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- 11157 Kapalua Way
- Bend Your Brain, Inc.
I work with students who are nonverbal/slightly verbal through very verbal. Each student is different and is treated as such. Therefore the treatment plan/approach/materials/strategies will be different. For a student with (or without) CAS, we start with words that are used every day, and elicit close approximations as quickly as possible using highly motivating materials/toys. This is to make the child(and parent) feel positive about their improved production right away. I am PROMPT® trained for 20 years. Some other techniques/strategies is the use of Kaufman cards, signing, gestures, music, movement, assistive communication, humor, toys, and “equipment” like megaphones, microphones, audio/video recording, etc. The materials/words/sounds depend upon the child’s sound inventory, what is important/functional for home/school, what the child likes, and what will bring success quickly. Parents are in my sessions to provide input, observe, and participate (videos are also done if the parents cannot come). Suggestions are provided that are
fun/easy for home. Therapy is always conducted in a context of play, fun , and natural social interactions. Depending upon the severity of the student, I will see a student 1-2-3 times weekly combined with home practice. I also communicate with school therapists/teachers/ABA instructors to provide a consistent, collaborative approach across persons, settings, and tasks.
For more than 26 years, I have presented and continue to present workshops while working in the school system well as in my private practice to parent groups, teachers, aides, child study team members, ABA programs on apraxia, phonological disorders, speech/language/social development, and social groups.
Parents/caregivers are present in the sessions wherever possible. I will often videotape parts of sessions to send home to be used for home practice. That has worked out very well for parents and the child. I usually send home a written sheet/materials or write notes for easy suggestions of activities/strategies to use functionally throughout the day.
I have used simple pictures, PECS, Go Talk, and Proloquo to help children in addition to signing and gestures - to be used with and part of sessions to communicate. I have found particularly PECS and Go Talk (not high tech)- that those students who were barely verbal- after hearing the same repetitive carrier phrase (either clinician or device voice)- the child would predict the next word(s). For example, the device says, "I" and the child then approximates "wah cah" ("want car") with closer and closer approximations over time. We use it for initiating/responding in conversation, model speech (repetitively), and when his spontaneous speech is not understood. With Proloquo (I find), often the student is going through all the levels trying to find what he wants- so it takes his mind off speaking and more toward the device- they may repeat the final word. Multi-modal approach is important.