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SLP Mommy of Apraxia: Switching private SLP's

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Switching private SLP's

So I made the decision to discontinue private services through the SLP that was seeing Ashlynn.  I am very appreciative of all that she did; however, I feel like we had hit a wall with her therapy style.  Her style was to have my 3 1/2 year old daughter sit in a chair across from her for the entire 30 minutes.  The first 15 minutes she would do Kaufman cards, and the last 15 minutes she would play with a fun toy and have my daughter request and comment on it.  However, it was very controlled and my daughter couldn't hold it and had to do it all her way.  If Ashlynn threw a temper tantrum, she would look at me and tell me that when she has kids they are going to hate her because she won't put up with that.

Ya, well, good luck lady.  Kids throw them whether you "put up with them" or not.  It's called being a toddler.

After a couple months of this, my daughter was pretty over it.  The first 15 minutes turned into more like 20-25 just trying to get her to say the cards.  Apraxia therapy can be boring, but my goodness, I needed her to get creative!  I did bring up that maybe we could put it in a more naturalistic setting, having them play etc.  In her defense, she did try; but she still had Ashlynn sitting in a chair.  If she didn't get something accomplished, she just told me to do it at home.

Well, I tried to be polite, but I informed her that as a school based SLP, I don't have the luxury of having my carryover plan include parents doing homework.  I have to get creative!  Kids need to be having fun, and besides, that's how they learn the best!

I had a great mentor whose therapy plans usually included 3-4 different activities in one thirty minute session. They were multi-sensory in nature, which are methods that involve using any sensory and motor input available to enhance verbal skills.  This usually involves some type of play activity that might have them throwing a bean bag, walking like a crab, or even using felt and velcro boards just to do something different with those same old picture cards.

David Hammer, a well known CAS expert out of Pittsburgh does this as well.  I've been to a couple of his presentations now and he shows a lot of video.  I rarely see a child required to sit in a chair across from him. He has them doing puppet shows, hitting the cards with a nerf gun after they say their sound, or tossing bean bags in and out of a huge dinosaur's mouth aiming at the artic cards.  He has them banging on drums to represent each sound or syllable etc.  This is the way to promote carryover, and I could see this SLP wasn't going to do that.  She may have known the Kaufman method, but her therapy style wasn't what I was looking for.

That's the thing.  There are always going to be reading programs, math programs, and speech programs out there, but teaching style or therapy style plays a big if not bigger part in facilitating change.

When I was an SLPA (assistant SLP), I worked under a lot of supervisors and was able to see a lot of different styles.  All therapists are qualified and trained professionals that will most likely get the job done, it's just some got the job done a lot faster.  That's the kind of SLP I strive to be, and that's who my mentor is.

Since it's summer and my mentor is off, I"m switching Ashlynn to her.  I know Ashlynn would have progressed, but I need her to progress faster, which means I need someone more multi-sensory.  This is where I have seen my mentor shine and I'm excited for Ashlynn to start with her.

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