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- 5689 McWhinney Boulevard
- Inspiring Talkers Therapy & Learning Center
First and foremost, my goal in therapy is to build a relationship with children and their parents, families, and caregivers. When I am first starting with a client, we spend a lot of time getting to know one another and building rapport. I've found that when I have a client's trust, they work harder and trust me to help them with challenging tasks. I focus almost entirely on play-based therapy methods with structure imposed as clients can tolerate. I find it very important to focus on therapy activities and materials that keep a child focused on my face and articulators. Visual models are very helpful for children with CAS. For example, we may practice a set of words or syllable shapes for 10-50 trials, then take a turn with a game or take a break with physical movement. I have a background in Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC), so I tend to focus on words/syllable shapes that are MEANINGFUL and POWERFUL for a child, such as those considered to be core vocabulary words (more, go, stop, etc). However, if a child really wants to say their dogs' name, then that is what we will focus on in our therapy sessions. As with any good CAS therapy approach, I focus on articulator MOVEMENT over individual speech sounds. This has proven to be motivating and helpful for my clients in improving their overall speech intelligibility.
I have been practicing as a licensed therapist for 2 years and have noticed an increase in my caseload for those with CAS. This has prompted me to pursue more continuing education and seek out resources to share with parents in my community. At Inspiring Talkers, I am leading our speech pathologists to become more involved with Apraxia Kids, specifically to be listed in the SLP directory so that parents in our area can find great providers. Additionally, I am leading continuing education presentations on Apraxia diagnosis and treatment to disseminate information related to this topic. Inspiring Talkers is currently looking to start a local support group for children with CAS and their families.
I prefer that parents join weekly therapy sessions to observe therapy techniques, materials, and cues appropriate for their child. I utilize one weekly therapy session (of 2-3 total sessions) to complete parent coaching to maximize practice time within the home and community.
I have a background in AAC and have worked specifically in this area for 2 years. On my current caseload, 80-90% of my clients utilize low-tech or high-tech AAC. Several of my CAS clients utilize both verbal speech and high tech speech generating devices to improve intelligibility. I work very closely with families to determine how much of an emphasis they wish to put on AAC (vs. verbal speech). Often, my clients with CAS utilize verbal speech primarily and utilize their speech generating devices (or low tech AAC options) to clarify messages.