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Owen Apraxia Walk

Owen Apraxia Walk

by Lynn Zimmerman

Last fall, I attended the 2014 Denver Walk for Apraxia with a client and his family. In my private practice, I have the privilege of working with many children with CAS and appreciate deeply the work of the CASANA community. Walks such as this, are a beneficial experience to share as a Speech professional with the community of families connected to the cause.

As Speech Language Pathologists, we dedicate hours, weeks, and sometimes years to developing and nurturing a working relationship with each client -- focused on maximizing the child’s communication potential. However, within such relationships, there is rarely opportunity to bond with a client without a progress-centered agenda. Participating in Denver Walk for Apraxia gave me a chance to share leisure time with a long-term client and his family. With no speech drills to practice, we instead spent the morning in the beautiful Colorado sunshine. Charity walks are occasions that, on the surface, raise money and awareness for a cause. But to a child, too young to understand the mission, the event is a celebration of their hard work. It’s a party full of hope and excitement. As a professional, it was heart-warming to share with a client and family how much the community supports and embraces them.

These charity walks draw in hundreds of cheerful, open-hearted people to a festive day in honor of families living with unique circumstances. To these families, who can come to feel isolated, such an event is a tangible manifestation of how supportive and optimistic the world can be. It is an opportunity for children, like those we see on our case-Owen Apraxia Walkloads, to have fun amidst a friendly gathering in celebration of those on a common journey. Every day, parents strive to balance their child’s intense therapy schedule, frustrating social interactions, sibling relationships, and much more. But, at the event, I delighted in seeing parents bond as peers over their shared experiences and mission.

While spending time with my client celebrating a charitable mission, I reflected on the idea that, as health professionals, the focus of our practices is on enhancing the lives of individuals. On this single-child basis, working with an SLP can be life-changing but a charity walk is an opportunity to further that statement by standing up on a larger scale for the global community of children like those we help. Donating to a charity that supports research and advocacy for people with communication challenges is a chance to help not just one child at a time, but to promote hope and long-term change in the scope of the cause.

Lynn Zimmerman MA,CCC-SLP is the owner and primary clinician of Cobblestone Speech Language and Learning LLC, a Littleton, Colorado based pediatric Speech and Language private practice.