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- 10184 E I-25 Frontage Rd
- Inspiring Talkers
My treatment for childhood apraxia of speech is based on both motoric and linguistic components. It is critical that therapy focus on motor learning which consists of frequent repetitions and practice of relevant speech targets. When selecting speech targets, I find it essential to include parents in this process because the selected words and utterances need to be functional and meaningful to the client's every day environments, as well as highly motivating to ensure the parent and child will practice within their setting. My treatment approach is very multi-sensory in nature, involving tactile, visual, and auditory cueing, as I have been working with AAC devices for over 4 years. In addition, DTTC therapy has proved to be highly beneficial in my therapy sessions with children with CAS; however, therapy sessions must be both enjoyable and intense, while also consisting of ample breaks to keep the client actively engaged in the treatment process.
My involvement within the Apraxia community includes attending the 2019 Colorado Speech-Language and Hearing Association convention during which I obtained background knowledge in DTTC treatment. After that experience, I collaborated with colleagues who also shared an interest in CAS. This mutual interest has led us to the preliminary stages of developing a support group for families affected by CAS at Inspiring Talkers. Our goal to have this accomplished is within the next year. Over the span of 4 years, my caseload for individuals with CAS has significantly increased which has inspired me to further my skillset and understanding of treatment and diagnosis of CAS. In addition, I remain actively involved in learning with professionals on social media who have specific expertise in CAS. Furthermore, I enjoy staying involved with the AAC industry and the variety of device companies.
Parent involvement is essential for successful generalization in various settings such as school, community, and home. Therapists must remain flexible with our CAS families as well as functioning as a good listener and creative thinker for therapy and carry-over activities. I consider my parents' opinions on treatment to be critical because generalization can be best achieved when daily practice is underscored and implemented. I prefer parents to participate in speech therapy sessions once in awhile while being coached on the most successful tactile, visual, auditory cues to practice across settings.
When DTTC is not preferred by the client or they struggle with attention, I have introduced AAC devices which have proved to be more intriguing to the client in terms in terms of treatment options. They are more willing to use the device than blocked practice which then in turn increases their verbal speech in therapy sessions and across other environments. Family members are coached on the device as well as appropriate modeling and initiating of the device. I explain to families AAC devices are not to replace verbal speech, but rather we use it as a tool to augment speech and communication repairs. AAC also focuses on language structure and motivates pragmatic opportunities which are important for overall success in apraxia treatment in addition to decreasing frustration.