Specific Grants Available for Children with Apraxia – Apply Today!

Small Steps in Speech (SSIS) and The Childhood Apraxia of Speech Association of North America (CASANA) have entered into a partnership where grants for children’s speech therapy will be awarded.

Small Steps in Speech awards grants to children with speech and language disorders who need supplemental treatment. Founded in 2009, SSIS has provided hundreds of grants to children and organizations throughout the United States.  Through this exciting partnership with CASANA, SSIS will distribute CASANA-funded grants for therapy of children with apraxia of speech who are selected in a thorough application process.

If you are working with a family of a child where insurance does not cover the cost of treatment, high deductibles, and/or a financial burden for the child to attend therapy, consider applying for a grant through Small Steps in Speech today!  For more information see our application guidelines to apply for a grant through Small Steps in Speech.


Our next application deadline is February 1, 2014.

SSIS Attends the 2013 ASHA Convention in Chicago!

Small Steps in Speech attended the Annual National American Speech & Hearing Association Convention in Chicago, IL in November of 2013.   This was our most successful convention to date! The number of students and professionals who visited our booth motivated us in such a positive way.  We heard Ben and Jerry speak about the importance of team work followed by motivational speaker Bob Love, Chicago Bulls superstar,  who spoke about his trials with stuttering.  We look forward to next year!

asha 2013IMG_0320-1


Oktoberfest 2013 – Thanks for your support!

I would like to thank everyone who attended Small Steps in Speech’s 4th annual Oktoberfest on October 12, 2013.   As always, the basket and silent auction items raised thousands of dollars and we thank the many local businesses and individuals who donated items.

I would like to thank our sponsors who helped financially support the evening:  The Lowenberger Family, 1st Colonial Bank of Collingswood, Quake Lacrosse (Baron Wallenhurst), Main Street Reality of Collingswood, The Arc of Atlantic County (Nicole Lynch), Muller, Inc., Wegmans (Cherry Hill), Wawa (Store number 777- Cherry Hill), Traino’s Wine & Spirits, Pisker’s Bakery, Anne Piarulli, Barb Charney, Starbucks (Cherry Hill), Billy Wiedmann, Nick Brown, Pape Family, Cass Imaging, South Jersey Soft Pretzel, Inc., and so many more.   I would also like to give a special thank you to John Wapenski from JT’s Rockin Entertainment who donated his time and talent to provide entertainment for the evening.  And to the volunteer crew:  Thanks, I couldn’t have done this without you!

The highlight of the evening was hearing the testimonials of a parent and a speech and language pathologist about the impact Small Steps in Speech funding had on two specific children.   Helping children find their voice is our mission and these heartfelt words reminded everyone in the room how vital the need is to assist families and organizations.

We were reminded of Maya Angelou’s words, “Be a rainbow in someone else’s cloud.”   Each Oktoberfest attendee and donor provided many rainbows in the clouds of children with speech and language disabilities.  Thank you all.

Amanda Charney
Founder/Executive Director

SSIS Is The Recipient Of NSSLHA Loves

August 7, 2013 –  The NSSLHA (National Student Speech Language Hearing Association) has announced that Small Steps in Speech (SSIS) has been chosen as the 2013-2014 “NSSLHA Loves” campaign recipient.   Each year local NSSLHA chapters host fundraising activities to raise money for organizations that assist individuals with communication needs.   This school year the campaign will contribute all funds raised to SSIS, a 501(c)3 organization that provides funding to children with speech and language disorders and organizations that serve children with these needs.

“We at Small Steps in Speech are grateful to the members of NSSLHA for sharing our mission to both the speech and language pathologists-in-training and those who have been treating communication disorders for years.  Not only will we be able to provide increased funding for therapies to children with speech and language needs, but this collaboration also strengthens the reach of both organizations.   When looking at past “NSSLHA Loves” recipients, I am honored that SSIS was chosen to be in the company of so many outstanding organizations.  Small Steps in Speech was founded in honor of my fallen hero, U.S. Army Medic and Green Beret SSG Marc J Small.   Marc supported the growth and improvement of all children and it is fitting that these funds will allow children the opportunity to find their voice through therapy.  Just as Marc was a hero to our country, I believe that our organizations are doing heroic work in helping so many children improve their communication, which strengthens individuals, families, schools and communities.,” says Amanda Charney, Founder/Executive Director of SSIS.

About National Student Speech Language Hearing Association (NSSLHA)
Founded in 1972, the National Student Speech Language and Hearing Association (NSSLHA) is the national organization for […]

SSIS and CASANA Partnership Press Release


COLLINGSWOOD, NJ (May 22, 2013) – Small Steps in Speech (SSIS) and The Childhood Apraxia of Speech Association of North America (CASANA) have entered into a partnership where grants for children’s speech therapy will be awarded.

Small Steps in Speech awards grants to children with speech and language disorders who need supplemental treatment. Founded in 2009, SSIS has provided over one hundred grants to children and organizations throughout the United States. Through this exciting partnership with CASANA, SSIS will distribute CASANA-funded grants for therapy of to children with apraxia of speech who are selected in a thorough application process.

Children with apraxia of speech typically require frequent and intensive speech therapy, especially initially and when severely affected.  With appropriate and early speech therapy, most children with apraxia can become verbal communicators, speaking with their very own voices.  Without the appropriate therapy, children with apraxia may never develop intelligible speech.  Apraxia can be life altering for the families who struggle to find and afford sufficient help for their children.

CASANA will provide funding to SSIS for the project with funds that were raised by the Walk for Children with Apraxia®. SSIS will receive applications, operate the selection process, and distribute the therapy funds. “SSIS already has an excellent reputation as well as a solid application and selection process in place.  While we know we cannot help all who may need it, with funding from CASANA, SSIS will be able to have a special focus on apraxia and aid some of those who are the most in need,” says Sharon Gretz, Executive Director of CASANA.

“We at Small Steps in Speech are grateful to […]

Making Strides with Hippotherapy


Founder/Executive Director, Amanda Charney, was able to visit one of the grantees that Small Steps in Speech recently awarded. CM, is an eight-year-old boy who is making strides with his communication. SSIS has provided CM with 20 speech therapy sessions to Rocking Horse Rehab in West Orange, NJ. This particular grant was for Hippotherapy. Rocking Horse Rehab is a pediatric rehabilitation specializing in equine assisted therapies along with alternative and traditional therapeutic programs. Their mission is to enhance the quality of life of individuals with disabilities and their families by offering innovative opportunities for clinical, educational and social development through equine assisted therapies and other alternative therapeutic programs. CM receives his speech therapy while working with a Speech Language Pathologist on a horse.

“It was an awesome experience to see first hand one of the grant recipients. SSIS provides hundreds of grants to children throughout the country. I always said I wanted to meet these children and their families that I am helping and I was finally able to do just that! To meet CM’s mother and to see her motivation to improve CM’s communication was equally as exciting. There is only so much a speech therapist can do to improve a child’s communication. We rely so much on the parents/caregivers to carry over our strategies as speech therapists into their everyday environment. It is evident that CM’s family is working with the team to ensure he is improving with his communication. It was motivating for me to see a child work outside of the traditional speech therapy room and move away from the table/chair model and engage in functional communication such as Hippotherapy” stated Amanda Charney.


Silpada Grant

Small Steps in Speech received a $5,000 Grant from the Silpada Foundation!  Thank you to the generous folks at Silpada who are helping us help children take small steps toward improved communication

Philly Treats for Troops Honors Fallen Warrior SSG Marc Small

The 5th Annual Holiday Treats for Troops dedicated to Army Staff Sergeant Marc Small was held at Kelly’s Restaurant and Taproom, Bryn Mawr, PA on December 3rd..

Philadelphia Treats for Troops was formed in 2006 by Fred Klevan to support United States Military stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Care packages, which include food, personal hygiene items, magazines and holiday cards hand made from school children and the volunteers that attend the night of the event and a holiday greeting from Fred, are sent to the soldiers during the holidays.

This year Treats for Troops packaged and mailed over 230 boxes with the help of over 200 volunteers. Marc’s family was there to help with the packaging and was honored to be part of this amazing night. It was a remarkable sight to watch hundreds of volunteer’s line up to package the thousands of items that were donated for our men and women serving overseas this holiday season.

We want to send our sincere gratitude to Fred Klevan, his family and all the volunteers that came out to support this worthwhile endeavor and honor our inspiration, SSG Marc Small. And a huge thanks to Philadelphia Treats for Troops for their generous donation to Small Steps in Speech.

Please visit Philadelphia Treats for Troops website to learn more about this organization and how you can help

Eagle Rare Life Honor Award and Contest

Honoring those who lead rare lives.

Eagle Rare Single Barrel Bourbon Whiskey is honoring those who share a passion for excellence with The Rare Life Award.

Some nominees are heroic. Some inspirational. Some just make an impact in their corner of the world. But all have one thing in common. They lead rare lives. Read their stories, vote on the ones that inspire you, and share them with friends.


SSIS Founder and Executive Director Amanda Charney has been nominated to receive this award, but she needs your vote! Log on to vote: You may vote daily. Please pass along to everyone you know. First prize is $30,000, which could help as many as 50 children take the steps needed to become better communicators. Voting continues until January 3, 2013.


At the end of the voting, 7 finalists will be selected from the top 20 nominees that receive votes. One of those 7 finalists will be chosen as the Grand Prize 2013 Rare Life Award winner.

The Growth of Small Steps in Speech

We are proud to say that in the 3½ years since our founding, through your support, we are fulfilling the mission of this organization beyond our expectations!

Grants to Children

From our humble beginning, SSIS was focused on our mission and making an impact on the lives of children with speech and language disorders and their families.

In 2010, SSIS received 24 applications for assistance. 14 children were granted a total of $35,907 to help them become better communicators. Our small volunteer Board of Directors was elated that just a year after our founding we were already making an impact.  -But we knew that there was still a greater need for our support.

In 2011, 85 applications were received, 3 times more than 2010! Over $58,000 was granted in 2011 to 35 children, more than a 60% increase in funds granted than 2010.

2012 is not slowing down! To date, in 2012 we have received 118 applications! 39 grants have been approved for a total of over $59,000 granted so far in 2012! (Some of the 118 applications are still in the approval process.) This already surpasses our success from 2011!

Since our founding, children in 27 states received funding, with an average grant size of  just over $1500 each. Over 70% of grants are awarded for speech therapy, but we have also awarded over $41,000 for other services improving the communication skills of these children; including communication devices/aids, workshops, tuition, software and other communication technology.

The 200+% increase in the number of applications we receive validates the need for the assistance SSIS provides; as well as our ability to reach those who need help. Small Steps in Speech has awarded over $153,000 since our founding; demonstrating that this organization is helping […]

Contact Us PO Box 65 Eagleville, PA 19408 888 577-3256