Heather Hamilton

Keystone Pediatric Therapy

Credentials: M.S., CCC-SLP; Recognized by Apraxia Kids™ for Advanced Training and Expertise in Childhood Apraxia of Speech
Hours of Operation: 8 am - -7pm Monday 8 am - 4:30 Tuesday 9 am - 3:15 Wednesday 8 am -3 pm Friday
Treatment locations: Home|Daycare|Other
Northampton, Pennsylvania 18067

Overall Treatment Approach:
   I use a combination of multi-sensory approach and Dynamic Temporal and Tactile Cueing with children with apraxia on my caseload. I use a variety of toys, household items, books etc to elicit different sound patterns and syllable shapes from the kids. I make a core vocabulary book for the kids to practice both with me during therapy and with their parents in between therapy sessions. I make a list of words that the parents want the child to work on so that we have upcoming targets. I use toys with as many parts or turns as possible to elicit as much repetition as possible. I treat in the natural environment as much as possible so that the child is familiar with the surroundings and the materials so that all of the focus is on the motor speech learning.

Percent of CAS cases: 25

Parent Involvement:
   Parents are involved in choosing some of the targets that their child is working on. They play an active role during therapy by participating as much as possible to aid in carryover of skills at home. They participate in completing homework practice at home. They use the core vocabulary book at home that we have made so that the child gets repeated practice to use the same words.

Parent Explanation:
   CAS is a motor planning difficulty. I use a couple different analogies to help them understand how motor planning works. For instance, I talk about the skiing/sledding analogy. When one person goes down the hill the first time, it is difficult to get down the path, but as more people go down the path then the snow is more packed down and the path is more established. The same occurs with speech; as your child practices different targets the pathways in the brain become more established so that the child can say that word with increased frequency and accuracy. I explain that the child knows what they want to say, but that the wires connecting the brain to the mouth misfire and do not send the right message and that through therapy we need to make the wires connect and the message go down that same pathway.

Community Involvement:
   I organize the Lehigh Valley Walk for Children with Apraxia of Speech; I have been involved in the walk for the past 5 years first as a volunteer, co-organizer and now the organizer. I give local seminars to different locations that provide speech therapy. I organize a local support group for parents and professionals who work with children with CAS. I consult on cases in my local area about children to give a differential diagnosis or confirm a diagnosis. I also co-organize a week-long camp for local children with CAS.

Professional consultation/collaboration: Yes

Min Age Treated: 1.5

Insurance Accepted: Yes