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WHEREAS, childhood apraxia of speech causes children to have extreme difficulty in learning to speak and is among the most severe type of speech and communication problems in children; and
WHEREAS, the act of learning to speak comes effortlessly to most children, but those with childhood apraxia of speech endure an incredible and lengthy struggle; and
WHEREAS, without appropriate intervention, children with apraxia are at high risk of having related problems in literacy and other school-related skills; and
WHEREAS, these primary and secondary impacts diminish future independence and employment opportunities if not resolved or improved; and
WHEREAS, most children with apraxia of speech learn to communicate only if they receive early intervention, appropriate, intensive, and frequent speech therapy; and
WHEREAS, speech therapy and other services lessen the impact of this disorder and help affected children grow into productive citizens; and
WHEREAS, it is imperative there be greater public awareness about childhood apraxia of speech in Virginia among community members, physicians, education professionals, policy makers, and elected officials; and
WHEREAS, Childhood Apraxia of Speech Awareness Day recognizes the families, physicians, and education professionals who are dedicated to assisting those affected by childhood apraxia of speech, and it encourages further research that can result in earlier diagnosis and better treatment;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize May 14, 2019, as CHILDHOOD APRAXIA OF SPEECH AWARENESS DAY in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.