Counting by Hand

Cheetah Change cup

Photo: Tammie Valdes

Two weeks ago, one of the Wildlife Safari’s ambassador cheetahs visited Anna’s school and I wrote about his visit for Five Minute Friday. Over the last two week, Anna and her classmates have been collecting change to donate to the Safari’s Cheetah Breeding program, and today we counted totals for each classroom.

Hand counting that much change is a chore, but we’ve got it down to a system. My wife Julia, who’s far better at both math and money than I am taught me how to count money fast and efficiently, and using this system three adults and one eight-year-old were able to count eighteen classrooms worth of “Cheetah Change” in about an hour and a half.

Here are the steps.

  1. Take out the bills.
  2. Separate coins (quarters, dimes, nickels, pennies).
  3. Count coins from largest to smallest.
  4. For every four quarters put one in a “dollar pile” and the other three in the counted change pile.
  5. For every ten dimes, put one in the “dollar pile” and nine in the counted change pile.
  6. For every nickel, put one in the “dollar pile” and nineteen in the counted change pile (it helps to count nickels by twos).
  7. Once you get to pennies, you’ll need to make a third pile (“tens pile”)  to count every tenth penny. It’s too easy to lose your place when counting to 100.
  8. The number of  leftover (less than ten) pennies go in rightmost column (i.e. $__._7).
  9. Count the “tens pile.” For every ten pennies, put one in the “dollar pile” and nine in the counted change pile.
  10. The number of  leftover (less than ten) pennies go in the next column over (i.e. $__.37).
  11. Count the “dollar pile.” Add the number of coins to your bill count to get the dollar total and place that to the left of the decimal point. (i.e. $26.37),
  12. Collect the bill and change. Your done with that jar!

The result? Anna’s school ended up raising over $360 for the cheetahs. The two top classes got an extra recess.

And most amazing of all, our hand-counted total was within forty cents of the machine count at the bank.

The system works!

Five Minute Friday

And on the first Friday of each month …

Fatherhood for Fridays

Together

Walkers on pedestrian bridge

Apraxia walkers cross the Minto Bicycle and Pedestrian Bridge.

There is only so much we can each do alone.

There is so much more we can all do together.

Here are two examples off the top of my head.

A couple of Saturdays ago, we held our third Oregon Walk for Apraxia of Speech at Riverfront Park in Salem, OR. Nine teams gathered together that morning, after collecting contributions online over the course of the last few months. Together, we raised $3400 for the Childhood Apraxia of Speech Association of North America.

Ours was just one of 78 Apraxia Walks held throughout North America over the course of the year. Together, these walks provide funding for research, technology, scholarships, and SLP training that in turn help “Apraxia Kids” like our Anna and the other kids at the Salem walk.

jogathon_2013

Anna’s schoolmates run on a foggy morning.

Then just two days ago, Anna and her classmates walked from their elementary school to a nearby middle school track for their annual jog-a-thon. The kids brought home pledge envelopes the week before, and spent the hour running together to raise money for field trips for the 2013-14 school years. Teachers, staff, and parents cheered them on, marked their lap cards, and in some cases even ran with them.

And again Anna’s school was just one of several that held jog-a-thons this Fall. In each case, kids and adults came together to help the school and had a lot fun while doing it.

And a third example—an obvious one.

The Five Minute Friday community.

You prove each week that we can do so much more together.

Five Minute Friday

Tell Me About Apraxia, Part Three

Anna at the globe in Riverfront park

At the 2012 Oregon Apraxia Walk (Photo: Julia Ozab)

On October 12, we will participate in our third annual Walk for Children with Apraxia of Speech. For the last two weeks, and continuing today and next Tuesday, I am sharing information about this common childhood motor-speech delay along with personal stories of our experiences coping with Anna’s apraxia of speech. Today I post an open letter, similar to the one I posted last year at the Apraxia-KIDS blog. That letter was to one generous individual donor who chose to remain anonymous. This one is to anyone thinking about donating.

I appreciate you reading this post and I ask you to share it with others. And if—after reading this post—you decide that you want to help kids with apraxia of speech, please support us. We’re Team Anna (just like every year) and I ask you to make a donation and help us reach our goal. Thank you.

An Open Letter

To anyone considering a donation to an Apraxia Walk:

You may not think that one person can make a difference, but you can. Your contribution, however small, will be a big help to families like ours. Let me take a moment to tell you a little bit about one of the many kids you will be supporting.

Anna is an amazing girl. I know I’m biased since I’m her dad, but she really is. She is seven-and-a-half and she just started second grade. She loves to read, to swim, and to perform for anyone who’ll watch, or when she’s alone in front of a mirror. She wants to be an actress and I think she’ll be a good one. We’re looking into classes for next spring, after she turns eight.

But to act she has to be understood and that’s a challenge for her. Continue reading

Tell Me About Apraxia, Part Two

Close up of Anna at four years old

Anna, one of the many faces of apraxia. (Photo: Julia Ozab)

On October 12, we will participate in our third annual Walk for Children with Apraxia of Speech. Beginning last week, and continuing today and over the next two Tuesdays, I am sharing information about this common childhood motor-speech delay along with personal stories of our experiences coping with Anna’s apraxia of speech. Today I share a personal story of lack of acceptance by non-apraxic peers that was originally posted at the Apraxia-KIDS blog on March 13, 2012. This happened over three years ago, and even now it still breaks my heart to recall it. Thankfully, these stories have been the exception for Anna, and not the rule.

I appreciate you reading this post and I ask you to share it with others. And if you want to help kids with apraxia of speech, please support us. We’re Team Anna (just like every year) and I ask you to make a donation and help us reach our goal. Thank you.

A Bit of an Accent

“Will my child be accepted?” It’s a question every parent asks, particularly parents of kids with apraxia of speech. I’ve asked that question myself many times. My daughter Anna has always made friends easily, but as other children her age became more verbal, I began to notice a barrier forming between her and them. It’s been two years, but this incident still sticks with me. She had just turned four, and it was the first time she was excluded because of her apraxia.

We were at our local mall’s playland that day—one of Anna’s favorite places to play. She likes the waterfall themed slide, the hollow log topped with a lounging bear, and the big red canoe. I like that there’s only one way in or out so it’s easy to keep an eye on her.

I sat by the entrance as I always do. I had my notebook at hand to catch any cute or funny things Anna might say. She ran around, slid down the slide, and made friends with all the kids—it was spring break so there were lots of kids to play with. She approached an older girl who was sitting on the bear and asked the same question she always does.

“Do you want to play with me?”  The girl didn’t understand, so I repeated it.

“She got a bit of an accent,” the girl replied.

Continue reading

Tell Me About Apraxia, Part One

Anna at the 2011 Walk for Children with Apraxia of Speech, Salem, OR

At the 2011 Walk (Photo: Kathleen Harris)

On October 12, we will participate in our third annual Walk for Children with Apraxia of Speech. Over the next four Tuesdays, I will share information about this common childhood motor-speech delay along with personal stories of our experiences coping with Anna’s apraxia of speech. I begin by sharing a guest post I originally wrote in January for Alice Callahan’s excellent blog Science of Mom. Please read, and if any of this sounds like your child please seek help.

And if you want to help other kids with apraxia of speech, please support us. We’re Team Anna (just like every year) and I ask you to make a donation and help us reach our goal. Thank you.

A Parent’s Experience with Childhood Apraxia of Speech

“Don’t worry, she’ll catch up.”

I heard that sentence from so many parents around Anna’s second birthday. We were worried about her speech; she was talking all the time but we could barely understand her while kids her age and younger spoke clearly. “Don’t worry she’ll catch up,” people would say. I said the same thing to myself. I figured it would just happen. Her speech was like an out-of-focus photograph. Sooner or later, I thought, it would snap into focus.

My wife Julia wasn’t buying it. She thought something was wrong, and she was right.

Continue reading

Aside

2013 Salem Apraxia Walk Announced

2013 Walk for Children with Apraxia of Speech

Yesterday, I received this email from the Childhood Apraxia of Speech Association of North America (CASANA):

Dear David:

We are very excited to announce the 2013 Salem Walk for Children with Apraxia of Speech!  The Walk will be held on Saturday, October 12, 2013.  A HUGE thanks to Walk Coordinator, Marcie Phillips for coordinating this walk!

The Walk for Children with Apraxia of Speech helps to raise awareness about apraxia and how it affects children, and to raise funds for important apraxia programs and research. All proceeds benefit the programs and research of the Childhood Apraxia of Speech Association of North America (CASANA), the only national public charity dedicated exclusively to children with apraxia and their families.

When you register to walk by Sunday, September 15th you will receive an official 2013 Walk for Children with Apraxia t-shirt in your size on Walk day and you also receive your very own Personal Walk webpage to help you raise awareness and donations! Below are the details of the Walk:

Date: Saturday, October 12, 2013

Time: On-site Check-in and Registration begins at 10:30 AM; Walk begins at 11:00 AM

Location: Riverfront Park Centennial Pavilion, 200 Water Street NE, Salem, OR 97301

Visit the Salem Walk for Children with Apraxia Webpage to register- help unlock their voices and open up the future for children with apraxia!

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER NOW!

Thank you for your support!!

The Childhood Apraxia of Speech Association of North America
416 Lincoln Ave, 2nd floor
Pittsburgh, PA 15209
www.apraxia-KIDS.org