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Thread: Verbal Apraxia

  1. #1
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    Mar 2010
    Dorchester ON
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    Default Verbal Apraxia


    I have a three year old son who has been diagnosed with verbal Apraxia of Speech. I have been reading A LOT and keep reading about a place in Michigan called the Nancy Kaufmann Children's Centre.
    She offers intensive sessions, such as a 4 day session during the year, or a 3 week session in the summer. Everything I have read on line suggests that in order to see great strides , you must do multiple sessions a week, although our SLP seems to think one is enough. At three years old he still only has aprox 6 words that are intelligible, everything else is very difficult for most anyone who is not me to figure out what he is attempting to say. The only words he can grasp are very short words such as up, on, off, go, in, mama and dada. Anything that is more then one syllable ( or in the case of mama and dada he seems to have some more luck becuase they are vowel-cons vowel-cons and those seem to be easier for him. ) is very very difficult for him to grasp.

    Anyhow- my question is if you are familiar with this centre and if you feel an intensive session in addition to his weekly SLP he is currently getting would be of a great benefit. I want to offer my child the best possible chance for a normal life which seems so difficult right now as all his peers are trying to speak with him and he just can not contribute to the conversation.

  2. #2
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    Dec 2011
    Rejuvenate Health Services, London, ON
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    Default Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS)

    Hi KRW1,

    Thanks for your question. I'd like to start with some background information for those who may be reading this post who are new to this term. Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS) is a motor speech disorder where children have difficulties saying sounds, syllables and words. Although the child knows what he or she wants to say, the brain has difficulty planning the muscle movements necessary for speech (ASHA, 2013).

    Research suggests that therapy for CAS should be frequent, intense, and include repetition of speech targets (Edeal & Gildersleeve-Neumann, 2011). As with all types of therapy, individual children's needs vary depending on their age, willingness to participate in therapy, attention, and overall language ability. It may be helpful to ask your current SLP about some of these factors and whether she believes the intense program may complement your son's current program.

    One of our Speech-Language Pathologists has attended Nancy Kaufman's training program. We have her materials and use them on a regular basis. Another of our Speech-Language Pathologists and one of our Communicative Disorders Assistants recently attended Pam Marshalla's training program about CAS. Pam has developed a clinical approach which we also incorporate into our interventions. These speech therapy strategies, combined with language and communication development goals, enable children to develop communication competence. This in turn promotes their communication interaction skills.

    We believe in supporting functional communication for children with CAS, which may include using speech, signs, applications on an iPad, or pictures to help the child convey his or her message. This is called a “total communication“ approach, where the child may say hello, use his iPad to ask “how are you?“ and share news from his week, and use the sign “help“ within the same session. CAS is quite complex, and many SLPs incorporate a variety of techniques into their therapy sessions rather than focus on one single kit or therapy tool (CASANA, 2013).

    I hope this answers your question, KRW1, but please feel free to send me a private message if you'd like to know more!

    For further reading, you may wish to look at the following sites and articles:

    Childhood Apraxia of Speech

    Family Start Guide | Apraxia Kids

    Edeal, D.M. & Gildersleeve-Neumann, C.E. (2011). The Importance of Production Frequency in Therapy for Childhood Apraxia of Speech. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 20, 95-110.

    Brittany Rickard, M.Sc. Reg. CASLPO
    Speech-Language Pathologist
    Rejuvenate Health Services | 2386 Main Street | London, Ontario | (519) 652-0740

  3. #3
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    Dec 2011
    Rejuvenate Health Services, London, ON
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    As a follow up to your question about Nancy Kaufman, I thought you might also be interested that she is speaking in Hamilton this April! She will be holding a one-day conference for SLPs on April 12, and is the guest speaker at the Halton Chapter OAFCCD Meeting on the evening of April 11, 2013. This meeting is designed to learn more about the OAFCCD (The Ontario Association for Families of Children with Communication Disorders), meet other families experiencing similar challenges, and meet Nancy Kaufman.

    For a official Registration for this chapter meeting, please email: Alison Morse (Provincial Co-ordinator Here are the details from the Halton Chapter Meeting Facebook Event:

    Halton Chapter OAFCCD Meeting
    The Ontario Association for Families of Children with Communication Disorders (OAFCCD)
    Thursday, April 11, 2013
    6:30pm until 8:30pm in UTC-05
    709 Bolingbroke Drive, Milton, Ontario L9T 6Z3 in School Library

    Find out about OAFCCD and how we can help families
    Connect with other families facing the same challenges as you
    Meet the Guest Speaker, Nancy R. Kaufman, MA CCC/SLP

    Nancy R. Kaufman, MA, CCC/SLP is the owner and Director of the Kaufman Children's Center for Speech, Language, Sensory-Motor, and Social Connections, Inc. (KCC), located in West Bloomfield, Michigan. She is known worldwide for her expertise in the area of childhood apraxia of speech and other speech sound disorders, treating and teaching families from around the globe.

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