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- 1448 Raleigh Road
- Karem Isaac
Therapy is individualized based on the result of the assessment taking into consideration the child's core vocabulary, level of functioning, needs, strengths and weaknesses as well as parental concerns and desired outcomes. The overall goal is for the child to be a functional communicator. Therapy is mostly play based. The precursors of motivation and joint attention are addressed as they are crucial to motor learning. The parent / caregiver is encouraged to be an active participant during the session. Speech therapy focused on production of speech rather than oral motor exercises. Therapy is based on the motor learning principles and use of Dynamic Temporal and Tactile Cueing (Edyth Strand,) along with multi-sensory input and cues (including PROMPT -tactile proprioceptive kinesthetic cues,) visual cues (e.g., Speech EZ cues by Lynn Carahaly,) sound metaphors, and natural gestures. Phonological awareness is also targeted along with motor speech programming. Therapy targets include words and phrases that have been selected based on functionality and the child's ability to manipulate his environment (power words). Since the therapy process is a collaborative one, speech motor targets are reinforced by the parents so that there is generalization of the skills. Visuals are also included as needed (e.g., visual schedules, sentence strips, communication books, activity specific communication boards). Phonetic placement is used to achieve target articulatory configurations.
Over the past 5 years my involvement and interest in apraxia has grown. I have attended numerous conferences and have started to present for clinician's and parents. I attended the national conference in Texas and was a participant in the advanced training boot camp held by Apraxia Kids. I also led a webinar in Spanish for Apraxia Kids and have translated information for the Apraxia Kids website. I have also helped my clients parents advocate to get the services they need for the child.
Parents are a key component of my therapy. Parents may sit in on the therapy sessions. Specific targets for repeated practice are provided and ideas for carryover in a fun way are given. Parents are not to become their children's therapist. They are active participants in their child's journey to become a functional and intelligible communicator. Parents are important to treatment as they know their child best. Parents are also valuable in helping to select functional targets, providing feedback on communication attempts and progress, and identifying positive reinforcers that motivate their child.
I like to include low tech visuals for a variety of reasons when working with children. Amongst these visuals are communication boards, activity specific static boards, picture exchange systems, IPAD aps. The use of AAC systems enable the children to have a voice while working on the target speech objectives. Furthermore, using pictures enhances comprehension and facilitates increasing the length and complexity of utterances.