Communication happens two ways, and to build a strong therapeutic relationship I first build trust with the client while having fun. Children learn through play. Both movement and play are incorporated into the session, however, there is structure behind it so the child understands and makes progress with their therapy goals. I am passionate about understanding the development of the motor system, and the principals of motor learning are incorporated into the treatment plan. Awareness is first established by having the child look at me to imitate or even practice spontaneous production. We learn the target and practice the target. Speech targets are individualized. These words/phrases are chosen because they are motivational or are targeting a specific syllable structure or prosody. I use a multi-sensory approach that uses visual, tactile, and auditory cues. Therapy sessions are individualized so goals may focus on syllable shapes and transitions, increasing the number of repetitions per session, or target the child’s prosody.
I am passionate about continuing education and I seek out to learn the latest information about CAS. Some notable classes I have taken include: DTTC, Kaufman, and PROMPT. I am also involved in many apraxia Facebook groups, participate in the Apraxia Kids walk, and advise parents, and teachers in my community. I have treated children with CAS and comorbid diagnosis such as Autism and Apraxia throughout my career. I will continue to participate in the Apraxia Kids walk, I want to become an expert in CAS and other speech motor disorders, and advocate for the CAS community.
Therapy is a collaborative effort and I want the family to be involved. I educate the parents about CAS and answer any concerns they may have. The family is always encouraged to sit in and participate in my therapy sessions. It is also important for me to collaborate with the family while picking functional and meaningful speech targets. The family is provided homework or target goals for the week to help with progress and generalization.
I want my client's voice to be heard, and we want to decrease their frustration. While we always continue to work on speech, I will also work with the family and the team to see if implementing a high or low tech AAC system will help with the child's overall communication. Apraxia is a motor planning disorder so I work with the child to discover which AAC device is functional for the client and the family, and I make sure it enhances their motor planning.