Rhonda Witherspoon

Heartspring

Credentials: M.A., CCC-LSLP
Hours of Operation: 8:00 - 5:30
Treatment locations: Office/Clinic
Address:
8700 E. 29 St. North
Wichita, Kansas 67226
Phone: 316-634-8708
Email: rwitherspoon@heartspring.org

Overall Treatment Approach:
   Children typically start each session in one location (table, chair, floor) but then we get up and move around, incorporating gross motor movements when appropriate. It is important for me to balance fun and engagement on the child's part with high production volume/practice. I use a combination of DTTC and Integral Stimulation, Kaufman Speech to Language Protocol, PROMPT, and Lindamood Phoneme Sequencing Program for Reading, Spelling, and Speech (LiPS) when working with my clients. If they have very limited speech I start with vowel imitation, VC, or CV syllable shapes using DTTC or PROMPT and then move to CVC words when possible. I incorporate prosody as soon as possible in order to encourage more natural-sounding speech and encourage the child to watch my mouth while I model productions. If the child has any sounds already in his/her repertoire, I use those as guide for possible target words. With all syllable shapes or movement patterns targeted, I move from simultaneous productions to imitative productions to prompted productions to less prompted productions. If a child has demonstrated the ability to execute movements in a particular syllable shape/word but does not do so consistently, I might employ terms from the LiPS program ("Use your lip popper; It’s tip tapper"). If necessary, I go back to direct modeling (or direct imitation) to re-establish correct movements. I add new words into the child's practice list as he/she becomes more accurate with previously targeted words

Percent of CAS cases: I work in a pediatric outpatient facility and my caseload ebbs and flows with children with CAS. It can fluctuate any where between 15% and 20%.

Parent Involvement:
   I encourage parents to be in the treatment room with me, when possible, so that they can watch how I work with their child and how their child responds to the type of modeling/cueing I provide. I talk with them about how they can practice at home. I send homework/pictures but these are for the parents and I stress how important it is for the parents to encourage their child to look at their faces and not the cards. I find that if I don't send pictures or some type of homework the parents forget what they are to work on at home. I also talk with them about how to encourage improved speech when a child does not want to try or practice while at home. I also talk with them and answer any questions they might have. I also ask parents for names of family members, highly preferred items, toys, etc. as possible target words, as I have found that children can be highly motivated to produce certain words of high importance, even if I think they appear to be too difficult for the child to attempt.

Community Involvement:
   I have worked with children with suspected CAS for over 20 years and have attempted to pursue as much education/training as possible. I have attended the national conference and would like to do so in the future.

Professional consultation/collaboration: Yes

Min Age Treated: 15 months

Max Age Treated: 18 years

Insurance Accepted: Yes