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- 213 Kimber Drive
- Elizabeth Spurlock, MS, CCC-SLP
Treatment for CAS always starts with results of assessment. Determining what sounds the child has mastered as well as what syllable shapes are firm. Based on this information a functional word list is generated based on mastered sounds and syllables and what sounds can be targeted or challenged in combination with the mastered targets. Once functional word list is developed, a small amount of target words are used initially and expanded on once mastery of each movement gesture is mastered. Typically target words/phrases are elicited through activities that yield very high reps without it seeming like a drill activity to the child. Activities are often very focused on the targets as opposed to the progression of a game in order to maintain attention to the task but also to maintain attention to the therapists face so that visual and gestural cues are easily accessed. In order to teach movements, DTTC, PROMPT, or a multi-sensory approach are used. This is dependent on the child on an individual basis and what they respond to best. Feedback for the child is very specific related to the movements.
I have been a speech language pathologist for 6 years. In the last few years I have dedicated much of my time to attending trainings/conferences, and reading a great deal on apraxia of speech to better understand as well as treat it. While working with the children on my caseload I have been attentive in incorporating principles of motor learning and differentiating them from typical speech sound disorders. I presented to a department of speech therapist at the local intermediate unit about ways to diagnose and treat CAS. I have taken an active approach in keeping up with research and learning a variety of treatment techniques.
Parents are given weekly updates and given home practice that contains firm target words and phrases in therapy that can be used functionally within the home setting for continued repetitions and carryover of the skills. Parent are also involved in determining functional word lists based on home life and highly motivating words/interests for the child. Parents are asked to give a monthly report on how they feel their child is progressing with not only the words/phrases being targeted but if they have observed new sounds coming in as well as their tolerance/frustration levels.
I have used NovaChat and Touch Chat systems with children with CAS so that they may be able to communicate their wants and needs effectively to others as well as to support the growth of their expressive language skills. I have found that while the child may not be able to string a sentence together verbally, they are able to communicate using AAC which also supports grammatical skills alongside improving verbal skills. I've also used AAC to determine whether or not a child has mastered a specific grammatical concept such as pronouns, plurals, and verb tenses that they were not able to produce verbally.