Small Steps in Speech Extends Grant to Kids with Childhood Apraxia of Speech
Small Steps in Speech, a Pennsylvania 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable organization, gives grants to children with a range of speech and language disorders. These grants help children go on to afford treatments, therapies, communication software and devices, and other services necessary to improve language and communication skills.
This year, Small Steps in Speech is extending the Childhood Apraxia of Speech Grant to children and adolescents ages birth to 22 with childhood apraxia of speech. Grants are to be used for therapies or communication software. Application deadlines for the Childhood Apraxia of Speech Grant are February 1st, May 1st, August 1st, and November 1st, so applicants still have two dates left to submit their materials. To learn more about the grant application details and process, please visit the Small Steps in Speech webpage here.
What is Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS)?
Childhood apraxia of speech is a rare motor speech disorder. A child with childhood apraxia of speech has difficulties producing sounds, words, and language because his or her brain struggles to coordinate the tongue, mouth, jaw, lip, and facial movements necessary to speak clearly. Therefore, while children with childhood apraxia of speech can clearly form thoughts and plan their words, they have a hard time communicating coherently.
The Causes of Childhood Apraxia of Speech: Infant Brain Damage & Medical Malpractice
Although physicians often have a hard time determining the exact causes of childhood apraxia of speech, CAS is commonly the result of a neurological condition or injury. Various injuries inflicted around the time of birth can result in lasting neurological damage and lifelong disorders such as childhood apraxia of speech (as well as other communication disorders), cerebral palsy (CP), intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD), and movement and motor disorders. Brain injury is most commonly the result of oxygen deprivation around the time of delivery which, as you’ll learn in this section, can be the result of a number of different things. Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) is a form of brain injury caused by oxygen deprivation that, when left untreated, often results in lifelong brain damage, periventricular leukomalacia (PVL), cerebral palsy, disabilities, communication disorders, and related conditions.
Below, we’ve listed some of the many birth injuries, medical mistakes, and conditions that can result in neonatal brain injury and lasting neurological disorders:
- Umbilical cord complications: Any problem with the umbilical cord potentially threatens the flow of oxygenated blood to the fetus. Short umbilical cord length, true knots, nuchal cords, compressed umbilical cords, or prolapsed umbilical cords can result in fetal oxygen deprivation and hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE).
- Uterine complications: Uterine rupture, uteroplacental insufficiency, or any issue with uterine function can limit the fetus’ intake of oxygen, nutrients, and blood and result in birth asphyxia and brain injury.
- Placental complications: The placenta provides a fetus with the nutrients necessary to live. Placental abruption (when the placenta tears from the uterus), placenta previa (when the placenta partially or fully covers the mother’s cervix), placental insufficiency, or any other placental complication can result in oxygen deprivation, HIE, and lifelong disabilities.
- Amniotic fluid complications: Too much amniotic fluid (polyhydramnios) or too little amniotic fluid (oligohydramnios) can both affect the fetus’ health.
- Maternal infection: Maternal infections may include chorioamnionitis, villitis, Group B Strep (GBS), UTIs, herpes, bacterial vaginosis (BV), and others.
- Head trauma: A baby may suffer head trauma around the time of delivery, particularly in difficult delivery situations. A baby may suffer head trauma with a resultant brain injury from the misuse of forceps or vacuum extractors, size incompatibilities with his or her mother (such as macrosomia or cephalopelvic disproportion), abnormal presentation (such as breech or face presentation), or other scenarios.
- Prolonged labor and delayed emergency C-section: Any situation that prolongs labor and delivery is very dangerous for the baby. When labor fails to progress or lasts too long, the baby’s chances of experiencing oxygen deprivation and hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) increase greatly. In instances of prolonged labor, medical professionals must choose to either deliver the baby safely and immediately or order an emergency C-section. Delaying a necessary emergency C-section is highly dangerous and can cause permanent brain damage with a number of resultant injuries, conditions and disabilities.
Legal Help for Infant Brain Injury
If your child was diagnosed with childhood apraxia of speech, cerebral palsy, hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD), learning disabilities, motor problems, or another lifelong disability associated with infant brain damage, we urge you to reach out to our birth injury attorneys and professionals. The birth trauma attorneys at Reiter & Walsh ABC Law Centers are nationally recognized leaders in the field of birth injury law. Our legal team has nearly 30 years of experience securing multi-million dollar settlements for children who were injured due to medical malpractice. Our clients go on to use the funds from their settlements to afford treatments, assistive technology, therapy, specialized care, and other valuable services and resources.
For a free case review, you may contact our birth injury team in whichever way best suits your needs. We are available to speak with you 24/7.
- Call Reiter & Walsh ABC Law Centers toll-free at 888-419-2229
- Email Reiter & Walsh ABC Law Centers
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- “Childhood Apraxia of Speech.” Small Steps In Speech. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 July 2015.
- “Childhood Apraxia of Speech.” Childhood Apraxia of Speech. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 July 2015.
- “Childhood Apraxia of Speech.” – Mayo Clinic. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 July 2015.
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- Perez A, Ritter S, Brotschi B, et al. Long-term neurodevelopmental outcome with hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy. J Pediatr 2013; 163:454.
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