Glenview Mom Creates Silent Stars to Support Speech Disorder

When Marjorie Beto first started noticing that her daughter Rebecca was not reaching certain milestones at the same rate as her twin brother, Michael, she had never heard of childhood apraxia of speech.

Beto says if she had known about the motor speech disorder, she might have been able to get the right treatments for Rebecca sooner. That’s why she’s making it her personal mission to educate other parents about the disorder. The Glenview mother of three recently founded Silent Stars, a local non-profit organization formed to raise awareness about childhood apraxia of speech.

“I’ve said for past few months, everyone on the North Shore is going to know about childhood apraxia,” Beto says.

Children with apraxia have difficulty planning and producing the movements required to speak clearly. The causes of the disorder are not yet completely understood, according to the Childhood Apraxia of Speech Organization of North America (CASANA).

Early diagnosis and intervention can make a big difference, Beto says. So her advice to other parents is to ask questions of your healthcare providers, and go with your gut if you feel your child is not developing at a normal rate.

“Since people don’t know about apraxia, definitely get your kids evaluated early if you feel they are not reaching their milestones, verbally or physically,” Beto says. “It’s not just speech, kids with apraxia may also sit late or walk late.”

The good news is that with speech therapy, most children with apraxia eventually are able to speak clearly, according to CASANA’s web site. Beto says Rebecca, who is now 7, has made marked progress with assistance from aids in school and speech therapists at home.

“She is bright eyed and talking a lot,” Beto says. “I feel we have all the right things in place, and she is progressing well every day.”