I have spotlighted Joanna Bendel in a previous blog. She is an awareness-raising campaigner and I have followed her YouTube blog for years. She works hard to change public attitude, in America, towards apraxia of speech. She is succeeding.
I know her through involvement in a group called Young Adults with Dyspraxia/Apraxia (YADA). This was set up by The Cherub Foundation in America which provides a mine of information for parents and support for people who are struggling. They have provided information for me and my family. We found my apraxia specialist through the Cherub Foundation. YADA is a closed group that helps young people to share with others in a similar situation.
Joanna is a true inspiration to me. She puts herself in the spotlight which brings both positive and negative attention.
This is a link to her YouTube channel; I suggest you subscribe. I have followed Joanna’s Vlog for years. She used to use her communication aid and people were encouraging her to use her speech. One Christmas she decided to and has developed confidence in using her speech since. Just think about the courage that took. When I need a boost, I watch her YouTube channel. I am hoping to have some level of Joanna’s confidence in the future but like most people I’m still on a journey. She does not let apraxia define who she is!
This is a video of her on a News programme in 2018 raising awareness of the condition. How many of us would want to be interviewed on a news programme?
This link is her latest video update recapping her journey. It is truly inspirational to anyone; especially those with speech disorders. If you do nothing else, please take the time to watch it.
Please stop and think how lucky you are to have volitional speech, those of us who have speech difficulties are no lesser a person. Everyone has difficulties in their life, it’s what makes us human. As such, we need to be more accepting of differences.
As I said in yesterday’s speech apraxia blog, if you know someone with a speech disorder, take the time to include them and see the person not their difficulties; it will enhance both your lives.