"For we are God's masterpiece. He has created
us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago."
Zach Speaks Inc. is a non-profit foundation created to provide children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder the opportunity to obtain therapy that their families could not otherwise afford.
Through generous donations we can provide 3 consecutive months of Speech or Occupational Therapy for individuals diagnosed with autism between the ages of 3 and 18.
OUR MISSION: To improve the lives of children and their families who are touched by autism instilling God's love and inspiring hope for their future physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
- Lauren Blundell (Zachary's Mom and President of Zach Speaks, Inc.)
One morning, I was praying for specific direction from God and how I could best serve Him. About thirty minutes later a friend who runs her own business offered to give a portion of her sales that month to help children with autism. She explained her deep desire to give was based on the impact Zach had made on her in the short time she had known him. As I began pondering over fund raising options it occurred to me, Zach and his autism were the very vehicle God wanted me to use to serve His purpose for my life. The concept of Zach Speaks Inc. was born on that day.
In the state of Virginia, when a child with autism turns three, the government no longer provides financial assistance for extra occupational or speech therapies. The only option parents or guardians have is to either sign up for Medicaid or pay the immense out of pocket expense. Unfortunately, the government surmised that Brandon (Zach’s Dad) made too much money to receive Medicaid assistance. He works three jobs just to make ends meet, yet we were denied the option of Medicaid twice.
Fortunately, we have support from my parents, Zach’s grandparents, to help pay for the extra therapy; most people aren’t afforded this opportunity. Zach Speaks Inc. was created to provide children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder the opportunity to obtain therapy that their families could not otherwise afford.
How It All Started...
Help Us With Our Mission
Allow Us to introduce you to Zach Speaks...
-Koko Otey (M. Ed Special Education (Lynchburg College) 31 years of teaching/work experience with all ages; taught at National Children's Center in Washington D.C.)
- Provide accomodations and modifications to the child's environment that help improve your
child's performance in various daily activities.
- Use of adaptive equipment to support your child during his/her daily routines and activities.
- Sensory Processing (Your child's ability to perform tasks as their body responds to what he/she sees, hears,
feels, smells, tastes, and experiences.)
- Self-care (eating and drinking during mealtimes, dressing/undressing, toileting and other grooming activities)
Occupational Therapy may also facilitate improvements in your child's play, social, communication, and school performance skills.
Occupational Therapy can help your child develop many skills to function more independently and or to his/her maximum ability during activities within daily routines, whether at home, school, community settings, or with other family members and friends. Occupational Therapy is provided by an Occupational Therapist to address the following areas and needs;
-Susan Morgan (M.S. CCC-SLP Speech-Language Pathologist; AAC Specialist)
Speech- Language Pathology (and Speech Therapy) is a broad field that covers the entire lifespan and a wide variety of disorders, diseases, and delays. Pertaining to autism, speech therapy focuses on developing a functional means of communication that is effective and efficient in all natural environments. For some children, this means implementing specialized devices and equipment whereas for others, this means understanding and fine tuning the working of interpersonal communication (pragmatics). The therapeutic process and ultimate goal are as individual as each child as they embark on this journey with us.
-April Tucker (B.S. Early Childhood Education, Minor in Psychology,
Autism, and Special Education)
It is a neuro-behavioral disorder that consists of impairments in areas such as social and emotional interaction, developmental language, communication skills and restrictive and repetive behaviors. The range of this disorder covers a large spectrum of symptoms and each child will display different impairments and skill levels.
Autism Spectrum Disorder?
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