My overall treatment approach for child with CAS is very much like my assessment approach in that I look at the whole child. When it comes to treatment, I need to consider the needs and strengths of the family and school environment as well. What can I do outside of my treatment to encourage carryover and skill generalization across the board? In addition, children need to be prepared for therapy so they must trust me and WANT to come to speech. My goal is to make it fun while also getting as many trials as I can into a session with appropriate breaks when needed – keeping it fun! I have experience from ages 2 to adolescents and have gained experience with various challenging behaviors so I know how to adjust my routine, lesson, or game in order to get the most out of a child while still making it fun! I am Level II trained in PROMPT, which stands for Prompts for Restructuring Oral Muscular Phonetic Targets. I include this dynamic tactile-kinesthetic approach into my practice where appropriate. I have seen this treatment work with some and not with others, and that is an important observation as a clinician to notice. I consistently look at what cues my patient needs and how to implement them into my lesson plan. In addition, I share with parents what works and what doesn't work. I know that some children respond to PROMPT, Kaufman, sign-language, gross motor movement throughout the whole session, looking in a mirror, making videos, etc. I use a combination of strategies and cues (tactile, verbal, auditory, visual) and approaches (DTTC, ReST) and base my treatment on the WHOLE child. I also implement AAC (low-tech or high-tech) when necessary and use it to enhance a child's communicative independence.
I’m passionate about raising awareness about Childhood Apraxia of Speech and while I’m not originally from Colorado, I have completely fallen in love with this state and am committed to being involved with Apraxia Kids and all the amazing families! I started my own private practice in 2019 (www.speechcastle.com) and am committed to sharing information about CAS and events helping families and children on my social media accounts and blog. I look forward to being a part of awareness and training in my current location throughout the Foothills and Denver Metro area!
Parent involvement is crucial to a child's success. If a parent is not interested or involved in therapy, I try to find a way to GET them involved and interested. How can this benefit the whole family? How can I make practicing speech part of an everyday routine so families don't even have to think about it? How can I make generalization fun and beneficial without feeling like I'm just giving HOMEWORK? Motor skills are practiced in my session with many trials and repetitive movements. Motor learning happens when motor skills we are working on are carried over and are built into a functional task, a routine in a family's regular day. Most importantly, I need the parents. I need their expertise on their child! They know this child inside and out, their motivation, their preferences, and we need to work with everything that this child LOVES in order to make successful treatment plans.
I have gained experience with AAC through the public and private school setting as well as through the clinical setting. I constantly am printing pictures, getting out my velcro, and implementing whatever visuals I can into a session and into a family's daily routine to make communication less frustrating for a child. I use sign language and gesture when cueing sounds and words and use these a prompts because they are easier to fade than verbal prompts once I am working towards generalization, but more importantly, I see the important sign plays in our children's communication when they don't have a picture, they have difficulty saying the word, but they know the sign. It's so exciting to see a child reach for all their strategies around them and use everything we teach them to get their message across!When and if needed, I have also gained experience with some AAC assessment for high tech devices but this is a larger topic and would require more detail. However, in short, I trust my clinical judgment to move towards higher tech AAC when needed and have experience in working with this type of therapy as well. In the past, I have witnesses a speech-generating device help one of my students with CAS tremendously and in fact, I began seeing him use it to clarify what he was saying verbally which was unintelligible at that moment and at times, produce very clear speech after first hearing the model from the device.