My treatment approach is always based on motor learning principles so I am looking for multiple repetitions of accurate productions, usually with a small number of targets for each session. My treatment sessions are always changing as my approach varies depending on each child and how he/she best responds. The methods I use most are Dynamic Temporal and Tactile Cueing (DTTC), a multi-sensory approach and sometimes PROMPT techniques. I try to make my sessions play-based for younger children and more structured with older children but my goal is always fun learning. Function is key, so depending on what is most functional and useful for a family, my therapy goals will change.
I am constantly looking to improve my knowledge and skill in treating CAS. I completed the Apraxia Kids Intensive Training (hosted by Alberta Health Services) as well as many Apraxia Kids Webinar courses. I connect with parent groups, Apraxia Facebook pages, and support groups. I try to connect parents and families to each other in the Apraxia community. I love to talk about and teach all things CAS so I am happy to act as a mentor to other speech-language pathologists whenever possible.
Parents and caregivers are key to success and they are always involved in therapy. Parents/caregivers will observe, take turns, practice strategies and be included as much as possible during each session. Parents are always very involved in choosing the most appropriate targets. Homework and practice ideas will be given after each session. I strive to make practice something that a family can incorporate into their already busy lives.
I typically try to implement some sort of AAC almost immediately. Often, the main goal I have for young children is to increase their confidence and willingness to take risks with communication. Giving them a voice, any kind of voice, is a great way to boost their confidence. Most children will benefit from AAC at some point in their Apraxia journey, but I'm always optimistic that it will be a bridge until their verbal output is good. With young children, I typically use some sign language and gestures the very first day I meet them. Sometimes we quickly move to something as easy as a picture board or communication book with their most used words and phrases. Other times we are able to move to a device that generates speech or gives them a larger vocabulary. No matter what type of AAC we implement, it's always a team effort between myself, the child and the family, so we are able to come up with something that best suits their lifestyle and their child.