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- 18 N. Catherine Avenue
- NovaCare Kids
My treatment approach follows what Nancy Kaufman teaches in her course and is individualized based on the child’s abilities. I like to ensure that the frequency of treatment is appropriate and will typically recommend more than one time per week depending on the child’s needs. I like to begin with targets that the child will be successful with, and combine sounds in their repertoire into appropriate syllable shapes. For example, if a child is able to produce /b/, I may initially target CV syllables with that phoneme (baa, bee, bow, boo, bay). I will also target the vowel productions as they may be difficult for the child as well. I will also include other bilabial sounds as they become successful to build on the motor plans they have developed. I always begin with visual cues for sounds as well as tactile cues. I utilize the K-SLP kits and use word approximations to help the child be more successful in their speech productions and gradually move toward the true word. I always provide positive feedback after speech attempts to help build confidence. I also utilize the sign to talk program by Nancy Kaufman and Tammy Kasper with my patients and find it especially helpful for children on the Autism spectrum because they are extremely motivated by the actual photos of items and actions. I feel that helping to develop motor plans for signs can also help with motor planning for speech production.
For the past 6 years I have participated in events with The Apraxia Connection. I attend the Apraxia walk yearly and volunteer with our clinic. Barbara Matt and Michelle Kowalski have worked closely with us at NovaCare Kids and have provided grants for our Apraxia speech camp that I ran two years ago. I have also worked with them to obtain grants for my patients to obtain communication programs and consultations with Nancy Kaufman. I also spoke at an Apraxia Connection parent night where I have a presentation on Apraxia and provided treatment strategies for parents.
I always encourage parents to observe if not participate in our therapy sessions. This is especially true for my younger patients. I feel that it is essential for parents to observe treatment techniques and practice them within therapy sessions in order to ensure that they are carrying over what we are targeting in therapy into home practice. I make sure to educate the parents on what exactly they should be working on at home, and what to expect. I like to make sure that parents know how to adapt at home if their child becomes frustrated, or the number of trials to attempt before taking a break. I like to have frequent communication about how their child is progressing in the home environment and help with any adaptations or suggestions I can provide to help the child succeed at home or within other environments.
I have used both low and high tech devices including PECS communication books, iPad applications including Touch Chat, and NovaChat. I typically combine AAC with verbal speech approximations if a child is able to produce speech to augment their speech production. I want a child to have a functional communication system while we target verbal speech.