4th annual Southwest Gulf Coast Walk for Apraxia
SARASOTA - "Some of these children who have apraxia are never able to find their voice. It’s kinda like having a stroke and not being able to talk,” said Tammy Sturtevan.
Apraxia is a neurological speech disorder, usually common in young children, that prevents kids from creating sounds rendering them unable to speak. Sturtevant son Cayl was diagnosed after she noticed her son wasn’t able to make any sounds when he was 18 months old.
"He wasn’t making any sounds, he was a really quite baby but he wasn’t able to blow bubbles like little kids could, can’t blow candles couldn’t say any words at all,” said Sturtevan.
Sturtevant says she at first didn’t think anything was wrong with her son as she was a late talker as a kid. But a trip to the doctors changed her and her son’s life forever.
"It was really scary as a mom thinking I was never going to hear my son saying I love you or even mama,” she said.
Sturtevant was quick to find her son a speech language pathologist. She says she was determined to help her son find his voice. Cayl was taking therapy six days a week. That’s when she became involved with Apraxia Kids a foundation that raises awareness of the disorder.
"I did the walk for a couple years up in Tampa helping coordinate," said Sturtevan. "So I started the walk four years ago, this is our fourth year and we’ve raised almost $40,000 in four year for the foundation”
Sturtevant says Cayl now 11-years-old is entering the sixth grade and has found his voice and hopes to help other children battling apraxia do the same with the 4th annual Southwest Gulf Coast Walk for Apraxia near Fort Myers.
"My hope is that every child finds their voice cause they all deserve their voice," said Sturtevan
The Walk for Apraxia is Saturday at the Estero Community Park near Fort Myers. The walk starts at 9:15 a.m. To get involved or donate visit secure.apraxia-kids.org