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- 5412 West Lake Shore Drive
- Bree Kusz
Best practice states shorter practices more often leads to the best outcomes for these children. Together with parents, I typically select a small set of functional vocabulary (keeping in mind sounds and shapes the child has and needs) to target and maximize repetitions for success. Once the child becomes somewhat independently successful, home programming is implemented. When possible, parents are able to watch therapy to learn which cues their child needs to be successful, and know what to do to improve productions at home. When mastery occurs, new targets are selected in order to continue the child's growth.
I am just getting started in the Apraxia community, but I am a snowball that has turned into an avalanche. I am deeply passionate about these children, specifically those who are right at the beginning of their Apraxia journey. I love the gains and progress possible with therapy, and will be getting more involved in the community throughout the next couple years. My career goal is to improve the understanding and treatment of Apraxia In young children through research and the education of other SLPs.
For children I see in their homes, parents are an active part of therapy sessions (for as long as behavior allows). By participating in therapy, they get practice using the cues and techniques practiced in order to feel confident when using these strategies at home. I review the specific strategies that appear to help their children at the beginning or end of the session, as well as what level of support they need to be successful. Parents are integral in helping select target words that would maximize the success of their child throughout their day. For children I see in school, parent involvement depends greatly on the parents schedule. When possible I have parents in to observe therapy, discuss cuing, and brainstorm carryover at home. When it is not possible for the parent to come in, developing targets and brainstorming carryover is done over the phone in addition to updates on progress.
I have had the most experience using low tech core board for children with CAS due to the simplicity of their static nature and the minimal cost it takes to create them. Using them in collaboration with spoken words allows children to use total communication to get their message across. For children that have more words/language but are difficult to understand in conversation, these boards act as a natural pacing board and can improve spoken intelligibility by slowing the child down a bit. For the children I see who are more severe, these allow the child to communicate with more people in more settings than they would be able to with just their spoken words. Often I will model the use of these during therapy and then give parents 2-3 words to focus on modeling throughout the week, as modeling is the most effective way to teach AAC use.