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- 8703 Highway 17 Bypass, Suite I
- Young Talkers
During therapy, it is very important to establish motivation for the patient. By incorporating highly motivating toys and fun play activities, I help the child understand that we will be working on various movements that will make it easier to talk. My treatment approach follows the Dynamic Tactile and Temporal Cueing (DTTC) protocol for selecting targets that are not only at an appropriate skill level for the patient but that are also motivating and functional. These may include targets such as the child’s favorite toy, a word to request, and various simple syllable shapes. Visual, tactile and auditory models will be provided and will eventually fade over time. I incorporate evidence based practice and the principles of motor learning to determine how to organize practice, how to provide the type and amount of feedback, as well as how to determine individual cueing strategies. Because kids have more opportunities to communicate with their parents than with their therapist, the family plays a pivotal role in therapy. Therefore, the family is invited to observe and/or participate during every session. A home exercise program including parent education and various activities and worksheets that target the child’s goal is provided after every session to facilitate follow through and increase generalization of skills into the home.
The pediatric outpatient clinic that I work at is greatly involved in our community and continuously raises awareness of childhood apraxia of speech while connecting families with resources. We regularly participate in Apraxia awareness activities through events in our community and spread awareness through social media and news posts. I actively collaborate with other SLPs and work on providing education on CAS for other professionals as well. I continue to increase my knowledge and awareness of CAS information to share with my clients and families through online CEU courses, videos, and research articles.
Parents play a pivotal role in the therapy process. Before each session begins, I meet with the caregiver to discuss progress/concerns that they have noticed since our last session. I welcome them to join us in the therapy room or they can observe their child through the one-way mirror in the observation room and listen with headphones. If parents wish to participate in the therapy session, I involve them in our therapy tasks by coaching them on how to provide and fade models and cues. I explain why we are doing what we are doing and how the caregiver can implement these strategies in the home environment. Parents are coached to work with their children through play. At the end of the session, I provide educational handouts as well as worksheets and activities that target the child’s goal. I always ask if the caregiver has any questions. My patients have my email address as well as the phone number to the front desk if there are ever any questions. At the next session, I inquire as to how the homework went and if there are any questions. My therapy sessions do not just consist of therapy for the child. They are educational for parents as well.
AAC has been used to enhance communication for the child, not to replace existing skills. I have used various applications such as Articulate It! by Smarty Ears, as well as Articulation Scenes by Smarty Ears. I enjoy the added features of the self-recording button so that the child is able to hear his or her own voice. The apps also provide visual and auditory feedback such as seeing a smile or hearing a congratulatory clapping sound. I also involve the parents so that they are able to use the app at home. I have also incorporated sign language in therapy sessions with children with CAS.