you attend our meetings, you may have seen a familiar face
on TV commercials recently. We are all very proud of CHERAB's
Executive Vice President and Educational Consultant, Cheryl
Johnson SLS/MA. Cheryl was one of eight hundred teachers that were
nominated for the NJ Award of Excellence. She was then selected as
one of only three
those eight hundred as
the "Best of the Best," and asked to be filmed for TV
commercials to represent the "The Award Of Excellence In
Teaching!" Cheryl is a gifted educator and New Jersey's
"Pride in Education" Teacher Representative.
Cheryl has held that prestigious title for two years, in fact, you may
have seen her in one of the two Television Commercials representing NJ
CHERAB is truly fortunate to have Cheryl as part of its executive board,
as she brings a wealth experience and great enthusiasm to this position. Cheryl
has been with us for awhile - This is a picture of Cheryl receiving the, Children's
Apraxia Network's "Award of Excellence" from all of
us! (Children's Apraxia Network was formed August of 1999) Thanks
Cheryl, for helping so many, and NEVER asking for anything in
Here is information as to why I am involved with Children's Apraxia
Network/ (and now CHERAB Foundation!)
Every night, for about two weeks, I surfed the Net, specifically searching for
information concerning Children and Apraxia of
Speech. I had a current public school speech caseload that included
4 kindergarten children who presented with severe delays in
the areas of oral motor skill development, unintelligible articulation,
and expressive language
delay. None of the children had received speech therapy services prior
to entering Kindergarten. The parents of the children had never heard
they thought their children were late talkers or
were stubbornly refusing to "talk
My parents wanted to find out as much information as they could about Apraxia of speech.
When I found the web-site for The Children's Apraxia
Network (CAN), I was thrilled. I immediately emailed the CAN
founder, Lisa Geng. My first meeting was amazing. Upon
seeing over 40 parents and professionals meeting to support one another
in understanding Apraxia of speech was empowering. At the conclusion of
the meeting, I called each of my 4 kindergarten parents to give them the
CAN website. They continue to thank me for going that extra mile in helping
them understand how they could help their children become
successful talkers. Three out of four of my kindergarten parents
indicated, that they wished they had enrolled their children in an early intervention
program, or were at least informed that one existed that would help their
child. Although, my parents have not attended a CAN meeting, they
continue to visit the website.
At the second meeting I attended, many questions were raised regarding parental rights
and educational issues. I found myself providing
detailed and accurate answers to many of the questions.
I am not only a New Jersey certificated Elementary Education Teacher,
Nursery School Teacher, Teacher of the Handicap, and a Speech Language
Specialist with B.S. and M.A. degrees from Trenton State College (now called
The College of New Jersey) Trenton, New Jersey, I am a voice for
the special needs children I encounter each day in my public school work
private educational consultation
firm, "A Voice for the Children". The American With Disabilities Act empowers me by recognizing
myself as a supporter of wanting the best for the Special needs population. I have given written and public testimony to the New Jersey
Dept. of Education regarding Special Education Code changes.
My philosophy for special education is one that coincides with Federal
law that states " in accordance with an IEP,
related services must be provided based on an individual need, not administrative
convenience or the availability of qualified personnel".
I empower parents in understanding the 14th amendment to the constitution,
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Individuals With Disabilities
Act (IDEA) in order that their children receive the interventions and supports
needed to satisfy the federal requirement of a "free and appropriate public education".
when parents understand the federal and state special education laws and
codes, they become the power source for their children receiving all necessary
succeed in the home, school, and community.
My involvement with The Children's Apraxia Network allows me the opportunity to help parents on a pro bono basis. It's my way of
giving back to a community of dedicated parents who are seeking support in getting the
best services for their children.
"I have no special gift. I am only passionately curious." Albert Einstein.
Speech/Language Specialist, M.A.
Vice President Children's Apraxia Network
You can email Cheryl
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Date of last update: February 14, 2003
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"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful,
committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing
that ever has." -- Margaret Mead, anthropologist