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- 6916 La Manga Drive
- Bloom Speech and Language Therapy
The treatment approach I use is a team approach. I work alongside the child's parent(/s) or caregiver(/s) as well as other providers (school therapists, private therapists etc.) to effectively carryout treatment plans and help encourage generalization skills. Working with them and educating and aligning our therapy approaches always has a significant impact on the child’s progress. My treatment approach is evidence-based and is highly individualized based on the child's needs (to include receptive, expressive and pragmatic/social language, speech subsystem, sensory, and oral-motor-especially when concomitant disorders are present) and the severity level. A core vocabulary/stimuli is tailored for each child with functional communication targets as a priority. I use a combination of treatment techniques while incorporating the principles of motor learning (massed/blocked practice, distributed practice, knowledge of performance and knowledge of results). It is a multi-sensory cueing approach (including:visual, verbal and tactile/kinesthetic cues) with focus on providing the child with ample feedback (knowledge of performance) in the early stages. Cues are added and faded in a systematic way. As soon as the child is ready and able to execute the motor plan for the learned stimuli independently, the cues are removed. This mirrors Edythe Strand's Dynamic Temporal and Tactile Cueing (DTTC) approach. PROMPT techniques among others are also incorporated with the focus being on the motor movement. Strong emphasis and focus is also placed on the child's speech rate, prosody and coarticulation across all contexts. This approach helps lead to successful generalization of motor skills for the child. In the sessions, I use a bean system to assure we are maximizing the number of responses in the treatment session. Research indicates the importance of maximizing the number of responses in the session as well as a high dosage of treatment on a weekly basis. It also poses as a behavior monitoring system which keeps the child on track and focused on their goals. This is especially encouraging for the child working for his/her treat. I keep therapy highly motivating for the child with carefully selected therapy materials (games, toys, and books) specifically chosen to address the target goals at hand. I allow the family to take them home and practice with them. This makes it easier for the parents(/s) or caregiver(/s) to carryout the goals in practice.
Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS), specifically treatment of kids with CAS has been a particular interest of mine and very near and dear to my heart since I entered the field of speech and language therapy in 2010. Since this time I have treated several kids with CAS and have furthered my knowledge and techniques through continuing education. My professional development in the area field also includes training from Dr. Edythe Strand, Edward Maas, Dr. Kaufman, Rebecca J. McCauley and Renee Roy Hill. I am trained in Edythe Strand's Dynamic Temporal and Tactile Cueing (DTTC) approach and PROMPT trained.
I have been very involved with other professionals and families on the hosting committee for the Dallas Walk for Childhood Apraxia of Speech for the past two years. I and have also spent time reaching out to the local community in raising awareness of CAS and getting donations for money for Apraxia Kids. I recently arranged a free reading training for other therapists and parents in the area on teaching their children to more effectively grasp early reading and reading skills. I am working to run additional small apraxia groups/camps and am interested in mentoring more graduate students who want more exposure to these techniques to help them further shape their expand their knowledge base in order to become better clinicians. They are our future.
I consult and educate other professionals (speech pathologists, teachers and other therapists). I work alongside my kids therapists (school therapists, etc.) to effectively carryout treatment plans, encouraging generalization skills. Working with them and educating and aligning our therapy approaches always has a significant impact on the child’s progress. My goal is to bring more awareness and education about CAS to professionals and those in the community and throughout the United States. I will continue to fundraise in order to help fund research, provide treatment and training to those in support of children CAS.
I always have the parent or caregiver(/s) in the room and train them so that they feel comfortable doing the therapy at home. It is important that they understand what I am doing and why I am doing it. This helps them build trust in me and the therapy process. Parents are provided a speech notebook to keep track of their goals, take notes during sessions and are allowed to video parts of the sessions so they can refer back to the specific targets being addressed and the types of cueing provided. I will also have the parent or caregiver (/s) practice in front of me once they are comfortable so they can more confidently take charge at home. If therapy materials are used in the session to elicit certain targets, the parents are able to take them home to help make practicing easier as I know finding time to practice can be challenging at times. The dosage of therapy is so important for children with CAS and I like to do everything I can to make it less stressful and easier to meet these goals. Due to the frequency in which kids with CAS need treatment, I believe it is imperative that the parent or caregiver(/s) be an integral part of the child's therapy team.
I have used AAC both low and high tech in order to provide the child a means of communication and to help decrease frustration levels while working on a child's speech. I encourage the child to always pair their device speech output with verbal speech when possible and in simultaneous speaking with additional cueing when needed. The AAC device is also used to address receptive and expressive language goals to continue to meet and progress on those goals as well.