Recipe for Awareness

Historically, great movements and societal acceptance were results of bridging communities together. In bridging people together who otherwise are not from the same "side."

Women's Suffrage entailed strong women fighting for women's equality, but it took a male-dominated government to put it into law. Holocaust remembrance is not exclusive to the Jewish community, but also the non-Jewish community as well. Autism awareness, more recently, found success by having a Sesame Street character with Autism to unite children with and without autism.

You should see where I'm getting at. Awareness is achieved when we unite the divided and acknowledge one common goal.

In regards to Apraxia, we can only increase awareness and acceptance by uniting with the non-Apraxia community.

It's easy to live in an Apraxia bubble.

It's safe to stay within the bubble and talk about Apraxia with others that know Apraxia.

But that doesn't increase awareness.

It's useless energy; why spread awareness to those who already know about the disorder?

We need to expand the Apraxia bubble to parents who aren't affected by it, to teachers who know nothing about it, and to speech professionals who are unaware. The rewards in connecting the Apraxia community to the non-Apraxia community are incredible and slowly, but surely it CAN be done.

I recently held a restaurant fundraiser at a local Buffalo Wild Wings to raise money for CASANA and Apraxia Awareness.  I was amazed seeing various members of both the non-Apraxia and Apraxia community supporting the fundraiser.

My friends and family came, but so did those with children diagnosed with Apraxia. I met two young children diagnosed, Brayden and Emma, who were quite lovely! Brayden is a Batman fan and Emma gave the sweetest waves. More importantly, in talking to the children and their families, my own close family and friends witnessed these interactions and my reactions along the lines of, "You won't believe where they go to speech therapy," or, "They are so close to an Apraxia diagnosis, why does it have to be that difficult?!"

They were able to hear me, see me and these children diagnosed with their families. At this sight, the  words, "Apraxia" and "CASANA" weren't just words to them. The words had meaning, they came to life. Others in the non-Apraxia community were getting a glimpse of the Apraxia community and associating the words themselves to the actual people affected.

\This is where awareness begins. When the two communities can see eye-to-eye. Who would have thought it would happen over boneless wings?

It's a small step, but a meaningful step. It's a step when we work one person at a time and we inform them of Apraxia. We show them our community, we show them why it's important, and we show them that we want them to fight with us. If the non-Apraxia and Apraxia community unite completely, we can have teachers acknowledge the disorder and better educate their students diagnosed. When we all unite, insurance companies will have no choice but to cover more speech therapy just simply due to increased demand. When we all unite, we won't be categorized as "Apraxia" and "Non-Apraxia," perhaps we can ALL be "Apraxia Advocates" whether or not one is personally affected by the disorder.

Apraxia Awareness Day is on Sunday, May 14th. Maybe that day we can all be known as "Apraxia Advocates" regardless of Apraxia's personal impact on our lives.

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