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- 6510 Abrams Road, Suite 315
- Kid Pro, PLLC
I set goals for where the child is currently, including functional targets. We spend time working on functional phrases during each session, that I have determined based on conversations with parents. I usually find out close family members' names and favorite things and come up with approximations for the child to practice as targets. We also work on expanding the child's sound and syllable repertoire and upping the ante for what he or she is already able to do. For example, for a child who is able to produce CV and V syllable shapes, I would work toward CVC and VC using consonant sounds in their repertoire. I would also look to add sounds to their repertoire that are close to what they are already able to say (if they are saying /m/, focusing on /b/, /p/ and /n/ as next steps). I aim for as many accurate productions as possible during each session, to facilitate motor learning. As the child becomes more stimulable for each target, trials are varied. For example, if the child is becoming stimulable for CVC and VC with min-mod cues, I would mix up the targets (CVC then VC then CVC) to help generalize the skills. Once the child is able to say his or her targets with only min cues, they go home for homework to complete with their parents. I work to fade cues during therapy as the child's performance improves, to decrease dependence on them I think that therapy should be fun, so if the child appears bored or frustrated, I change what we're doing to facilitate success and fun.
I am very interested in CAS, and seek out opportunities to work with children who present with these patterns. Many families I work with refer others to me. I am on several parent and SLP Facebook groups regarding CAS. I work to raise awareness about this disorder with people I meet in the community.
Parents are always encouraged to join my sessions. If they choose to attend, I work to describe what I'm doing and how they can replicate it during home practice. Parents are also encouraged to demonstrate/practice cueing techniques with their kids during the session. I ask questions about scenarios at home to determine ways to set functional targets. If they don't attend, time is spent before and after the session talking about targets, homework, and strategies to facilitate success.
I was recently trained in PECS and have successfully implemented it with a 7 year old child who had about 4 words, who I'd been working with for 3 years. He has autism and suspected apraxia. He now uses over 50 word approximations spontaneously and in imitation and is working toward using phrases more consistently. I also have a child on my current caseload who uses an iPad app. After working on using the iPad for requesting, rather than grabbing or yelling for several months, he is motivated to improve verbal productions. I believe strongly that AAC can be a wonderful tool to help kids learn the power of their voice. Once a child uses AAC consistently, I hold out briefly for a verbal imitation (1-2 seconds at first) but increasing the demands as they are ready.