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- 228 Griffen Street
- SpeakChatRead LLC
When working with a child with moderate to severe CAS, I prioritize looking at the whole child and developing an effective intervention plan to target the individual child’s needs and family priorities. While each intervention plan will be developed specifically for each child, I consistently implement the principles of motor learning and research-based therapy techniques specific to CAS in every plan. I have experience with implementing Dynamic Temporal and Tactile Cueing (DTTC) when working with children with CAS and have training in this area. Specific features implemented in my therapy for CAS include:
- Shorter, frequent therapy sessions.
- Selection of functional and achievable target words, including words that are meaningful to the child and family.
- Fewer target words targeted at one time for severe CAS and more targets for mild-moderate CAS.
- Planning for high numbers of correct repetitions of target words during each therapy session. This is achieved by engaging in practice during a fun activity and/or with frequent reinforcements, especially for the younger kiddos!
- Repeated, mass practice when learning a new target word; distributed practice for retention and carryover of learned target words.
- Having the child watch my mouth when learning a new target word.
- Use of a leveled hierarchy when working on target words (i.e. saying the word simultaneously with the child, then moving to direct imitation, then delayed imitation, and then spontaneously).
- Use of a cueing hierarchy to achieve correct production of a target word, moving from less cueing/prompting to more as the child requires it in order to correctly say a word.
Above all, my therapy for CAS is focused on the individual child’s needs and the family’s desires for that child, with evidence-based practice as the underlying framework. My goal is for each one of my students to become effective and functional communicators!
In my previous role as a school-based SLP, I have focused on advocating for the students on my caseload who are part of the Apraxia community, while serving them through high-quality and evidence-based speech and language services. As a private practitioner, I hope to help raise awareness of CAS in my community through in-person and online outreach as part of my private practice. I also plan to become more involved in other events in the apraxia community, including the Walk for Apraxia.
Parents are integral to the therapeutic success of students with childhood apraxia of speech. Parents are encouraged to attend sessions when possible. In this way, they can observe and learn how to implement therapeutic and cueing techniques for helping their child achieve correct productions of target words. I also ensure that parents are involved in selecting target words/phrases, and that they know which targets are being worked on at any given time. With all of this in place, parents are then equipped to carryover strategies and practice outside of the therapy sessions. This allows for much more rapid progress!
I have extensive experience using both low- and high-tech AAC with a wide variety of student populations. For students with CAS, I have trialed high-tech AAC systems (i.e. TouchChat on an iPad) as a ‘back-up’ communication method when breakdowns in communication occur. I have also used a variety of low-tech and no-tech AAC approaches to assist students in effectively communicating, including basic visual supports, gestural cues, and formulating descriptions when a student is having trouble communicating a specific word or phrase.