Meg Sprunger

Emerge Center for Communication, Behavior, and Development

Credentials: M.A., CCC-SLP; CASANA Recognized for Advanced Training & Expertise in Childhood Apraxia of Speech
Hours of Operation: 8:00 -5:00 M-F
Treatment locations: Office/Clinic
Address:
Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70820

Overall Treatment Approach:
   I use a multi-sensory approach incorporating principles of motor learning. The therapy sessions will necessarily include a great deal of repetition and practice, but I attempt to keep the therapy sessions fun, functional, and fast-moving, embedding the repetition into playful activities in order to motivate the child, but keeping the therapy direct and focused. Each child's unique personality informs my approach, which is always eclectic, pulling from specific programs and my own experience to find those techniques that work best for a given child. Cueing and prompting are provided when needed and faded as the child develops some independence, naturally bringing cues in and out of use based on the complexity of the task and the performance of the child. Language skills are addressed hand-in-hand with speech, with emphasis on building functional communication abilities. A total communication approach is used from the very beginning, with early introduction of manual signs and/or other augmentative communication modalities as needed.

Percent of CAS cases: 80

Parent Involvement:
   I incorporate parents into the sessions in a variety of ways, including direct observation (either present in the room or through a one-way mirror), listening in to the sessions (by phone or Skype), or intermittent parent participation in sessions. When this is not possible, we may choose to communicate via notebook or e-mail. Video clips are also used to demonstrate techniques or progress.

Parent Explanation:
   I explain that CAS affects a child’s ability to plan, execute and sequence the many small motor movements (of the lips, tongue, vocal cords, etc) that go into making a sound, word, or sentence. It does not mean that those muscles are weak. It means that the child is having difficulty establishing the “motor plans” that most children establish easily and that quickly become automatic in typical speech development. In talking about “motor plans,” I usually use an example of some type of motor plan that we’ve all had to consciously learn (e.g. learning to drive or ride a bike), where at first we had to “think about” each step, but it was soon so established that we could execute it automatically, without thought. Children with CAS, however, have to struggle to get to this point of automaticity at many different levels.

Community Involvement:
   Over the past 10 years, I have supervised many graduate and undergraduate clinical students, sharing my expertise and helping to build their understanding and skills in the area of CAS. In 2012, I was privileged to participate in CASANA's Intensive Training Institute ("Apraxia Bootcamp"), which furthered my resolve to share my knowledge with the local and regional apraxia community. Since that time, I have given presentations to both professionals and parents and provided consults to families and therapists in the surrounding areas. Now, as the director of a staff of 15 SLP's, I collaborate with younger professionals on my team, helping to build their skills and expertise in the area of CAS. Together, we provide unique programming for children with CAS, support the families with ongoing education, and provide support and resources to benefit the local Walk for Apraxia each year.

Professional consultation/collaboration: Yes

Min Age Treated: 18 months

Insurance Accepted: Yes