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- 1833 Irving Street NW
District of Columbia
- The Speech Space
District of Columbia
My caseload is primarily 15 months to 5 years old, so I use a play based, functional therapy. The first session or two is about establishing rapport and making sure both parent and child are invested in the sessions. I like to have parents make a list of “power words” or important, functional words that are frequently used in the day to day life of the child, so I can figure out how to help the parent work on those words or words that would serve the same purpose. Using the child’s sound repertoire, I work on getting them to imitate sound combinations starting at their level in play or games with repetitive words/phrases to get lots of practice. I like to use and incorporate as much of the child’s day to day life as is possible, to help the child generalize and make it easy for the parent to practice with them at home.
When I opened a private practice last year with my partner, we sponsored the local Apraxia walk. I also try to find apraxia continuing education courses to learn more about how to best serve this population. In addition, I work closely with my families of children who have CAS in order to empower them to help their child learn to navigate a variety of environments.
As I treat primarily in the home or daycare settings, parents and caregivers are very involved. It is very important to keep parents informed of what we are doing and why we are doing it, to make sure that everyone is on the same page. Their feedback is valuable, as they spend the most time with the child and they are the ones to let us know what is most functional and useful for the child. In a typical session, I spend the first few minutes talking with the parent about how the child has been doing since we last met, any progress or regressions, and continued targets that the parent/caregiver may have. It is imperative that they observe direct intervention, so that they know what I’m doing and encouraging any questions or comments throughout the session. If possible, I will have observe the parent implementing the techniques used and then at the end, I give them “homework” to encourage carryover.
Because I typically work with a younger population, I use photographs or pictures if needed to help the child communicate. If a child requires more high tech AAC devices, I consult with therapists who specialize in AAC.