I approach most children suspected to have CAS by starting where they are successful (or just below) and establishing rapport. Initial treatment session(s) are used to establish imitation and determine motivators. Using assessment information, imitation and use of established sounds and syllable shapes are targeted. As quickly as children are comfortable with therapy, novel sounds and and syllable shapes are introduced and practiced. Carryover of therapy successes to functional daily use is encouraged immediately at whatever level the child is at. Using speech functionally is coached to parents. Alternative methods of communication are introduced early on to facilitate language development while speech is developing.
My personal involvement in the Apraxia community is minimal. Professionally, I encourage all of my families to connect with the community through established organizations to enable them to meet other families who share similar experiences. I provide them with information and look at information with them.
I believe that parents are an integral piece of the therapy process. I feel it is important to educate them early on and often throughout the therapy process. The majority of my clients are seen in their home with their parents present. I am able to model therapy methods and give carryover ideas based on the child's current level. After modeling methods, I will ask parents to give it a try while I am there and also will touch base with them at the next session. For clients that are not seen with parents present, I like to take videos of methods or schedule for them to join a session periodically.
I use AAC frequently. I believe it is important to provide a route for language growth while speech production is developing. Research supports the notion that use of AAC does not hinder speech production. I find that showing children that there is another way to communicate allows language development to progress while speech production is targeted. As speech production progresses, children use speech as the least restrictive method of communication.