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- 11971 Wagon Wheel Road
- Winnebago County Special Education Cooperative
First of all, therapy needs to be fun in order for kids to be willing to work. I use play based therapy with a DTTC approach. Between myself and family, we pick target words that can be used frequently in a variety of contexts and settings (e.g., core words such as go, no, my, bye) in addition to personal words (e.g., siblings or pet's name) that are meaningful and motivating for the child to be able to say. Play needs to be fun and engaging but not distract from the purpose which is accurate and frequent productions. Family and caregiver involvement is essential as they are with the child the majority of the time. Therefore, education and practice of the caregiver's ability to facilitate appropriate productions is imperative so they can be empowered to continue practice and progress outside of the therapy session.
In undergraduate studies I was involved with a family with a child with apraxia of speech and worked with my professor and the family on Apraxia awareness. In graduate school I participated as a research assistant to a professor researching The Physiologic Development of Speech Motor Control: Lip and Jaw Coordination. I currently participate in CAS blogs and social media in addition to keeping up with current research and would like to bring more education about apraxia to the schools and community.
Within the school system it can be a little tricky to meet with parents. I communicate via email and phone call and try to meet in person as much as able. I will send home notes or information talking about what we are working on. Within the clinic setting it is a bit easier. In this case, I have parents watch the session while I model types of cues used to facilitate accurate productions for their child. I then like to bring parents into the session and have them participate and prompt their child for the productions while I coach and provide feedback as needed. At the end we then review what worked and what should be worked on at home and any possible barriers and ways to problem solve through those barriers.
I am a huge proponant of a total communication approach in order to reduce frustration and encourage communication of any kind. With those who have severe CAS, I think it is important that they are given a way to communicate "right now" in any way possible. With a CAS diagnosis I focus on the movement patterns while support communication with either low tech or high tech AAC. I also use this time to educate parents on the research of AAC and that it does not inhibit speech but in fact facilitates speech production. That being said, each individual is different so the approach and use of AAC is dependent on the individual and their goals and needs.