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- Heather Bersuch, Private Practice
Treatment generally starts with functional and relevant words in the child's environment that could include sounds/sequences the child is able to produce. Hand signals are used during therapy to help train the child to use correct oral structure placement for sound productions. Simultaneous production, immediate feedback, and blocked and random practice are important for success early in therapy. Parent involvement and 'homework' are essential for success and carryover/generalization in everyday situations. AAC and/or sign language is encouraged as needed for immediate communication gratification until spoken words can replace the alternative devices.
In the past, I had a team formed to support the Walk for Apraxia held in Independence, Missouri. Most recently, plans are being made to form another team and provide assistance in helping execute the next walk in the Kansas City area. Other plans are in the long term goals to help bring more awareness and support to families who are experiencing CAS in their lives.
Parents are encouraged to watch and engage, as appropriate, during therapy sessions. Session goals for the day will be discussed at the end of the session with 'homework' presented for consistent productions when therapy is not occurring. If the parent is unable to attend, video chatting, video taping of sessions, and notes are used to communicate progress and expectations for homework. Any successful hand cues, prompts, and signals will be shared and taught as needed toco to he success of the productions by the child.
Many children with CAS I have worked with struggle with fine motor skills as well making sign language not as successful as desired. Low tech sheets of paper with basic wants and needs/familiar, important words/pictures have been used for the child to point to or gaze at to receive desired items for immediate communication. Other devices such as iPads with communication apps downloaded have been very successful in helping students to increase vocabulary skills and communication when verbal communication has been unsuccessful in situations such as school environments.