Mary Staebell

University at Buffalo Speech-Language Hearing Clinic

Credentials: MA, CCC-SLP
Hours of Operation: The University Clinic is open 8:00am-5:00pm, Monday thru Thursday. There are extended hours (5:00-7:00) on one weeknight, which changes based on the semester and my availability.
Treatment locations: Office/Clinic
Williamsville, New York 14221

Overall Treatment Approach:
   My approach is typically a varied multifaceted approach catered to each individual child with CAS. I strive to incorporate meaningful words and phrases in therapy, specific to each child, to make communication attempts impactful and successful as quickly as possible. Family involvement is really important in target selection so we can work on those words and phrases that make the biggest impact for the child and family. PROMPT therapy is incorporated when tolerated by the child. Many different forms of cues are used; touch, visual and verbal; and removed when the child has good success communicating their messages independently. Cues are varied according to the needs of the child and ebb and flow with progress. Favorite activities are chosen to motivate, but working on our sounds, words, and phrases is always the priority.

Percent of CAS cases: 20

Parent Involvement:
   I encourage parents to watch every session. I rely on parents to provide a list of functional words to target to make communication easier and more successful for the child and family. Homework is given and active participation is encouraged; keeping in mind that every child-family dynamic is different. I encourage the family to ask any and all questions with the hope that I can help the family feel more knowledgeable and confident in helping their child with communication challenges.

Parent Explanation:
   I tell parents that creating speech is a very difficult task with so much involved; it is an amazing human ability. I explain that CAS is characterized by motor planning and speech movement difficulty. I share that their child absolutely knows what they want to say, but that there is a catch in the system. As their child plans what to say, their brain has difficulty telling his/her mouth, lips, jaw, tongue, and voice exactly what to do to communicate their message clearly. I share that CAS is separate and distinct from a cognitive delay. Other motor planning in any other part of the body can also be impacted by this difficulty, but it can also just be speech. I let parents know that children with CAS figure out amazing ways to try to make their messages understood and they work unbelievably hard at communicating. I make sure to let parents know that treatment for children with CAS is different than traditional articulation therapy and it takes lots of hard work to see improvement...but there is improvement.

Community Involvement:
   I would characterize my involvement in the Apraxia community as evolving and growing. I began my journey to know more through one special child who motivated me to learn more about CAS. Every year I involve myself more and more in the community to learn how I can help and make a greater impact. In this current year I attended the Intensive Training Institute and participated in our local walk. I am devoted to continuing to increase my involvement through community education of parents and professionals and helping to make our local walk grow and be successful.

Professional consultation/collaboration: Yes

Min Age Treated: 3

Insurance Accepted: Yes