I work with parents to choose targets that are both within the child’s reach, and that are motivating and used frequently throughout the child’s day to allow for lots of practice and carryover. I use imitation cues to help a child execute the word, increasing the support as needed, and then fading it so the child can gain independence and mastery of the word. I also fade from mass to variable/random practice. I go for as many productions as possible since practice is so important and I am constantly fading cues and providing added cues when needed, then fading them again to help the child gain independence and mastery. I provide feedback at the level that the child needs it. I also make sure to praise the child’s efforts and hard work. Parents and I come up with a plan for practice and carryover at home. For example, a word like “eat,” can be carried over into mealtime and playtime.
I was first introduced to Apraxia as a Graduate Student at The University of Pittsburgh. In my work as an Early Interventionist, I have focused on educating and supporting families who are new to the CAS community. Now, as a Private Practitioner, I continue to provide education, resources, and support to families. I am actively and continuously taking courses for CAS treatment, including courses with Dr. Edythe Strand and Dr. Ruth Stoeckel. I am planning on attending the Apraxia Kids conference this summer.
Parents are encouraged to participate and collaborate by working together to create a positive and supportive communication environment for their child, nurture their child’s confidence and joy in communicating, and select functional and motivating therapy targets. Parents then carry over these targets into daily routines and family time after we’ve worked on them in therapy.
I work with many young children who are in the process of acquiring language, and I find that signing is a great way for them to communicate with their families while they are acquiring and growing their speech and language skills.