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- 191 Fox Lane
- Janet London MS, CCC-SLP
My overall treatment approach begins with determining at what stage the child's movement patterns are breaking down(based on the Motor-Speech Hierarchy) . I would also ascertain the child's linguistic and pragmatic language skills. I would then develop a small target vocabulary that could be practiced within functional activities. These activities would be designed to offer the maximum number of opportunities to use the targeted movement patterns at the same time maximizing the child's language development. As soon as the vocabulary was mastered I devise a way for the parents to use this vocabulary at home with multiple opportunities. I do not wait for complete mastery but use a spiral approach, always probing the next stage, I use books with targeted vocabulary and movement patterns, as well as specific toys and games with that vocabulary.
My past involvement in the Apraxia community has centered around the PROMPT organization. When I was a staff developer for the NYC Department of Education, I was the 'go to' person on Apraxia. I gave many trainings on the Assessment and Therapy for Apraxic Children.
Parents have been very involved in the therapy process. As soon as the child has shown ability to master a target vocabulary, I give the parents suggestions on how to incorporate those words into daily activities. I share some basic parameter PROMPTS with them so that they can reinforce them. Depending upon the child, I might give a small set of pictures that have target vocabulary to be reviewed by the parent.
Because so many of children with severe CAS have very limited or no speech, I have also become an expert in the evaluation and use of AAC. I have used simple low tech devices or picture cues (topic boards) as well as high tech speech output devices. Recently I have supervised the acquisition of Speech Generating Devices for many of the students at the school where I consult(Imagine Academy for Autism . ) If a child is having particular difficulty communicating I advocate using augmentation of some form so that language development and communication can occur while speech skills are developing.