Silent Stars has helped raise awareness of Childhood Apraxia of Speech, helping parents and caregivers to identify children at the earliest age to allow for early intervention. They also provide iPads to children with Apraxia who otherwise could not afford them, giving them the opportunity to use applications which allow them to communicate via touch screens. Both of these services can change the life of a child with Apraxia for the better.
Silent Stars Foundation (SSF) raises awareness and funds for Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS), a neurological disorder that interferes with the brain's ability to coordinate the muscle movements required to form words.
CAS is not something that children simply outgrow. Even with intensive therapy, some kids will never speak. But, with early intervention, many can be helped. Tragically, low awareness of CAS—among parents, teachers, even pediatricians—means children are diagnosed late, making it harder for the brain to reorganize for speech.
SSF has helped fund the Apraxia Research Registry created by the Childhood Apraxia of Speech Association (CASANA), a 501(c)3. It connects approved researchers with families whose children match the study characteristics.
Like many syndromes, children with CAS fall across a wide spectrum. Parents of children with CAS will enter their child’s data into the registry—genetic, neurological, anatomical, etc.
In addition to raising money for CASANA, SSF purchases assistive communication devices for youth with severe CAS who lack the motor skills required for sign language and who, despite years of hard work and intense articulatory intervention, show little progress.
The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) endorses the use of augmentative talking devices. They ease frustration, head off behavior problems and enable users to express themselves.
Costing between $1,000 and $10,000 each, these devices are out of reach of many school districts and families. SSF help fills this gap.
In addition to the estimated one in 1,000 children with the idiopathic form of CAS—e.g., neurologically-based without the presence of any impaired neuromuscular function—apraxia affects hundreds of thousands of children and young adults with other underlying conditions including Cerebral Palsy, Autism, Attention Deficit Disorder, Oral and/or Limb Apraxia.
Through articles in Make A Difference magazine, the SSF page in Facebook Causes, the SSF newsletter I launched and the SSF Web site www.silentstarsfoundation.shutterfly.com,
SSF is run by volunteers and operates with zero overhead.
The SSF Web site is www.silentstarsfoundation.shutterfly.com .
Review from Guidestar