The California-Hawaii Elks Major Project, affectionately known as Purple Pig pledges its commitment to addressing the unmet needs of disabled children throughout the states of California and Hawaii by developing a program of supporting services to aid these children at no cost to the families and without discrimination.
Frustrated. Misunderstood. Confused. Powerless. Speechless. We fail to appreciate that something as common and familiar as words in your environment or the sound of a voice can be so extraordinary and transformative. Aya experienced all those feelings prior to receiving speech services with Jocelyn Agra, Speech Language Pathologist from the California-Hawaii Elks Major Project. Aya faced numerous challenges just to be able to communicate basic needs and wants. Aya was diagnosed with a severe speech delay. She also has childhood Apraxia of speech. Physically, she demonstrated age appropriate fine and gross motor skills. She could walk, run, use her hands and play with no difficulties. Results of her speech evaluation indicated that she was speaking below a 1 year old level instead of a 3 ½ year old. Apraxia is a neurological disorder that cannot be seen by a neurologist or by a brain scan. Children with Childhood Apraxia of speech know what they want to say but when their brains sends the message to the motor planning part of the brain, the signal gets mixed up and doesn't make it to the mouth correctly.
Initial therapy was intense and Aya was seen twice a week at the home setting. Both parents were involved and attended sessions. They practiced the home program every day and never gave up. Speech therapy was very animated that included making rhythmic sounds and movements. Tapping, clapping, banging, singing, moving and dancing became the normal routine in therapy. As Aya progressed in therapy, her confidence to be open to new experiences became evident. She was smiling more, laughing, singing, and verbalizing. Therapy included taking risks and getting out of the comfort level for Aya. With Aya's increasing confidence and the feeling of acceptance, her determination allowed her to stretch to different aspects in speaking such as practicing with teachers and her friends in school.
Aya is now an independent, sociable, verbal, outgoing, happy and confident girl. She is not afraid to take risks and take on the experiences to communicate. We often take for granted the power it has to make connections and be immersed in the lives of shared meaning and understanding.
The members of Elks #6 hold a special passion for this project. If you join us for Sunday Breakfast we hope you will contribute to our Purple Pig so that children like Aya can Walk, Talk, See, and Play.