Fifteen years ago, Alayna was diagnosed with apraxia at age two and a half. Her mother Donna was lost. “Would she ever be able to talk?” Donna wondered. “Would she be able to go to a public school? Do regular things with her peers?” Unsure of the future, Donna found and joined one of CASANA’s first programs: an online community where parents could give advice, share stories, and support each other through the journey of raising a child with apraxia. During her time in this group, Donna found a community full of other parents ready to cheer her on through navigating therapy and IEPs. Because of the information Donna found from other parents through CASANA, Alayna was able to get the help that she needed. Donna realized that the answer to her first worried questions was a resounding “YES!” Donna says that “it took a lot of research, planning, persistence and work, but she did it!”
This year, all of Donna and Alayna’s hard work paid off: Alayna graduated from high school and is planning to go to college. She is currently a student at a community college pursuing her AA degree and plans to transfer to a four-year university after that. “If I had any advice to give to parents with children who have Apraxia,” Donna says, “it would be to stick with [an online support community] and learn all that you can.” In the original online CASANA group Donna was part of, she learned what she needed to help Alayna. “I learned that with the right information, therapists, and persistence progress can and will be made!” says Donna. “Be persistent, consistent, and diligent.”
CASANA’s current Facebook parent support group has more than 20,000 members who support each other daily and help parents like Donna learn what they need to fight for their children. We also have a list of topic and region specific groups available on our website.
Thank you, Donna and Alayna, for sharing your amazing story! If you would like to share you or your child’s story, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.