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- 125 Rampart Way, Suite 305
- East Denver Speech Therapy
I use principles of motor learning and use a combination of approaches taken from Nancy Kaufman, David Hammer, Michael Crary, Moving Across Syllables, Easy Does It for Apraxia, Visual/tactile cues (Judy Jelm).
With all children diagnosed with CAS I incorporate repetition and drill, correction and feedback, multi-sensory cuing (visual, tactile, kinesthetic, verbal), a focus on movement from simple to complex syllable shapes, motor activities paired with speech activities, co-treat with occupational therapists as appropriate
Shorter, more frequent sessions are recommended (e.g. 2-3 times per week for 30 minutes, vs. 1 time per week for 60 minutes) to incorporate more frequent structured practice.
For a young child with CAS who has limited verbal communication, I always pair some form of augmentative communication (e.g. signs, PECS, voice output device) while working on achieving verbalizations. I also work to establish a "functional core vocabulary" using sounds/syllables that the child may be using consistently.
When I worked at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center I provided presentations to staff members and families about working with children diagnosed with CAS. I have served as a mentor for speech-language pathologists looking to increase their skills and expertise around working with children with CAS.
Parents are a critical component of the therapy process! Parents observe therapy sessions and practice doing some of the drills with their children. They need to learn the tactile cues that are used so they can provide carry-over at home. For parents of younger children, parents are actively involved in establishing and helping maintain a functional, core vocabulary for their child. If augmentative communication is used, parents also learn how to incorporate the system at home.
I have used AAC to supplement verbal output for children with limited verbal skills in order to establish a functional communication system. I have also used AAC to supplement verbal output for children who are highly unintelligible. All AAC is used in conjunction with teaching verbal skills. Depending on the age and needs of the child, I may use sign language, PECS, voice output apps on the Ipad, or other voice output devices.