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- 2327 W. Stephen Lane
- Beautifully Said Speech Therapy, LLC
I have attended advanced training courses given by Edythe Strand PhD, CCC-SLP and Ruth Stoeckel PhD, CCC-SLP. The treatment approach I adhere to for children with CAS is based on this training, is evidence based, and includes differences such as: 1) More frequent speech therapy sessions which may be shorter in duration. 2) Treatment which is focused on improving movement or motor skill needed for intelligible speech; specifically Dynamic Temporal and Tactile Cueing (DTTC). 3) Incorporates use of the Principles of Motor Learning (PML); specifically the way we practice, the target words that are selected, and the feedback that is provided to the child.
My journey with Childhood Apraxia of Speech began quite unexpectedly over 10 years ago. In the summer of 2008, my husband and I traveled internationally to finalize the much anticipated adoption of our daughter, Sophie Mei. She was just two years old at the time. We had been matched to her through Chinaâ€™s Waiting Child programâ€”a program designed to place children with special needs. Her special need seemed minor and something to be easily managed. In all honesty, I didnâ€™t worry when I read of delayed speech/language milestones in her paperwork. It seemed just another reason she was a perfect match for our family. Now, many years later, we more fully understand the genetically rare and medically complex needs of our daughter. I will never forget the day she said her name for the very first time. She was seven years old. She never ceases to inspire me. She has truly taught me what it means to be brave. I share our story to convey in a small way the passion and heart I have for children with Childhood Apraxia of Speech. I recognize the gift it is to meet a professional who is not only knowledgeable but who can offer hope. I â€œhappenedâ€ upon such a professional at a time I was desperate for answers. The way we came to know each other is a story for another day, but to me, the connection was a miracle. She offered me hopeâ€¦a hopeful journey to words. Over the years, I have taken many hours of professional development courses related to Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS) in an effort to give my daughter, Sophie Mei, a voice. Beautifully Said Speech Therapy was born with a hope to share not only what I have learned as an SLP mom of a child with severe CAS but also as a professional expert who can deliver evidence based speech/language and reading services to children in my community.
Parents are encouraged to attend each therapy session with their child. Parent input is critical in the selection of speech targets that are both meaningful and motivating for their child. Home practice is most effective when a parent observes therapy sessions and can then provide opportunities for practice at home as directed by the speech language pathologist.
Providing a means of communication through an AAC device is an important consideration in the treatment of preverbal or minimally verbal children with suspected Childhood Apraxia of Speech. I have used low tech and high tech AAC systems with children with CAS. Low tech systems have included notebooks and even lanyards with pictures that are meaningful to the child (i.e. pictures of family members/pets; favorite places; favorite foods; and emotions). I prefer to use photographs from the child's home environment. I have also used a speech generating, higher tech AAC through an app on an iPad. I was able to program the device in a way that allowed the child's teachers at school to test the child's knowledge of history and science curriculum. I was also able to program the device in a way that the child was able to retell favorite stories such as The Hungry Caterpillar. This allowed us to expand the child's use of language as she developed the motor planning skills necessary for intelligible speech. AAC is a tool that encourages and supports communication.