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- 1760 E. River Road, Suite 115
- Speech Center of Southern Arizona
When CAS is confirmed and carefully explained to the child's family, we build the "Top Five Lists" of words the child would likely be most motivated to master. The therapy goal is to master each word on these lists while continuing to pull more and more words and phrases into the "frequently-used words lists". We provide the child with special cues, gestures and models to help them achieve the complex tasks of consistent motor movement planning and consistent movement patterns for speech production. The process must be fun and rewarding. Research guides my work and suggests that many repetitions are key. This calls for as many therapy sessions per week as possible. Principles of Motor Learning research suggests alternating blocked and random practice may optimize results.
I have been treating CAS since 1984. It is a great joy when my community of parents share excitement as their children move forward, grow and find their voices! Four out of five SLPs in my practice have advanced training in CAS and one is co-author of published research. We enjoy Tucson's yearly Walk for Apraxia and the community of families, SLPs and educators who create this yearly event.
Parents who come to Speech Center of Southern Arizona get their questions answered and receive education and online resources regarding all aspects of CAS. We have met our goal when parents leave each therapy session feeling inspired, knowledgeable, and hopeful regarding their child's future. Parents learn the "rhythm of the work" and know when and how much to ask of their child outside of the office. They learn the appropriate practice gestures and cues. It must be fun! Each unique child moves forward at their optimal pace. Parents are typically observing and listening behind our two-way windows with headphones or they are in the room as part of our inclusive work to carry over success into the home.
The young children in my pediatric practice get exposed to low tech AAC. First is "say it/tell us with other words". Next is signing. Then photo/picture supports. Our philosophy is minimal screen time. Severely apraxic, children making slow progress, and older children certainly get AAC devices as soon as possible. I seek help from my fellow SLPs for referral to best products. It is very important to coordinate use with parent and school SLPs preferences. We need to keep AAC simple to use, consistent and result producing to meet therapy goals.