Letters to the Editor: Apraxia awareness; Tulare County air pollution

May is Apraxia Awareness Month

Dear Editor,

I am writing to you as a parent volunteer for Apraxia Kids. May is Apraxia Awareness Month; an opportunity to bring awareness to our community about childhood apraxia of speech.

Childhood apraxia of speech (CAS) is a motor speech disorder that makes it difficult for an affected child to plan the movements of the lips, tongue, jaw, etc. needed to speak. Children with apraxia of speech predominately have an age appropriate understanding of language. They know what they want to say but have difficulty learning or performing the complex movements that underlie speech. Apraxia of speech is one of the most severe childhood speech and communication disorders and it occurs in approximately 1 in 1,000 children.

I want to bring awareness to our community about this speech difficulty in children. CAS is still unfamiliar, misunderstood, and continues to have a significant impact on children and their families. Speech and communication are critical skills for young children and they along with their families need support to develop these skills as they will not outgrow this disorder. The only proven treatment for CAS is intensive speech therapy, which is quite costly as it extends over many years for these children. Through endless determination and hard work, children affected with CAS continue through their struggles to learn a skill—speaking—that comes effortlessly to other children.

While Apraxia does not define who my daughter is, it has made it challenging to communicate basic needs and show how capable she is. My daughter is fun and spunky to be around—she loves to dance, draw/writes, and play everything her older brothers play including soccer. As she gets older her apraxia condition will make it difficult to independently communicate with others. It is important that children with apraxia receive early and appropriate treatment and support to provide them a positive outcome. Sincerely,

Perla Soria

What can be done about county’s air pollution?

Dear Editor,

One wonders what if anything the governmental environmental guardians of Tulare County are doing to curtail the pollutant-loaded air that I must breathe in Mehrten Valley, particularly in the evenings, these days? It is well-nigh suffocating!

I can only imagine what it is doing to my nearly 95-year-old lungs, as well as to those of younger years.

Who are these polluters? Their favorite polluting time seems to be in the still, almost breathless time surrounding sunset, a time when many wish to step outside to get at least a modicum of fresh air.

Is their polluting essential—or health hurtful—to us who are its victims?

Cigarette “second hand” smoke has gotten much health care attention of recent date. When will “first hand” ag or other pollution get the same attention? Respectfully yours,

Herbert Ford

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