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- 205 Sage Road, Suite 201
- Thrive Speech Pathology
Our goal is always functional communication, making sure that the child has a way of communicating with others. As such, my initial goal is always to make sure the child has a method of communication, which is individualized for the child and may include augmentative alternative communication (AAC), developing core vocabulary based on the child’s current repertoire of sounds, or other methods that are a good fit for that child and family. With an effective communication system in place, we then focus on motor learning and coordination of syllable shapes, as well as vowel differentiation. I utilize PROMPT and Kaufman methods depending what is appropriate for the goals, child, and family. Additionally, I carefully consider aspects of motor learning: mass v. distributed practice, motivation, constant v. variable practice, and consistent, specific feedback. Working closely with the parents allows me to educate and empower them to help their child make progress.
I have been involved in Apraxia since my first clinical placement in graduate school, where I realized my passion in working with this population. After graduate school I attended PROMPT training. Since then, I have worked with numerous children, at various levels, with CAS and their families.
As a speech pathologist in private practice, I am lucky enough to have positive, close relationships with parents and families. From the beginning, I involve parents in: how they currently understand their child/meet their child's needs, what the biggest challenges are, their goals for their child, and how they feel about the diagnosis. Furthermore, it is important that a core vocabulary is built (and/or AAC is discussed) for the child to be able to meet their needs. In this goal, the parents and I work collaboratively to decide on the method and vocabulary that would best meet their child’s and family’s needs. Parents are encouraged to be involved in the therapy sessions as much as is possible for them and are always provided suggestions about how to carry over skills to the home. Parent collaboration is key in making sure the child makes consistent progress, but also that frustration is reduced and the child feels 'heard'.
I have utilized AAC to help children with CAS meet communication needs while speech intelligibility is in progress. The type of AAC used is decided in conjunction with the family depending on the child's age, language abilities and family needs/preferences. A variety of modalities have been trialed including manual signs, low tech (PECS) and high tech (Proloquo, LAMP, etc.).