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- 8770 Commerce Park Place, Suite E
- UpWord Speech Therapy, LLC
I use varied therapeutic protocols and goals with each child I work with diagnosed with moderate to severe CAS since each child presents differently. I always ensure my sessions are fun and engaging, full of fun reinforcements and games in order to keep the child motivated while increasing participation. Finding activities where the child engages in intensive and frequent practice throughout the session is also important when treating children with CAS. If the child has difficulty producing vowels I typically start there, working on sounds in isolation as well as simple syllable combinations (i.e. consonant-vowel: MA; vowel-consonant: UP; consonant-vowel-consonant: BAT). I use multiple modes of cueing within my sessions, providing cues the child can see, hear, and feel. I have been trained in PROMPT, where a clinician touches the child’s face in certain ways in order to guide their lips, jaw, and tongue to more correctly when forming sounds and words. Using tactile support within therapy sessions helps to cue the child to better understand how to produce various sounds. Once a child is able to produce basic syllable structure words, I continue to provide multiple sensory cues in order to support them in putting more complex sounds/words together. I always emphasize to parents the importance of practice; practicing correct movement sequences frequently will support the child in motor learning.
I absolutely love working with this population. In the past, I worked within a developmental preschool, within an elementary school, and children’s hospital, working with several children with CAS. I completed the intro to PROMPT training in 2016 since I had several children on my caseload with CAS and I just wanted more information! I recently opened my own private practice and continue to work with several children with CAS. I have such a strong desire to help these kiddos be able to communicate and see their successes week to week! I want to be able to support more families in the area who are seeking a therapist with a strong passion for working with children with CAS along with strong clinical expertise in the area.
Parent involvement is crucial within my therapy process. Parents are typically always involved within my therapy sessions, joining in and engaging with their child throughout the session. I am constantly providing parent coaching, answering questions, providing guidance, etc. I always be sure to explain strategies to try at home that week and provide “homework” when needed. I provide picture cards and demonstrate gestures parents may try at home as well. Providing frequent and more intensive practice is more beneficial for children with apraxia – I explain to my families instead of practicing skills at home one day a week, practice every single day for shorter amounts of time. This way the children are being provided with direct feedback each day and able to practice more frequently.
I have incorporated the use of high tech AAC devices with children with CAS in order to help clients communicate their wants and needs within therapy sessions. I have used high tech devices along with practice of target vowel/consonant sounds within sessions, finding it extremely beneficial in providing my clients with information through multiple modes. This also allows my clients to communicate more effectively. I also incorporate low-tech AAC options, including basic picture exchange as well as simple sentence strips. Again, having information provided in multiple sensory modes (i.e. hear me say the word, visually see the picture on a paper, see my gesture, feel the tactile cue) allows for improved speech sound production.