The Best Speech Therapy Resources for the Treatment of Childhood Apraxia of Speech
Not all speech and language disorders are created equal. Some are trickier to treat than others. While each disorder brings about it’s own challenges, one, in particular, seems to give speech-therapists a bit of a question mark, Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS). CAS is a motor speech disorder. According to ASHA, “Children with CAS have problems saying sounds, syllables, and words. This is not because of muscle weakness or paralysis. The brain has problems planning to move the body parts (e.g., lips, jaw, tongue) needed for speech. The child knows what he or she wants to say, but his/her brain has difficulty coordinating the muscle movements necessary to say those words.” For SLPs new or looking for guidance in treatment or evaluation of CAS, there are a variety of great resources available.
Resource for Education and Getting Involved with CAS:
This website brings together great and valuable resources for parents, professionals and researchers from the Childhood Apraxia of Speech Association of North America, CASANA. The Childhood Apraxia of Speech Association is “a 501(c)(3) nonprofit publicly funded charity whose mission is to strengthen the support systems in the lives of children with apraxia so that each child is afforded their best opportunity to develop speech and communication.” What resources can you find on their website?
– Upcoming Conferences: check out the 2013 National Conference on CAS in Denver, CO.
– CASANA sponsored events such as walk-a-thon’s, webinars, fundraising events and workshops.
-A “Family Start Guide” to help parents learn about the CAS diagnosis, how to find an SLP, what therapy might entail and how to cope with the disorder.
-A “Speech Pathologist Start Guide” with outlined treatment principles including: establishing functional communication, multi-sensory input, education issues, AAC, and prognostic indicators.
-A library with over 250 articles on dozens of topics related to children with apraxia of speech.
-Products like CAS treatment materials and awareness materials and books.
-Kaufman offers great materials. From cards to DVDs, music, workbooks and workshops, if you’re treating CAS you better considering researching materials from Kaufman. They can be ordered through a variety of online sources and found through the Kaufman kidspeech.com website.
-High tech solutions like as apps such as Apraxia Ville and Apraxia Picture Cards are the latest to hit the SLP materials market. Check them out and read some user reviews before committing to the pricey ones. While they are great, a lot of apps have yet to provide evidenced based practice so SLPs should use a keen eye when downloading them.
-Try the Speech EZ Apraxia Program workshops for formal training and through explanations of techniques and tricks to treating CAS
-Also consider the PROMPT institute techniques. Training is quite elaborate, with many levels an SLP can take to complete the program but it promises to deliver.
When I doubt, check out the American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA) website for more CAS information.