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- 7252 Lakeshore Drive
- GulfSouth Autism Center
I use a multi-sensory approach in the treatment of CAS. This includes visual, auditory, and tactile cueing as necessary for each child. Based on principles of motor learning, my sessions utilize high repetition of target words to encourage habituation of speech sounds. I incorporate target words into play and songs to keep learning fun and enjoyable for the kids! I often choose targets based on salient core vocabulary words to increase generalization in the natural environment. I have also found that choosing target words and phrases that the child is interested in has greatly improved speech production and participation in therapy!
Apraxia presents itself differently in each child, and I customize treatment goals and strategies for each case. Treatment techniques may include Dynamic Temporal Tactile Cueing (DTTC); the use of physical prompting such as Talk Tools Apraxia Shapes; the use of commercial products such as the Kaufman Speech to Language Protocols; or the use of Augmentative Alternative Communication (AAC) such as sign language, picture exchange, or a speech generated device.
Whatever the strategy, my ultimate goal for each child is for them to be a successful communicator!
Over the past few years, I have supervised and trained our facility’s SLP-Assistant to further her understanding of treatment principles for CAS. Furthermore, I work with our clinic’s BCBA’s and technicians to help further their understanding of CAS as well as help them choose appropriate goals. In addition, the clinic will soon be inviting graduate students from local universities to do their practicum at this facility to further their knowledge of both Autism and Apraxia.
Parent involvement is important in all speech-language therapy, and especially in the treatment of CAS. I encourage parental involvement by sending home target words and explaining facilitation techniques to caregivers. Due to the nature of the all-day program at the clinic, parents are often unable to sit in during the sessions. However, I make a point to speak with parents a few times a week either in person or via email to touch-base about progress and home carryover. Furthermore, parent conferences occur every 3 months to discuss progress, problems, and identify ways that speech targets can be incorporated in the home environment.
I usually implement a picture exchange communication system very early on, so the child is able to communicate wants and needs. I pair the pictures with word approximations to encourage both speech and language. For some children, I have also implemented high-tech systems. This includes NOVAchat, Proloqo, and LAMP Words for Life. I have found that AAC is a great tool to decrease frustration and increase overall communication skills in children with CAS.