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- 105 Lexington Drive, Unit 18
- Beyond Words Waterloo Speech and Language Services
My treatment approach is family centered and functional. I ensure that the targets I select are meaningful to the client and the family. My goal is for the client to be as successful as possible to build confidence in his/her communication ability early on. I do this by thinking about how my sessions are structured (i.e., beginning with a target that the client will have initial success with, and also finishing each session with success). I also try to make my sessions fun and motivating. I work with families to introduce Augmentative Communication early on, if needed, so that my clients are able to have communication success despite speech being difficult. Augmentative Communication can take the form of a topic board or communication book initially.
Once I have completed my assessment of the client's speech production, I analyze the sample that I have obtained in order to determine the best starting point for treatment. I am generally paying attention to the movement sequences that the child is producing at that time. I select targets that include a sequence that the child is able to produce with some success so that I can move it into a more complex production.
My treatment approach follows the principles of motor learning. I primarily use Dynamic Tactile Temporal Cueing to support my client's learning. For each target I move through the hierarchy (forwards and backwards) based on how successful the child is producing the target at that moment (this can change from day to day or within a session or activity). I also utilize strategies such forward and backward chaining to teach production of the targets. Throughout treatment I am also working to increase the child's processing and awareness of their sound production. I use lots of verbal and visual cues during therapy- I use many of David Hammers cues when talking about sounds (e.g., "windy sound") along with Bjorem sound cards to provide visual cues.
I believe that parent involvement is key and encourage family members to be active participants in the therapy sessions.
I currently connect my families with Apraxia Kids and OPPEN CAS for resources and to connect with other families who have children with similar needs. I will continue to collaborate with local professionals who have a special interest in CAS. If I am listed in the directory, I plan to become more involved in community events for CAS (e.g., local walk for CAS).
Parents are very involved in my therapy. Parents sit in the room during sessions so that they can observe the therapy. I enlist parents to develop a list of meaningful target words that we can work on during sessions. At the end of each session I give parents homework to encourage motor learning outside of the clinic setting
I worked for many years in an AAC clinic, so I am comfortable with using these supports. I have had success in the use of both high and low tech AAC. I will often work with families to create a low tech communication book that the client can use to establish context for the communication partner, or to clarify when communication breaks down. I do currently work with clients who use high tech AAC devices. I incorporate these devices into my therapy by providing aided language stimulation during play while also targeting sound production.