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- 18 N. Catherine Ave.
- NovaCare Kids
Every child is different. Therefore, every treatment approach varies from child to child depending on their level of severity, level of engagement within therapy, and how they are responding to therapy techniques or prompting. I try to schedule patients at least twice a week for therapy (variable with finances and insurance policies). Determining the first list of words to target is then established based upon the child's interests and what vocabulary they commonly use at school/home. Initially in therapy, I give children as much support as they need to be successful with blocked practice (e.g. using tactile, visual, verbal and gestural support). In my experience, when a child visually sees my oral motor movements during imitation practice, they have a much higher accuracy compared to when they are only looking at picture prompts or hearing the stimuli. This means practicing as many repetitions of syllable shapes as possible within the session. I fade support as needed to promote independence and generalization of skills as well as increasing approximations to a closer approximation of words targeted. As accuracy increases, I also promote complexity by also integrating intonation patterns (e.g. asking questions, using exclamations, etc.) and using pivot syllables or phrases.
I attend an annual Apraxia Walk within my community with my clinic. I openly discuss signs of CAS with parents if I notice their child may be at risk, and I share educational handouts within my clinic regarding CAS diagnosis/symptoms/ways to help to spread awareness.
If the parent is present, I encourage them to be interactive within the session so they can prompt their child appropriately to practice at home. Due to busy family schedules, it's understandable if the parent is not available to be present within the session. If they are not present within the session, I try my best to explain how to practice and prompt their child at home. I will demonstrate for them with their child so they have a model to follow. It's extremely important that the parent understands how to practice at home so the child is practicing correctly. I am always available via phone or email if parents have questions throughout the week regarding practice at home or if they have new concerns/updates to share. Parent education and a speech home program are essential to making progress.
Low Tech: functional sentence frames for language expansion, PECS (or other picture exchange systems) paired with verbalizations/approximations to expressively/functionally communicate with others, signing/gestures paired with verbal approximation or to facilitate emerging verbal language, using low-tech to facilitate speech intelligibility/functional communication (especially during moments of low intelligibility or with unfamiliar communication partners). High Tech: to facilitate speech intelligibility/functional communication (especially during moments of low intelligibility or with unfamiliar communication partners), adding vocabulary that the child may not necessarily have within their verbal repertoire but are able to use for receptive/expressive language purposes.