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- Anderson School District 1 Wren Elementary School; 220 Roper Road
- Jessica Matheson, Speech-Language Pathologist
I use the Principles of Motor Learning as a foundation for treatment of students with CAS. I have adopted a multi-sensory approach, using a variety of tactile, visual and verbal cues to elicit motor-speech attempts. I focus on functional vocabulary as speech and language targets in therapy sessions, as to give the child opportunity to find value in his verbal communication efforts, not just providing speech targets with certain sound patterns that are not relevant for day-to-day communication. Therapy is very active. There is often use of motor activities to engage the child in a fun, learning environment. I also keep in mind sensory stimuli and monitor and adjust sensory input to the child, based on activity arousal levels.
I have provided multiple consultations to families with children with CAS and those suspected of CAS. These consultations provide a direction for families to take in approaching a diagnosis or a direct for therapy. I also provide private evaluation for children suspected of CAS. I collaborate with private therapists in the Greenville/Spartanburg area and provided trainings to therapists at Therapy360 in Greenville, SC. In Summer 2017, I ran a camp for children with CAS at Therapy360, which lasted one week and focused on functional communication and social skills with preschool-early elementary school-aged children with CAS. I have also participated in the Upstate Walk For Children With Apraxia of Speech in 2016.
During consultations, the parents are highly involved in an interview with me. During this interview, we discuss and review their child's health and developmental history, treatment history, current communication status and parental observations and concerns. I ask them a variety of questions to gain perspective on their child's communication strengths and needs. Collectively, we look at the child as a whole, taking into account multiple factors in determining a course of action (such as a formal evaluation, if needed). Suggestions for eliciting communication are also reviewed with parents along with ample time during the consultation for any additional questions.
I have used Tobii-Dynavox as a high tech device with children with CAS. As a low tech option, I have used communication boards with varying fields of pictures, Go-Talk boards and communication wallets. These devices have been used in conjunction with verbal communication attempts in therapy sessions. The purpose for AAC in therapy is to decrease communication frustration while the child's motor-planning skills are improving. This also allows for increased vocabulary exposure and practice. As speech increases, the need for AAC decreases. Ages I have used AAC have ranged from 4 to 10.