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- 7471 NW 35th Ct.
- Amanda Lauber Speech & Language Pathology
First and foremost, I work together with the parents to determine treatment plans. My first goal is to explain that we will be using a total communication approach to give the child a means to communicate while further developing verbal speech skills. Depending on the client, I may begin to teach simple signs, gestures, or use PECS as a way to establish functional communication. I analyze the child's current repertoire of sounds, syllable shapes, and functional needs. From there I develop a core functional vocabulary list within his/her abilities, and, depending on the severity of CAS, will choose a small number of initial target words/movement sequences (smaller numbers depending on level of severity) to practice within speech sessions and at home. During therapy sessions, I work on encouraging all attempts while providing feedback and prompts to help elicit correct productions using one continuous movement. I start with providing maximal prompting for targeted movement sequences and lessening prompting as appropriate. I work on getting as many trials of targeted words/sequences as possible within the session. I use PROMPT techniques within my treatment.
My younger brother was diagnosed with CAS when I was a young girl. My experience with his treatment is what inspired me to get into this field. I try to keep up-to-date with current CAS research and try to find CEUs when available to continue my training. I actively refer parents to Apraxia-kids.org for additional information and to find a support network.
Parents are active participants during most therapy sessions. I work closely with parents in developing and implementing treatment plans. Parents observe strategies used during therapy sessions and are taught strategies to use many of these strategies with children outside of therapy sessions. I educate parents about CAS and also provide education about AAC devices if warranted. Parents are given homework during each session and reflect on results in the naturalistic environment.
I always encourage a total communication approach in my therapy sessions. Depending on the needs of the child, I often encourage the use of AAC simultaneously with targeting verbal speech production. I feel that this decreases the child's frustration while increasing successful communication of their wants and needs. I often use low-tech AAC (PECS, signs, communication boards/books etc.) initially with younger children to give them a functional way to communicate while working on verbal speech. Depending on severity of CAS, complexity of language skills present, cognitive skills, I have switched to, or in some cases, started with a high-tech device (Proloquo2go on iPad, Dynavox, etc.) to supplement verbal productions.