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- 11130 131 Street NW
- Community Options: The Apraxia Preschool Program (TAPP)
In our preschool classroom, children receive blocks of intensive, 1-on-1 speech therapy over the course of the school year. Children also get daily practice of their individual speech targets, in the context of classroom play.
Treatment is designed to be fun and motivating for the child! We work hard to get in lots of practice, by choosing games and activities that lend themselves to many repetitions of our speech targets.
Depending on the child, we may initially need to work on skills such as watching the SLP’s face during speech tasks, or the ability to copy actions and sounds in play.
Once these prerequisite skills are established, treatment focuses on helping the child to say new sounds, syllable shapes, words and phrases by using a wide range of cues (ex: picture cues, verbal reminders, gestural cues). Over time, this cueing is gradually reduced, to allow the child to become more independent when saying their new words and phrases.
We will typically work on a small number of target words (approximately 3-5) in a single session, to ensure that we get many repetitions of these targets during our session.
In treatment, we also emphasize the importance of prosody (the "melody" of speech), so that our speech sounds natural and not "flat".
I always make sure that children feel successful and proud of how hard they work during our sessions together!
I am a member of several online groups within the Apraxia community. I have attended numerous workshops, in-services and national conferences on CAS. In 2021 I organized a team on behalf of our organization, to raise money and awareness of CAS through the Apraxia Kids Edmonton Walk.
Family involvement plays a huge role in my approach to therapy. Parents are the experts on their child; a parent’s insight helps me understand how their child learns best, what motivates them, what words and targets are most meaningful for their family, and what they are most hoping to accomplish through our time together.
Prior to starting any treatment, I like to begin with a discussion with parents about their understanding of CAS, and address any initial questions they may have. From there, we can ensure that we have a common understanding of the terminology, and set mutual expectations and goals for therapy. I often ask parents to generate a “wish list” of words and/or phrases that are important to their family – this may include family members’ names, their child’s favourite toys/foods/places, etc. I work with families to help them understand both general communication strategies to try at home, as well as giving words and activities for home practice as appropriate.
AAC is a wonderful way to encourage and maximize communication skills. I fully support its use with any child whose speech is not currently meeting their communication needs.
In the classroom we encourage communication in all of its forms, whether verbal (speaking) or non-verbal (this may include body language, sign language, picture supports and/or high-tech speech-generating devices). I am familiar with and comfortable using high-tech AAC to support communication in the classroom. I work closely with SLP’s who specialize in AAC, in order to determine how best to support children who may benefit from a device equipped with software such as TouchChat or LAMP.