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- 16 Autumn Way
- Sole Proprietor
While one child with CAS has very different needs than another child with CAS, I use similar treatment approaches. I use auditory, visual and tactile cues to enhance target production and movement in addition to using frequent, consistent and intense practice of speech sound targets making sure to make these practices fun and motivating for the child. I provide appropriate feedback for the child, so that they can begin to understand their specific performance errors and work towards measured targets for communication.
I usually have at least one to two children on my early intervention and preschool caseload per year with either diagnosed CAS or characteristics of CAS. I often have the opportunity to diagnose and/or work with these children in the early stages of their diagnosis. I have enjoyed seeing their amazing progress through my time with them and appreciate their hard work and their parents support at enhancing their child's communication skills. I am also able to assist daycare providers, teachers and teacher assistants in apraxia awareness and in working with their students with CAS. I was one of the first providers to receive an iPad through the iPad's for Apraxia program for one of my students. This iPad was able to assist her communication skills greatly.
Parents are always an integral part of my therapy process, from the evaluation to therapy. The child's parents are able to provide important information regarding the child's personality and preferences that can be used to make therapy more effective and efficient. Although children with CAS are often provided with high intensity and frequency of services, it is important that the parents use opportunities for practice outside the speech therapy sessions. The more repetitions that can be used by the child, the more automatic his correct vocalizations will become. Parents can also use functional tasks like getting into a car or asking for foods to promote motor learning skills that are introduced in the speech sessions. If a parent is not able to attend sessions, I provide feedback following all sessions to the parents via a communication notebook, giving functional activities that can promote speech practice into daily interactions.
Sign language has been appropriate for many of my younger students who do not yet have intelligible speech. Beginning sign language can support vocal approximations and allow the child to communicate with parents, siblings, peers and teachers. I have also used picture symbols and sentence strips to augment communication as well. These low tech alternative communication methods allow for continued language, literacy, and educational development. These methods also can be used as a tactile/visual sensory input that can be associated with the verbal portion of the communication. In addition, using sign language and pictures paired with vocalizations takes the pressure off of a child who has anxiety related to communicative attempts.