PLAE-It-Forward – Use Code GIVE491

After a nearly fatal birth, Sara Lai’s daughter Avery suffered seizures for several days, leading the doctor to tell Avery’s parents that he did not have much hope for their daughter. Weeks later, when Avery’s parents finally brought their precious baby home, they were counseled to expect very little from her due to the extensive trauma her brain had sustained. Over the course of the next few months, however, Avery surprised everyone by meeting each developmental milestone, growing into a sweet and social toddler. By 18 months, however, Avery’s parents realized that she was completely silent, not cooing or babbling. By age two, though Avery had a large sign language vocabulary, she spoke no words and made very few sounds. A diagnosis of childhood apraxia of speech (CAS) led to countless hours of intensive speech therapy over the course of two years, during which time Avery reaffirmed her strength and alacrity. “While we were daunted by the prognosis, we were relieved to finally have a diagnosis to understand what was going on and how to help,” says mom Sara.

Childhood apraxia of speech is a severe motor-speech disorder that makes it difficult for children to speak. Children with CAS generally have a good understanding of language and know what they want to say, but have difficulty learning or carrying out the movements necessary for intelligible speech. There is no known cause of CAS and currently the only treatment is appropriate, consistent speech therapy. With a bit more understanding of the challenges CAS brings, in 2015 Avery and her family attended the life-changing Apraxia Kids National Conference. Apraxia Kids educates professionals and families, facilitates community engagement and outreach, and provides hope for the future by advocating for children with CAS and helping to direct and fund research. “Not only did we receive cutting edge information, but we were embraced by our fellow apraxia families,” Sara shares. “The next  year, we began coordinating the San Francisco Walk for Apraxia to bring a much needed sense of community to local apraxia families. There is no reason for families to go through this complicated, frustrating, and isolating experience alone.”

In addition to raising public awareness and forging a sense of community among local apraxia families, Sara’s leadership brought the San Francisco walk back to life and raised $96,000.00 in only three years for Apraxia Kids, the only national nonprofit organization dedicated to CAS. “The walk is somewhat of a holiday in our house,” Sara declares. “Relatives visit from around the country to attend, friends decorate posters in support, and our children look forward to the day with much anticipation. The walk is a day of community, celebration, and healing. It gives our children a day of fun and pride.”

Visit Apraxia Kids’ website and social media pages for more CAS information and resources. Apraxia Kids also invites you to walk alongside other members of your local community in celebration of children with CAS who work hard each and every day to find their voices by participating in your local Walk for Apraxia. Today, seven-year-old Avery is a living success story, as she has triumphed over CAS and found her voice. She tells her parents about her dreams and her feelings, and she sometimes even sings along to her favorite Coco songs. Help other kids with CAS find their voices by adding one step to something you already do: the next time you buy a new pair of PLAE kicks, use checkout code GIVE491 to donate 10% of your purchase price directly to Apraxia Kids. You can find Apraxia Kids on Facebook and Instagram.

 

This post originally appeared on PLAE-it-forward Community program blog.

After a nearly fatal birth, Sara Lai’s daughter Avery suffered seizures for several days, leading the doctor to tell Avery’s parents that he did not have much hope for their daughter. Weeks later, when Avery’s parents finally brought their precious baby home, they were counseled to expect very little from her due to the extensive trauma her brain had sustained. Over the course of the next few months, however, Avery surprised everyone by meeting each developmental milestone, growing into a sweet and social toddler. By 18 months, however, Avery’s parents realized that she was completely silent, not cooing or babbling. By age two, though Avery had a large sign language vocabulary, she spoke no words and made very few sounds. A diagnosis of childhood apraxia of speech (CAS) led to countless hours of intensive speech therapy over the course of two years, during which time Avery reaffirmed her strength and alacrity. “While we were daunted by the prognosis, we were relieved to finally have a diagnosis to understand what was going on and how to help,” says mom Sara.

Childhood apraxia of speech is a severe motor-speech disorder that makes it difficult for children to speak. Children with CAS generally have a good understanding of language and know what they want to say, but have difficulty learning or carrying out the movements necessary for intelligible speech. There is no known cause of CAS and currently the only treatment is appropriate, consistent speech therapy. With a bit more understanding of the challenges CAS brings, in 2015 Avery and her family attended the life-changing Apraxia Kids National Conference. Apraxia Kids educates professionals and families, facilitates community engagement and outreach, and provides hope for the future by advocating for children with CAS and helping to direct and fund research. “Not only did we receive cutting edge information, but we were embraced by our fellow apraxia families,” Sara shares. “The next  year, we began coordinating the San Francisco Walk for Apraxia to bring a much needed sense of community to local apraxia families. There is no reason for families to go through this complicated, frustrating, and isolating experience alone.”

In addition to raising public awareness and forging a sense of community among local apraxia families, Sara’s leadership brought the San Francisco walk back to life and raised $96,000.00 in only three years for Apraxia Kids, the only national nonprofit organization dedicated to CAS. “The walk is somewhat of a holiday in our house,” Sara declares. “Relatives visit from around the country to attend, friends decorate posters in support, and our children look forward to the day with much anticipation. The walk is a day of community, celebration, and healing. It gives our children a day of fun and pride.”

Visit Apraxia Kids’ website and social media pages for more CAS information and resources. Apraxia Kids also invites you to walk alongside other members of your local community in celebration of children with CAS who work hard each and every day to find their voices by participating in your local Walk for Apraxia. Today, seven-year-old Avery is a living success story, as she has triumphed over CAS and found her voice. She tells her parents about her dreams and her feelings, and she sometimes even sings along to her favorite Coco songs. Help other kids with CAS find their voices by adding one step to something you already do: the next time you buy a new pair of PLAE kicks, use checkout code GIVE491 to donate 10% of your purchase price directly to Apraxia Kids. You can find Apraxia Kids on Facebook and Instagram.

 

This post originally appeared on PLAE-it-forward Community program blog.



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