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- 874 American Pacific Drive
- Touro University Pierce Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities (CADD)
My treatment approach for young children is to target sounds/words in play. I use tactile cues adopted from P.R.O.M.P.T (I am level 2 trained), and I use hand cues for sounds as well. I use melodic cues and movement cues. All cues do not work for all kids, so I must adapt to what cues work for them. With the young children, my main goal is to increase their confidence in speaking and help them understand it is fun to make sounds. Many kids with CAS are aware of their inabilities, and it is my job to help them be more confident. I alternate between playing on floor with toys, in the gym on the equipment (we have a full gym), and I also introduce the child to imitation of word shapes using Kaufman cards for confidence in production of sounds on demand (this is the most difficult). During therapy, augmentative communication is established for the child. I target AAC and sound production/word production simultaneously for the maximum benefit of the child to communicate basic wants and needs.
I have been involved in helping to organize families to get together and start a Walk for Apraxia. Two families did this last year for the Walk for Apraxia 2016. I read literature on Apraxia and discuss with colleagues the latest updates, to ensure I am always providing the right treatment. Touro University is heavily involved in the Autism community, and I spread the knowledge of what Apraxia is within the Autism community.
Parents join sessions with child, or watch on the IPAD video system. Sessions are 60 minutes in length. During each session, the parents are encouraged to try the strategies we are using.
I always begin AAC for all my kids. I ask the families to make lists of the child's favorite foods, people, places, colors, and anything else their child likes. Together, we take the list and make pictures and either use a point system (if intent is good), or an exchange system (if intent to communicate is not fully mastered). I provide families with pictures of early sign language they can use with their child, and model this for them in sessions. I explain that their child with communicate more with augmentative forms of communication, which will help decrease their frustration and help them with their intent to produce words/sounds to communicate.