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- 909 Smallwood Ave.
- Mandy Heilers, MS CCC-SLP
When treating a child with CAS, I incorporate the Principles of Motor Learning, focusing on the movement gestures for a specific list of target words (chosen by me with input by the parents). I use Dr. Edythe Strand's Dynamic Tactile Temporal Cueing (DTTC) with the child face-to-face with me while we produce the target words simultaneously in the beginning, repeating the word 3-5 times (again, depending on the child's current abilities) and then providing a reinforcer or reward. As the child masters the words on the list, we move to random practice with direct imitation rather than simultaneous production. I always provide specific feedback to the child so they know what they are doing successfully. If the movement for the word is difficult, I increase the amount of support I am providing through simultaneous production and/or additional cueing with my hands and at times, touching the child's face to help them achieve the correct movements accurately.
I am currently a part of several Facebook groups that support parents in our community with CAS. Through the intensive workshop that I attended, I am a part of a network of professionals that share and collaborate with each other to help children and families.
Parents are encouraged to observe all evaluations and therapy sessions. As words on the stimuli list become mastered, the family is invited to practice the words at home. Additional "homework" will be provided for the time in-between visits, as necessary.
I have used a variety of AAC solutions with children with CAS. Some children use picture exchange systems to make their wants/needs known to their families or teachers. I have had others for which we have used iPads with a variety of free apps or sophisticated apps, such as ProLoQuo. Typically, I like to use a total communication approach with children with CAS so that they have a way to communicate through pictures, signs or technology until we increase their verbal inventory.