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- 9813 Fair Oaks Blvd., Suite B
- Therapeutic Language Clinic, Inc.
My general therapeutic process starts with finding out all about the child and their interactions with their family and trusted friends/teachers, as well as how they act/react when around less familiar people. We usually start by helping the family understand the child and getting the child to feel comfortable with the clinician. We find what level of speech complexity the child is working at, differentiate speech production from identified language levels, and scaffold language with AAC/sign while we build speech skills. Most of the time I will use a visual sound system (FONEMZ) to help them visually grasp which sounds we are working to produce and how they look in isolation, syllables, words and phrases, combined with gestural prompts and pictures for added success. This format helps decrease the confusion around words that are spelled different than they sound, and then links back to written language with a bridging tool (Fonzabet). Therapy may also involve increasing oral awareness, consistency and accuracy with direct oral techniques, and/or use of tools such as a bone conduction headset to increase sensory feedback while speaking.
I have been working with students with CAS (with and without comorbid disorders) since 2001 and really love to help the clients build their confidence. We link to apraxia resources on our website and regularly help families understand the disorder and it's effects.
In an ideal situation, parents are heavily involved with choosing helpful vocabulary targets, problem-solving real-life issues related to communication, and practicing given homework activities and/or techniques 3-5 times per week (if not daily) to make effective, and often swift, changes in the client's speech production.
I often use at least one form of AAC with my clients; most of them have a visual schedule, many have a dedicated device, and some are given models via my device for introducing new vocabulary, lengthening MLU, expanding on opinions, or just as a general choice board. If they are newly speaking, AAC can give them a whole vocabulary at their fingertips, which takes the pressure off their speech capabilities. They are encouraged to play with it, explore new words and practice giving or following clues to figure out a word they can't find/remember. Even if they tend toward verbal speech, some of my clients keep a device handy to clarify words their listener did not understand, or create longer utterances on their own that they then read out loud to practice successful verbalization.