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- 1211 Hamburg Turnpike
- Brave Wings Therapy
I believe with any client you need to establish a trusting therapeutic relationship. Apraxia is very frustrating for many individuals and working on speech can be very challenging. Because of this, I truly believe in building on the child's strengths in a fun environment. I utilize turn-taking in my activities so the client feels that we are a "team" and we are working "together." I use tactile-kinesthetic (touch and movement) input to guide the muscles for target words/sounds so the client has to trust me and accept the sensory input. Therapy for CAS is motor-based so therapy sessions are packed with practice. I strive to make the sessions exciting and interactive by including the client's interests and hobbies so the child is having fun and learning at the same time.
Secondly, it is important to approach CAS as a team effort. The parents and school/early intervention therapists need to be on board. In addition to discussing home carryover with the parents, I consult with the other therapists on the case (ABA, teachers, other SLPs). Consistent feedback and intensive practice of targets is an important part of CAS therapy. Everyone needs to be aware of the child's goals and ways to practice throughout the day. Although I may only see the child a couple times a week for therapy, the child needs to practice their targets daily to maximize effectiveness.
Building the child's confidence and developing intrinsic motivation to practice and communicate verbally are key in the success of the treatment approach.
My professional interest has always been in motor speech disorders. I have taken numerous courses in neurology, sensory processing/ integration disorders, Neuro-Developmental Treatment (NDT), and motor speech disorders. While working for a pediatric hospital, I was a member of the apraxia task force which researched therapeutic techniques for apraxia and participated in developing a "standard of care" for children with apraxia for diagnosis and treatment. Currently, I hold parent workshops at my office to educate parents on the diagnosis of apraxia, what to expect from an evaluation and what types of treatment methods are available. I am also a certified PROMPT Instructor and train SLPs on this methodology. In addition, I am active on various parent and clinician facebook pages for apraxia by providing advice and sharing my experiences.
Furthermore, I have expanded my knowledge by specializing and researching dual diagnosis of autism and motor speech dysfunction. I am currently writing my doctoral dissertation on this topic and I will be speaking about my paper at the Apraxia Kids Conference in San Diego this summer.
I use an eclectic approach to treatment by utilizing multiple research-based techniques to address the child's needs. Each child's treatment plan is unique and individualized. My therapy sessions are child-centered by incorporating the interests of the child. Parents are actively involved in the treatment process and are provided with activities for home carryover. I strive to make therapy sessions fun and interactive for the child.
I strongly believe in using AAC in conjunction with attempts for verbal speech production. Over the years, I have acquired the following trainings:
Language Acquisition through Motor Planning (LAMP; 2013)
Using Mobile Technology for Children’s Language (2013)
Dynavox Training Course (2012)
Proloqou2go/iPad Training Course (2012)
Everyone Has a Voice (2009)- CPNJ
In my practice, I consult with the school therapist and carryover the form of AAC which is being used in the child's daily life. I include the use of AAC in my sessions. I strongly believe to honor both modalities (verbal and alternative) when the child is communicating.I have the child express their idea by using their device with the message reflecting their current linguistic level. For example, they can use their device to say " I want the ball", then ask them to "use your voice", and honor their verbal motor target "bah". This way they know their voice has power and they are not being limited by their motor speech deficit.