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- 2021 Ygnacio Valley Road, Suite C103
- Speech Pathology Group
Based on the needs of your child, I incorporate a variety of techniques and strategies when directly working with your child and your family. When your child has a diagnosis or suspected diagnosis of Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS or sCAS), my focus is on helping him/her in several different ways, often simultaneously. I am a strong believer in supporting communication of basic wants and needs (via any modality available, such as picture exchange, sign language, etc.) to decrease frustration and increase communicative success and desire to be an "adventurous communicator" while also providing a motor based treatment approach for speech production. This approach focuses on building your child's speech motor pathways through intensive (but fun!) and frequent sessions/practice by first focusing on simple sound combinations that support functional communication (to be determined together ... parent input and participation are so incredibly important!). As your child becomes more skilled at imitating and producing sound combinations and simple words, target words and eventual phrases/sentences are selected to continue to challenge your child's motor planning system. A critical component of therapy, especially with our youngest clients, is consistent practice at home and I work very closely with the child and their caregivers in order to achieve goals as quickly as possible from both speech production and communication/language standpoints. Although I am not yet certified in any one particular prompting or apraxia treatment program, I incorporate a variety of techniques from countless hours of continuing education courses on motor speech disorders to best support for you and your child.
I have a very personal reason to be involved in the Apraxia community: my son was given a diagnosis of sCAS at the age of 25 months and through really intense and specialized therapy (during which I have learned so much as both a therapist AND a mom!), he has made extraordinary progress. I am grateful for the therapists, researchers, and other members of this community for advocating for and supporting appropriate diagnosis and effective treatment for these very special children. I am passionate about working with children with motor speech disorders and their families through partnering with them to help them support their child's communication and speech development. I am a constant advocate for effective services for our littlest clients as they often need more than what the "standard" speech therapy session for other speech disorders often offer.
With experience in early intervention, and given the unique need for frequent/consistent practice of targets when a child has CAS or sCAS, I firmly believe best outcomes are supported by significant parent involvement. If possible, I encourage parents to be present at most (if not all) sessions and I set aside time for questions/concerns/brainstorming and joint planning for home practice in between sessions.
CAS is a neurological disorder that makes it difficult for your child's brain to communicate with his/her mouth in order to produce words or produce words accurately and consistently. This is not something that can be "seen" such as on an x-ray or MRI; however, CAS can be diagnosed based on symptoms and there is research supporting specific treatment strategies (such as intense, frequent practice of specific sound combination/word targets) that help "rewire" the brain to create motor pathways that your child can use to produce accurate and automatic speech.