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- P.O. Box 186
- Kathleen Scott, MA CCC_SLP, Speech Pathologist
My first goal is for them to be comfortable making communication attempts and understanding that I will support them in their efforts to make their thoughts known.I want them to have early success with high value words while we master a repertoire of usable syllable building blocks to combine into words. I continually monitor their response to treatment (data collection is pretty important) so I am able to fade support if using an integral stimulation model, but I never want them to practice incorrect patterns. Multi-sensory cues and modified cued speech is beneficial as their syllable combinations lengthen and increase. I constantly evaluate/treat phonological errors that may have been masked due to the apraxia. Early songs and nursery rhymes help with prosody so I incorporate them frequently with my preschoolers. I also try to address normalization of speech timing with short speed drills suitable to their age. As their skills increase and their meta-linguistic knowledge starts to emerge, I introduce the concept of communication breakdown and repair strategies. And as they demonstrate mastery of a step with me, I train parents or surrogate to practice at home. On an individual basis, I support correct placement with whatever cues help, graphemes, tactile/sensory, visual cues.
Most of my involvement in the wider community has been web-based by linking to sites such as yours, ASHA journal and CEU opportunities, and individual presenters publications. On a smaller scale, I have helped my students navigate school, community,and home environments through teacher training and collaboration, and by bringing my limited community together in small support groups. The challenges of a preschooler moving to kindergarten or a middle-schooler moving between six different teachers a day requires a web of involvement between all caring adults.
Parents are typically present for the initial evaluation and discussion.They often observe and/or participate in treatment sessions. They support therapy goals at home after training if that is within their comfort zone. They also support their child's overall development and attempts at communication, as well as learn to be advocates for their child through training and education during therapy sessions and conferences. They help set goals and report on progress observed outside of therapy.
My younger students have mostly used compensatory/repair strategies that involve drawing, writing, gestures and total communication to augment their message. In a few severe cases, I have supplemented with Mayer Johnson symbols (Boardmaker). I have also worked with a middle school age young lady who was an English Language Learner with Down's Syndrome who became a successful communicator using Proloquo-to-Go and some SEE signs until her English speech was intelligible. I think it is important to help my students understand and use repair strategies, such as Dr, Ling's, as soon as possible so they will not be frustrated and give up or remain silent when their message is misinterpreted. I try to help their parents facilitate this when they can't understand their child's message as well. Using an IPad with a communication app as well as a whiteboard/drawing app has also been helpful.