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- 1010 Haddonfield-Berlin Road, Suite 404
- Cheerful Chatter Speech-Language Services
The nuts and bolts of treatment include specific targets and intense practice. Assistance to help children achieve accuracy is provided and faded, as needed. Early on, these include specific cues applied to my and/or their face. This visual and tactile assistance helps them learn what they are expected to do. Meanwhile, I still try and make the process fun. Children are rewarded on a very frequent basis (initially after every attempt). Play is very brief and we immediately get back to work. If all goes according to plan, the words we practiced during "therapy" will be immediately useful during the final play activity that I have chosen. This combination of motor-speech work and play allows for the generalization of skills and the development of language.
The bulk of my work is at the level of families, their schools and the medical community. I am a source of constant support and information for families. As needed, misconceptions and recommendations are discussed with all pertinent professionals. I have also attended Walks for Apraxia.
Parents are encouraged to learn how they can help their child at home. This is done in 2-3 ways. First, the parent has the option to sit in on either part or the entirety of each therapy session. If that does not fit the needs of the parent and/or child, they are encouraged to watch a live video feed of the therapy session from the comfort of the private waiting room. Third, after a few minutes of free-play with the child, the parent is invited to join us in the therapy room. At that time, we review the strategies used, the success observed and recommendations for what to do until the next therapy session. At the conclusion of each therapy session, the caregivers typically participate in a brief discussion regarding the strategies used, the progress seen and what they should work on until the next session.
When CAS is the primary diagnosis, I primarily encourage the use of natural gestures, signs and visual choice boards to help them more efficiently express their needs and wants while working on improving their ability to use speech. If the case is severe and the prognosis is guarded, I begin by recommending a picture communication system and/or very inexpensive apps (Go Talk on the iPad).