CALGARY — Around 150 Calgarians took part in an annual walk to raise money for apraxia at St. Patrick’s Island on Saturday morning.

Apraxia is a neurological disorder that affects speech in children.

“The way I like to explain it is, it’s pretty much like having a piece of duct tape on your mouth,” said walk coordinator Jennie Nichols.

“You know exactly what you want to say but the messages are not getting sent out easily and properly, so the children need to work over and over and over again to get those pathways going. They have to have intense speech therapy, it could be three times per week and it’s repetitive, for years.”

Nichols said researchers haven’t yet discovered a cause of apraxia.

Last year 150 people took part in the walk, raising $9,000, nearly double the $5,000 goal.

This year’s efforts had raised $8,000 before the walk began Saturday and Nichols said they expect to exceed the $10,000 goal.

Now seven, Nichols said her own son had a vocabulary of just five words when he was diagnosed five years ago.

“Within 30 days of doing therapy the way you need to with apraxia, he moved to 30 words,” she said.

“He wouldn’t have grown that way with his words unless we did the intense therapy, and it’s very frustrating for children with apraxia.”

Money raised goes toward research and professional development.