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- Del Duca, Jr.
- 1525 Freeport Road
- Family First of Greater Pittsburgh, LLC
Typically, my case load includes children with multiple contributions to their communication difficulty...typically Autism Spectrum Disorder, sensory processing disorder, or Down syndrome. This adds a behavioral AND emotional/mental health component that requires a relationship-based, embedded, inclusive, naturalistic, and holistic approach. An approach that ensures motivation, attention, reduced sensory-seeking and anxiety, is the foundation on top of which I build motor-speech therapy.Having received training through Apraxia Kids, I utilize Dynamic Temporal and Tactile Cueing (DTTC) extensively. I also incorporate methods that emulate Nancy Kaufmann's approach of deconstructing functional words to then help children build them back up motorically. I do not utilize PROMPT and have not found it to be particularly helpful in my practice, particularly for students with multiple contributions, as indicated above. However, when touch-cuing is effective, I will certainly utilize tactile prompts. (However, not in the trademarked manner of PROMPT.)
My early professional mentors were Dave Hammer and Tom Campbell, both of whom spearheaded functional treatment protocols for children with CAS...before we had consensus as a profession on CAS (i.e. what it is, what causes it, what to do with it differently than other speech disorders). It all starts there.Then, I worked with many children with suspected CAS early in my career, both with Dave Hammer and also Joyce O'Keefe at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh - East.I also gained a reputation among families and professionals with children with ASD and Ds. (Autism Spectrum Disorders and Down syndrome.) Finally, I gained training and experience with PBSP. (Positive Behavior Support Planning.)I worked with Ken Kwasniewski and other folks at PRC (Prentke-Romich Company) and gained some fluency with higher-tech AAC.Finally, I participated in the first Apraxia Kids Bootcamp at Duquesne University.
I write anecdotal notes that offer highlights and suggestions. With permission, I record short videos to share with families and, if permitted, educators and other professionals. I often conduct sessions inclusively or embedded with families, siblings, etc. When I am working inclusively, I do therapy "out loud," narrating and highlighting behaviors as we work.
I have been fluent with ASL (American Sign Language) and I often infuse signs and communicative gestures into my work.Additionally, low technology techniques like picture and object exchange can be quite helpful.I also have devices like the Go Talk and talking photo albums.Finally, I've worked with iPad apps (Touch Chat, Proloquo, PRC's app) and PRC devices.