Alana Fichtelberg

Bend Your Brain, Inc.

Credentials: M.A., CCC-SLP
Hours of Operation: Monday-Friday 10 AM-6 PM Saturday 9 AM-1:00 PM
Treatment locations: Office/Clinic
11157 Kapalua Way
Boynton Beach, Florida 33437
Phone: (973) 420-6707

Overall Treatment Approach:
   Each student is different and therefore the treatment plan/approach/materials/strategies will be different. For a student with (or without) CAS, I am looking to be functional and elicit close approximations as quickly as possible using highly motivating materials/toys in order for that student (and parent) to feel positive about the improved production right away. I use PROMPT(R), Kaufman cards, signs, gestures, music, assistive communication, humor, toys, and other "equipment" such as a "Voice Doodler,” megaphones, microphones, Echo Mics, audio/visual recording, and kazoos. The type of PROMPT (i.e. whether PROMPTing of a single sound in a word or the whole word) depends upon how the child responds. I also vary the manner in which PROMPT(R) is used- it is not always that I am PROMPTing the child. I will also PROMPT the sound on myself, have parent PROMPT on themselves, and also have the child PROMPT on himself. I fade physical support as quickly as possible, but slowly and appropriately. The materials/words depend upon the child's sound inventory, what is important/functional for home/school, what child's likes, and what I feel will bring success. Parents are in my sessions to provide input, observe, and to practice with their child. I provide various suggestions for parents to use easily at home. Therapy is always presented in a context of play and within natural social interactions. I very frequently ask for a "high five with eyes" or "high ten with eyes"- to promote that good social eye contact. Drilling is rare, but do use some direct imitation at times. We "open doors, bag, books, boxes" as we practice "open" within natural contexts. I usually integrate phonological work such as final sounds (since final consonant deletion is so prevalent)- i.e. the "n" sound in final position, considering the child’s syllable structure and sound inventory (i.e. "one, in, on, done, ten, bone"). Sounds/words are elicited most frequently though: PROMPTing on the student (and/or myself); signing/gesturing (great way to for the child to use his own system to recall the word rather than through imitation); humming a jingle associated with the word; providing the beginning of automatic type phrases (i.e. "It's allllll...") to elicit the "done"; providing choices with the correct choice last. I also use audiotaping/videotaping for the child to hear/see how well they are doing as well as review for parents. I am seeking the target word, but usually it will be an approximation at first. For example, I am working with a 4 year old child now with severely apraxia. She can now say "pa, poh, puh" but not "pee" (Her name is "PJ"). She did not say her name at all. After several weeks, she is now saying "Pa-Da," a close approximation for "PJ" for now. She also clicked her tongue to "say" grandma. She is now saying "ga-ma." Depending upon the severity of the student, I will see a student 1-2-3 times weekly, combined with home practice. I also communicate with school therapist/teacher and often observe/consult at school for a consistent/collaborative approach across persons, settings, and tasks.

Percent of CAS cases: 0.3

Parent Involvement:
   Parents are present in my sessions whenever they can- as I am in private practice. Sometimes babysitters, grandparents bring the students. I often will videotape/audiotape parts of the session to send home so that parents can see how we are doing it and how their child is responding. Parents can play it in the car so the child can hear himself/herself and Miss Alana, and they can do so at home as well. That has worked out very well for parents, the child, with practicing time even in the car. I send home a written sheet of what to practice and how- providing suggestions/pictures on how to use the words for functional practice (i.e. playing a board/bath time).

Community Involvement:
   I have presented workshops when I was working in the school system for parents/teachers/aides/child study team members. I also present to parent groups- about apraxia, phonological disorders, speech development, social groups, etc. over my almost 25 years of practicing.

Professional consultation/collaboration: Yes

Min Age Treated: 2

Max Age Treated:

Insurance Accepted: No