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- 8801 S. Olie Building 5
- Baker Speech Clinic
My overall treatment approach includes tools and techniques that vary depending on the needs of the child and the family. While I always incorporate age appropriate play into my treatment, I recognize the need for the child to be able to focus on their speech productions in a deliberate way. My primary focus at the onset of therapy is to improve functional communication immediately, whether that be verbally or with AAC or gestures. I use a hands-on approach with PROMPT, or other tactile cues, when appropriate. I accept or encourage acceptable sound or word approximations in order to increase intelligibility. I incorporate a variety of multi sensory cues with the intention of fading those cues as quickly as possible to generalize motor learning. I am also very, very adamant that parents or caregivers are included in all therapy and follow through with home practice.
My clinic, Baker Speech Clinic, has sponsored the OKC Walk for Apraxia for the past 3 years, since it's inception. I have advocated for bringing speakers and workshops into the state such as PROMPT training and inviting Dave Hammer to our state association conference in 2014. I attended the recognition of National Childhood Apraxia of Speech day at our state capitol and promote that recognition annually. I continue to promote awareness of CAS through involvement on the Apraxia Kids-Oklahoma FaceBook page and my clinic FB page. I am collaborating with another clinic in my area to provide 3 intensive CAS camps this summer.
Parents are involved by participating in each therapy session directly or by observation. I will demonstrate techniques that are helpful in eliciting accurate speech motor movements and describe "why" I may or may not be using certain sounds or words within my treatment. I have found that parents truly want to know the "why" behind my work. And, they begin to be able to use those principles outside of the therapy room. Parents are always given a target to work on at home, even in the early stages of therapy. For example, maybe the child is not able to imitate verbally, but they can begin the process of building attention or communicative intent. I feel that building the concept of therapy being a collaboration, rather than a one-sided, clinician-driven process, is so much more beneficial to the child and his/her outcomes.
I use AAC right away in order to build some sort of communication system for the child. I will typically start with some basic sign language/gesture or a picture exchange system or picture board. For a child who maybe ready for more advanced systems, I have used iPads with several different AAC applications such as Words for Life, TalkChat, Proloquo2go, or Verbally. I have experience with AAC evaluations and have been successful gaining dedicated devices such as NovaChat or Accent 1000 using Words for Life or Unity Language. I am in the process of evaluating a child to use CoreScanner which involves switch use.