Our son has a condition known as Childhood Apraxia
of Speech. It is a motor speech disorder.
For reasons not yet fully understood, children with apraxia
of speech have great difficulty planning and
producing the precise, highly refined and specific
series of movements of the tongue, lips, jaw and
palate that are necessary for intelligible speech.
Apraxia of speech is a specific speech disorder.
Our son was diagnosed with Childhood Apraxia of Speech when
he was three years old. He had been receiving speech
therapy for 2 years before the diagnosis. After the
diagnosis his Speech Language Pathologist
recommended that we up his speech services to 4
times per week. He has been receiving services 4
times per week for speech for another 2 years now.
He also has been receiving Occupational Therapy 2
times per week for fine motor and sensory
integration for the past year.
This past summer my wife attended a Childhood Apraxia of
Speech conference to learn more about the condition
and to see if there was more we could be doing for
him. She heard about an additional therapy that many
families were using. It was called
This involves the use of Physical Therapists and trained
horses. We were very encouraged by the results that
other children with Apraxia of Speech were seeing.
We were blessed to have Chester Dudek and Lady Trish
Dudek from Rivendell Recreation to call upon.
Rivendell Recreation offers therapeutic riding. Bro.
a member of Fellowship Lodge and was more
willing to answer any questions that we had.
We stopped by to see how our son would take to the horses and
it was very encouraging. He loved them. He was able
to attend the last session for the 2008 riding year
at Rivendell. What we saw was amazing. He worked
with a side walker and a physical therapist for 45
minutes one day per week. He rode backwards,
forwards, on belly, on back. They worked with him
intensely and he enjoyed every minute of it. After
his very first ride he got off the horse and had a
smile from ear to ear. He then said, "That is the
most fun I have ever had."
I almost fell over. That was the longest sentence he had ever
said. He has had such improvement since riding in
September. The staff/volunteers at Rivendell are
fantastic. They are like an extended family. I can't
wait for him to start riding again in the spring of
The Childhood Apraxia of Speech Association of North America
believes that Every Child Deserves a Voice. Should
you like to help raise awareness please visit
www.apraxia-kids.org and click on How to Help.
We have also created our own Apraxia-Star page at
Rivendell Recreation is always appreciative of
volunteers to help around the facility. Whether with
the horses, children, barn work or maintenance. You
can contact them at 716-457-3365.
Please see it in your heart to strengthen the support systems
in the lives of children with apraxia, so that each
child has their best opportunity to develop speech.