Jessica Matheson

Jessica Matheson, Speech-Language Pathologist

Credentials: MSP, CCC-SLP; Recognized by Apraxia Kids™ for Advanced Training and Expertise in Childhood Apraxia of Speech
Hours of Operation: After-school hours (3:45pm-5:00pm Monday, Wednesday, Friday)
Treatment locations: Home
Piedmont, South Carolina 29673

Overall Treatment Approach:
   I use the Principles of Motor Learning as a foundation for treatment of students with CAS. I have adopted a multi-sensory approach, using a variety of tactile, visual and verbal cues to elicit motor-speech attempts. I focus on functional vocabulary as speech and language targets in therapy sessions, as to give the child opportunity to find value in his verbal communication efforts, not just providing speech targets with certain sound patterns that are not relevant for day-to-day communication. Therapy is very active. There is often use of motor activities to engage the child in a fun, learning environment. I also keep in mind sensory stimuli and monitor and adjust sensory input to the child, based on activity arousal levels.

Percent of CAS cases: 20

Parent Involvement:
   During consultations, the parents are highly involved in an interview with me. During this interview, we discuss and review their child's health and developmental history, treatment history, current communication status and parental observations and concerns. I ask them a variety of questions to gain perspective on their child's communication strengths and needs. Collectively, we look at the child as a whole, taking into account multiple factors in determining a course of action (such as a formal evaluation, if needed). Suggestions for eliciting communication are also reviewed with parents along with ample time during the consultation for any additional questions.

Parent Explanation:
   CAS can be explained very simply to parents. Our brains are a field covered with freshly-fallen snow. When we establish a motor-plan, whether it be speech or non-speech, we establish a footpath through that snow. When your child has difficulty motor-planning a speech movement, we have to help him find the means to establish that path--that motor path, that footpath in the snow. Sometimes the intentions of what our brain wants our mouths to do are not executed. What results is the breakdown in motor-planning and execution. By applying certain strategies and principles in therapy and at home, we can establish better motor planning and efficiency of articulation. We can also help the speech sound more natural in finding that accuracy. Sometimes we may need certain things to help us gain that communication--we may need a list of words with acceptable approximations. We may need a device to help us convey our message as we learn to motor-plan our speech. We may need certain prompts and cues around our mouth to guide our articulators to do what they need to do. CAS, though, is not insurmountable. Children who receive frequent and intensive therapy as a foundation do show progress. It is my job, as as therapist, to help your family discern what can help your child, based on research and best-practices.

Community Involvement:
   I have provided multiple consultations to families with children with CAS and those suspected of CAS. These consultations provide a direction for families to take in approaching a diagnosis or a direct for therapy. I also provide private evaluation for children suspected of CAS. I collaborate with private therapists in the Greenville/Spartanburg area and provided trainings to therapists at Therapy360 in Greenville, SC. In Summer 2017, I ran a camp for children with CAS at Therapy360, which lasted one week and focused on functional communication and social skills with preschool-early elementary school-aged children with CAS. I have also participated in the Upstate Walk For Children With Apraxia of Speech in 2016.

Professional consultation/collaboration: Yes

Min Age Treated: 2

Insurance Accepted: No