OPPEN CAS was born in the mind of our Founder/Chair, Brooke Rea on the long drive home from CASANA’s Intensive Training Institute in August 2014. Having just spent a concentrated, invigorating and passionate 5 days with top experts in the field of CAS, Brooke wanted to bring the same kind of energy to those in Ontario who live and work with CAS every day. In Ontario, we currently face a unique set a challenges. While all the other provinces and States in North American deal with the over/under diagnosis issue, we are faced with a big black hole: WHO diagnoses CAS in Ontario??? In addition, while our province is fortunate enough to have the Preschool Speech Language Initiative supported by the Ministry of Children and Youth Services, our children with CAS, suspected CAS, or query CAS are often overlooked, under-serviced, or given therapy not best-suited for such a disorder. Both professionals and families are often left to source out their best options, determine answers to their questions, learn how to advocate, navigate the maze to diagnosis, or simply feel lost and alone.
During her training, Brooke’s learned of research by L.F. Allen and E.A. Babin* (2013) who reported: “It appears in the CAS context that encouraging a caregiver to connect with others who can provide assistance better matches the unique coping requirements of parents than providing other forms of emotional or instrumental support.” (p574). What better than to create a non-profit, volunteer-driven community of professionals and parents, who can connect with one another to provide assistance along the very personalized journey of living and/or working with a child with Childhood Apraxia of Speech.
We hope that you can learn from, give to, and help inspire within our community at OPPEN CAS.
If you’d like to share some information about OPPEN CAS with anyone you think could benefit from our community, feel free to download this PDF.
*published in Associations Between Caregiving, Social Support, and Well-Being Among Parents of Children with Childhood Apraxia of Speech, Health Communication 28(6), 568-576