children, it is especially critical for children with special needs. Parents can make small changes at home to help their child get a better night’s sleep and improve their performance in daytime activities, therapies and social interactions.” Healthfinder.gov – Health Day News

Understanding How We Speak
A new study revealed the patterns of brain activity that produce human speech. The findings may one day lead to new approaches for treating speech disorders. NIH – National Institutes of Health – NIH Research Matters

Narrative Skills for People with AAC NeedsPrAACtical AAC, Supports for Language Learning – Published March 2, 2013, By Carole Zangari

 


Registration Opens for 2013 National Conference on Childhood Apraxia of Speech

Join CASANA Thursday, July 11 – Saturday, July 13, 2013 for our 2013 National Conference on CAS at the Hyatt Regency Denver Tech Center in Denver, CO.  Some of this year’s session topics include: 2013 Research Symposium Review, Augmentative and Alternative Communication, Advanced Treatment Strategies, Apps for Apraxia, Designing Treatment Plans, Dynamic Assessment, Dynamic Temporal and Tactile Cueing, Genetics, Independent Education Evaluation Safeguards, Literacy, Phonological Awareness, Retention and Generalization, Social Skills, Social Thinking, Treatment Methods, Question and Answer Series for all levels of learning, and much more! Download our official brochure and register today! Apraxia-KIDS.org – Published March 13, 2013

A Great Cause
The charitable organization CASANA focuses on helping children with apraxia of speech.  In the past decade or so, CASANA has made great strides and yet so much more needs to be done. Read more from CASANA’s Executive Director and Founder here:  Advance for Speech-Language Pathologists & Audiologists – Published March 13, 2013 – By Sharon Gretz, M.Ed.

New Apraxia-KIDS Website
The Apraxia-KIDS.org website has been redesigned to better provide our critical and expansive information on Childhood Apraxia of Speech – the largest collection in the world.  Exciting new features include a fresh and dynamic web design with optimized graphics, user-friendly navigation, accessibility, and clean page layouts with simple page elements for areas such as our Library, Events Calendar, and Apraxia-KIDS Store. This was made possible by funds raised in the Walk for Children with Apraxia of Speech events.  Click here to view the new website!

UPCOMING EVENTS

April 4, 2013 – Staten Island, NY Apraxia 101: A Parent Seminar on Childhood Apraxia of Speech – presented by Sharon Gretz, M.Ed., CASANA Executive Director and Founder

April 12, 2013 – St. Paul, MN Apraxia Workshop – Childhood Apraxia of Speech: Assessment, Treatment, and Early Literacy Skills – presented by Amy Skinder-Meredith, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, CASANA Professional Advisory Board Member and CASANA National Conference Presenter

April 13, 2013 – 4th Annual South Jersey Walk for Children with Apraxia of Speech

April 25, 2013 – Charlotte, NC Apraxia 101: A Parent Seminar on Childhood Apraxia of Speech – presented by Sharon Gretz, M.Ed., CASANA Executive Director and Founder

April 20, 2013 – Utah Walk for Children with Apraxia of Speech

April 20, 2013 – Phi Sigma Pi 5k Fun Run/Walk for Children with Apraxia of Speech

April 21, 2013 – Staten Island Speaks Up! 2013 Walk for Children with Apraxia of Speech

April 27, 2013 – Arizona Walk for Children with Apraxia of Speech

Click here to view more educational and awareness events

Featured Apraxia-KIDS Product:

Apraxia Safety Tat

CASANA | 416 Lincoln Ave, 2nd floor | Pittsburgh, PA 15209 | www.apraxia-KIDS.org

Registration Opens for 2013 National Conference on Childhood Apraxia of Speech

REGISTRATION IS OFFICIALLY OPEN!

JOIN US FOR OUR 2013 NATIONAL CONFERENCE
ON CHILDHOOD APRAXIA OF SPEECH!

Thursday, July 11 – Saturday, July 13, 2013

Hyatt Regency Denver Tech Center
7800 East Tufts Avenue, Denver CO 80237

CASANA welcomes families of children diagnosed with apraxia and all of those who care about a child with apraxia or suspected apraxia.  Speech-language pathologists who are members of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) will be eligible for ASHA Continuing Education Credits.  Others are also encouraged to attend including preschool, general, and special education administrators and teachers,  school psychologists, paraprofessionals, higher education students and faculty, and professional development staff! 

Important Links and Information:

To view more conference information and details, please click HERE!

SESSION TOPICS INCLUDE:  2013 Symposium Review, AAC, Advanced Treatment Strategies, Apps for Apraxia, Designing Treatment Plans, Dynamic Assessment, Dynamic Temporal and Tactile Cueing, Genetics, Independent Educational Evaluation Safeguards, Literacy, Phonological Awareness, Retention and Generalization, Social Skills, Social Thinking, Treatment Methods, Question and Answer Series for All Levels of Learning, and much more!

FEATURED SPEAKERS INCLUDE:   Lynn Carahaly, MA, CCC-SLP; Susan Caspari, MA, CCC-SLP; Margaret Fish, MS, CCC-SLP; David Hammer, MA, CCC-SLP; Kathy Jakielski, PhD, CCC-SLP; Nancy Kaufman, MA, CCC-SLP; Tricia McCabe, PhD, CCC-SLP; Amy Skinder-Meredith, PhD, CCC-SLP;  Beate Peter, PhD, CCC-SLP; Ruth Stoeckel, PhD, CCC-SLP, and many more speakers!

FOR MORE INFORMATION & TO REGISTER, CLICK HERE!

Apraxia-KIDS News – March 7, 2013

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The Latest News, Events, and Information on or Related to Childhood Apraxia of Speech

March 7, 2013

Kinematic Changes in Jaw and Lip Control of Children with Cerebral Palsy Following Participation in a Motor-Speech (PROMPT) Intervention
A study using PROMPT Speech Therapy, a motor-speech intervention program, shows significant changes in specific movement characteristics of the jaw and lips, and positive changes to speech intelligibility in children with moderate-to-severe speech impairment associated with cerebral palsy. Informa Healthcare – Speech Language Pathology Journal

BPA May Affect the Developing Brain by Disrupting Gene Regulation
Recent research finds the impact of BPA in gene regulation and neurodevelopmental growth in infants. “These findings raise the question of whether BPA could contribute to neurodevelopmental disorders such as Rett syndrome, a severe autism spectrum disorder that is only found in girls and is characterized by mutations in the gene that produces MECP2.” DukeHealth.org – Duke Medicine News and Communications

Speech Disorder Challenging for Family
Four-year-old Tristan Tuokko of British Columbia is in the news for an iPad he received last year from CASANA and Silent Stars iPads for Apraxia Project. Since receiving the iPad, Tristan’s family has noticed an improvement in his communication skills and are giving back by organizing a Walk for Children with Apraxia of Speech event in the community. Nanaimo News Bulletin

Should The R-Word Be Taboo? HuffPost Live

First Grade Math Skills Set Foundation for Later Math Ability NIH News National Institute of Child Health and Human Development – Published February 27, 2013

Songbirds’ Brains Coordinate Singing with Intricate Timing, Study Shows UChicagoNews – Published February 27, 2013, By William Harms

Researchers Find a Biological Marker For Dyslexia In Kids Time Magazine – Health & Family – Published February 20, 2013, By Alexandra Sifferlin

Families of Children with Apraxia of Speech to Receive iPads and Educational Scholarships
CASANA has been awarded a $10,000 grant from Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield to support the iPads for Apraxia project, a program that provides children with apraxia iPads and protective cases, and scholarships to CASANA’s National Conference, an exclusive, three-day educational event for parents, researchers, and speech pathologists to learn about all aspects of childhood apraxia of speech. Apraxia-KIDS.org – Published March 4, 2013

CASANA Sponsors 2013 Childhood Apraxia of Speech Research Symposium in Atlanta
On February 21-22, 2013 CASANA was honored to sponsor the 2013 Childhood Apraxia of Speech Research Symposium at the Emory Conference Center in Atlanta, GA. International CAS researchers, CASANA’s Board of Directors, Professional Advisory Board, and staff gathered to discuss the current state of the art in CAS research with emphasis on what the research may mean to identification, diagnosis and treatment for children with CAS. Apraxia-KIDS.org – Published March 7, 2013

New Apraxia-KIDS Website Revealed
The Apraxia-KIDS.org website has been redesigned to better provide our critical and expansive information on Childhood Apraxia of Speech – the largest collection in the world. Exciting new features include a fresh and dynamic web design with optimized graphics, user-friendly navigation, accessibility, clean page layouts with simple page elements for areas such as our Library, Events Calendar, and Apraxia-KIDS Store. This was made possible by funds raised in the Walk for Children with Apraxia of Speech events. Click here to view the new website!

A Motor Speech Assessment for Children with Severe Speech Disorders: Reliability and Validity Evidence Apraxia-KIDS.org – Annotation of the Published Article

The Critical Encounter: Facilitating Positive Parent Adaptation to CAS Apraxia-KIDS.org – Published February 2013, By Colleen Miron, Ph.D.

UPCOMING EVENTS

March 15, 2013 – Los Angeles, CA Apraxia Workshop – Childhood Apraxia of Speech: Intervention for Related Issues – presented by Ruth Stoeckel, Ph.D., CCC-SLP. As part of the workshop, there will be a child with apraxia present for a live demonstration.

April 4, 2013 – Staten Island, NY Apraxia 101: A Parent Seminar on Childhood Apraxia of Speech – presented by Sharon Gretz, M.Ed., CASANA Executive Director and Founder

April 13, 2013 – 4th Annual South Jersey Walk for Children with Apraxia of Speech

Click here to view more educational and awareness events

Featured Apraxia-KIDS Product:
CASANA Giving Bands

CASANA | 416 Lincoln Ave, 2nd floor | Pittsburgh, PA 15209 | www.apraxia-KIDS.org

CASANA Sponsors 2013 Childhood Apraxia of Speech Research Symposium in Atlanta

On February 21-22, 2013 CASANA was honored to sponsor the 2013 Childhood Apraxia of Speech Research Symposium at the Emory Conference Center in Atlanta, GA.  International CAS researchers, CASANA’s Board of Directors, Professional Advisory Board, and staff gathered to discuss the current state of the art in CAS research with emphasis on what the research may mean to identification, diagnosis and treatment for children with CAS.

Main speakers and panels in the areas of Current Trends, Genetics, Diagnostic Markers, Neuroimaging, and Neuro-cognitive Behavioral CAS Research.  During the course of the two days, researchers were able to network with one another, share ideas, and plan future collaborations on CAS research projects.

In the future, CASANA plans to provide an Executive Summary of the 2013 Research Symposium and to enable internet video viewing of the main section recordings so that other interested individuals worldwide will be able to benefit from the information shared.  CASANA’s Board of Directors will use the discussions to evaluate its Apraxia Research Grant program and its future direction.  The symposium was made possible by funds generated through the Walk for Children with Apraxia of Speech.

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More Families of Children with Apraxia of Speech to Receive iPads and Educational Scholarships

(PITTSBURGH, PA)—(March 4, 2013) –The Childhood Apraxia of Speech Association of North America (CASANA) has been awarded a $10,000 grant from Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield to support the iPads for Apraxia project, a program that provides children with apraxia iPads and protective cases, and scholarships to CASANA’s National Conference,  an exclusive, three-day educational event for parents, researchers, and speech pathologists to learn about all aspects of childhood apraxia of speech.

Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS) is a very challenging and complicated speech disorder in children, making it difficult or impossible for children to accurately produce sounds, syllables and/or words despite having a good understanding of language.  Through the awarded grant from Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, CASANA will be able to provide more children with CAS the latest technology to help with speech therapy and to communicate, as well as a unique educational opportunity for their families to learn all about their child’s speech, language, learning, and communication needs.

“We are so appreciative of Highmark’s generous support for two of our very important programs that support children with apraxia of speech and their families,” said Sharon Gretz, M.Ed., Executive Director and Founder of CASANA.  “These families struggle constantly to provide critical therapeutic resources for the children, resources that often strap them financially.  Highmark’s grant will provide critical resources to these children and families.”

CASANA’s iPads for Apraxia project was initiated in 2011 and to date has provided iPads and protective cases to 115 children with severe apraxia of speech.  The use of this mobile technology has not only engaged and motivated children with apraxia of all ages, but its usage has led to increases in the amount of home practice on the children’s speech therapy goals and skills.  Equally important, applications on the iPads enable their use as “talkers” or augmentative communication systems as the children continue to practice speaking more clearly.  This awarded grant from Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield will provide iPads and cases for eight children.

Another key provision of the Highmark grant is scholarships for 15 parents to attend the 2013 National Conference on Childhood Apraxia of Speech in Denver, Colorado.  This conference is unique among all educational opportunities worldwide in that it brings together parents and professionals over three days to learn about and discuss all aspects of raising a child with apraxia and significant communication issues.  Many parents report the event is transformative to their ability to advocate for their child and increase their understanding of their child’s needs.

“Highmark has a longstanding commitment of assisting children in the communities we serve, so it’s a perfect fit for us to support CASANA,” said Mary Anne Papale, Highmark’s director of community affairs. “We are proud to be aligned with an organization that is making a difference in the lives of children.”

The Childhood Apraxia of Speech Association of North America (CASANA), founded in 2000, strives to improve the systems of support in the lives of children with apraxia so that each child is afforded their best opportunity to develop speech and to achieve to their potential. CASANA works toward this mission through promoting national awareness of childhood apraxia of speech; providing high quality information and support to families and professionals; conducting multiple educational events around the nation; and supporting as well as funding apraxia research.  For more information on CASANA and Childhood Apraxia of Speech, visit the Apraxia-KIDS website at https://www.apraxia-kids.org.

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