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David Hammer – Director of Professional Development and Speech Services.
Dave Hammer is the Director of Professional Development and Speech Services for the Childhood Apraxia of Speech Association of North America (CASANA). Prior to this position, Dave had 35 years of pediatric clinical experience at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, PA with specialty interests in childhood apraxia of speech, speech sound disorders and childhood stuttering. Dave received his Master’s in Speech-Language Pathology at the University of Pittsburgh in 1979 after completing a Bachelor’s in Speech/Hearing Science and Psychology. He has been invited to present over 200 workshops on childhood apraxia and speech sound disorders throughout the United States, Canada, and Australia. Dave was a member of the ASHA AdHoc committee on childhood apraxia of speech. He has been involved in the production of a number of apraxia-related DVD’s and an innovative children’s CD. Dave is known for his practical and therapy-rich presentations. His passion at CASANA is helping children “find their voices” and families find the support services they desperately need.
Outside of work, Dave is an avid reader of fiction and non-fiction alike. He enjoys singing, playing the guitar and piano for relaxation, attending musicals and plays, and spending time traveling. Dave was lucky to have married his high school sweetheart with whom he just celebrated 40 years of marriage. He has a daughter, age 31, who works for the US Patent and Trademark office and a son, age 26, who is pursuing a career as a musician.
You can reach Dave at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CASANA FACT SHEET
The Childhood Apraxia of Speech Association of North America (CASANA) is the only national nonprofit devoted exclusively to children with apraxia and their families. We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit publicly funded charity whose mission is to strengthen the support systems in the lives of children with apraxia so that each child is afforded their best opportunity to develop speech and communication.
CASANA is based out of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. This office of seven full-time staff members is responsible for the development and coordination of all programming, education, funding, and research.
As CASANA is a national organization with only seven full-time staff members, we rely heavily on the support of incredible volunteers to work with us to achieve our mission. Across the United States and Canada, these volunteers organize Walks for Apraxia with the support of our staff in order to raise funds to increase apraxia education and research as well as to create opportunities for support in the lives of children with apraxia.
What CASANA Does
With the support of thousands of volunteers and donors, CASANA is able to help children find their voices through education, research, support networks, financial aid, and awareness.
Education and Research: CASANA spearheads research and understanding of this little-known and rare disorder.
- We conduct live and on-demand webinars for parents and Speech-Language Pathologists focused on helping children with apraxia.
- We organize parent seminars to support families in their understanding of apraxia.
- Through grants, CASANA is able to support research on apraxia and appropriate treatment methods.
- We organize the Annual National Conference to bring together families, Speech-Language Pathologists, and researchers to learn about apraxia.
Family Support: We cultivate the biggest network of families, SLPs, and experts in North America.
- We maintain a list for referrals for local professionals and services.
- We moderate online groups with 25,000 + members that create a network of support, information, and resources.
- Speech assessment and consultation are provided at our specialty center in Pittsburgh with David Hammer, M.A. CCC-SLP.
Financial Aid: We provide financial aid to ensure that children and families receive the resources they need to succeed.
- The iPads for Apraxia program provides low to moderate income families with iPads for their use in speech therapy practice, communication, and education.
- We provide funding for Small Steps in Speech in order to give speech therapy grants to children with apraxia of speech.
- We provide scholarships for families to attend the National Conference.
Awareness and Information
- In conjunction with hundreds of volunteers across North America, we coordinate Walks for Apraxia to raise awareness and funds for supporting children with apraxia.
- We have developed online resources for teachers, classmates, and family members to understand more about apraxia.
Click Here read about the rich history of the Childhood Apraxia of Speech Association.
Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS) is a motor speech disorder that becomes apparent as a young child is learning speech. Children with CAS have difficulty planning and producing the precise, highly refined and specific series of movements of the tongue, lips, jaw, and palate that are necessary for intelligible speech.
CAS is often misdiagnosed because of its relative rarity. Research is lacking in providing us with information regarding both incidence and prevalence figures, but estimates of some sources indicate that CAS is low incidence with perhaps 1 – 10 in 1000 children affected or 3 – 5 % of speech-impaired preschoolers.
Frequent, intensive speech therapy is the only treatment for CAS. As it is a relatively uncommon and often misunderstood disorder, it is often difficult for families to find professionals that are trained to diagnose and effectively treat apraxia.
In addition, some believe that the incidence of CAS may have increased in recent years. However, there are no published scientific data to support this general sense of increased incidence.
Click here to learn more about characteristics and speech examples of Childhood Apraxia of Speech.