Miss Richmond County, Alyssa DePaolis, will honor children with apraxia at the Staten Island Speaks Up! Walk for Children with Apraxia of Speech event to be held on Sunday, April 21, at Clove Lakes Park. Last year, more than 250 participants joined the walk to help bring local awareness to the motor speech disorder and raised over $32,000 to benefit important programs and research of the Childhood Apraxia of Speech Association of North America (CASANA).
“I intend to raise awareness within my borough for those affected by apraxia as well as the power and need for speech therapy within a child's life. Imagine living each and every day knowing exactly what you want to say, but not being able to express it in a way that is understandable for others around you, or being a parent unable to communicate with their own child, sitting back and watching him fill with frustration over every other word. I consider myself blessed to have found a cause for which I can be so passionate about,” said DePaolis, who is coordinating this walk in the Staten Island area for her second year. DePaolis is a junior speech pathology major and president for the National Student Speech Language Hearing Association (NSSLHA) chapter at Saint John’s University.
“With my title, Miss Richmond County, I hope to inspire others to follow my example as I lend my voice to Staten Island's Shining Stars, hoping that one day they too can speak out and spark change.”
The Staten Island Speaks Up! Walk for Children with Apraxia of Speech is open to all adults and children. On-site registration and check-in begins at 9:00 AM, with the Walk starting promptly at 10:30 AM. It will surely be a day of fun for the whole family! Anyone interested in participating should contact DePaolis at firstname.lastname@example.org OR visit the website at http://secure.apraxia-kids.org/statenislandspeaksupwalk for more information, to register, or to make a donation.
Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS) is a very challenging and complicated neurological speech disorder in children. This little known disorder makes it difficult or impossible for children to accurately produce sounds, syllables, and/or words despite having a good understanding of language. The Walk for Children with Apraxia of Speech is held as a means to heighten awareness and to benefit important funding for CASANA programs and apraxia research.