Every Child Deserves a Voice

Singing in the snow

Photo: Julia Ozab

God gave me a voice, and it’s a pretty good one. I’ve been blessed with the both the necessary mechanics and a passion for music, and I developed my talent through professional training. I’ve got a vocal range of almost two-and-a-half octaves (F2 – B-flat4), and though I’m naturally a lyric baritone, I can sing both bass and tenor as well. My vocal training along with my lack of stage fright also make me a good public speaker.

I have a gift, and I value it greatly because not everyone gets a voice so easily.

Photo: Julia Ozab

My daughter didn’t get that same gift. While she is a natural performer, she also has a motor-speech disorder called Childhood Apraxia of Speech which makes it hard for her to be understood.

Anna’s not a non-verbal child—she talks all the time—but it has taken her years of hard work to be understood as much as she is now. She has years more therapy ahead of her before she’ll be understood by everyone all the time.

My voice was a gift, freely given to me, that I have worked at to develop into a finely-trained instrument. Anna’s voice wasn’t a gift. She has to work hard for it. It’s not fair, and it breaks my heart to hear her frustration when she can’t be understood.

“Forget about it.” That’s what she says. But I can’t forget about it. I won’t.

Every child deserves the gift that I have taken for granted for so many years. Every child deserves a voice.

Five Minute Friday

This is my second Five-Minute Friday post on my daughter’s Apraxia of Speech. Two weeks ago, I wrote about the preparations for the 2012 Salem OR Walk for Apraxia, which was a great success. And while you’re here please check out the other Apraxia of Speech posts on this blog as well as the posts about Anna and other kids like her on Apraxa-KIDS. You can also read more about Childhood Apraxia of Speech on CASANA’s website.


3 thoughts on “Every Child Deserves a Voice

  1. Hello, I love your outlook on this subject. As I had a child in speech therapy for years as well, I can understand how you feel that way. I think though that you are probably such an encouragement to your daughter and that goes a long ways. You two keep up the hard work!


  2. The Laundry Lady says:

    Wow. I’m sorry to hear how your daughter struggles, but at the same time she sounds like a great, courageous kid who is handling the challenges well. You are right that every child deserves to be understood, to have a voice. Communication is so vital to who we are as people. Knowing that we are heard is a huge part of our identity. I hope and pray for the difficulties you have ahead, may the way be made easier for you and your family.


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