Have you ever had a moment with apraxia when the baby steps of progress just seemed to stall out all together?
This happened to me when my son Jake was four years old. He had been working on the same set of words for one full year and although he mastered most of them, he had started to regress. The words and sounds were being lost … and starting over from the beginning made me want to bang my head against a wall.
Jake had a remarkably quiet demeanor during his toddler years. When he wasn’t beaming a big muted smile up at you, he was speaking in garbled baby talk that was at least 90 percent unintelligible.
The first two years of speech therapy were extremely frustrating because I never felt like we were getting anywhere. A word would be gained, a word would be lost, and progress was S.L.O.W.
Right after Jake turned four in the Fall of 2012, however, things started to turn around for us. For the first time since we began this journey, I saw a real glimmer of hope. That hope came from pediatric SLP and apraxia specialist Lynn Carahaly and the Speech-EZ Apraxia Program. I love that so much of her emphasis is on the brain and how to use it to the best of your advantage when dealing with apraxia.
I took Lynn’s webinar through CASANA, read the Speech-EZ parent manual, and I found Katie, our local SLP, who was open to trying the hand cues that Lynn often refers to as the “secret sauce” of her program.
Once I heard about the details of this program, I hit the ground running.
In addition to doing hand cues in therapy, Jake and I also did the Speech-EZ Apraxia Picture Sound Card (APSC) app at home every day.
What makes this program unique?
The Speech-EZ® Apraxia Program uses multisensory strategies that incorporate visual, auditory, proprioceptive, gestural and tactile input in order to teach the child the correct movement sequences for speech. This multisensory approach addresses various levels of speech motor control. *
What’s in that “secret sauce?”
The Speech-EZ® Hand Cues are an important part of the program. The child learns specific hand gestures that represent various speech sounds. The idea of moving ones hands helps the individual recall, plan for, and execute the appropriate articulatory postures for speech productions. *
How does the app tie in with traditional speech therapy?
In order to improve the development and networking of the neuro-pathways responsible for motor speech planning, therapy is recommended on a daily basis. While daily in-clinic therapy sessions are the recommended protocol for duration and frequency when implementing The Speech-EZ® Apraxia Program, this may not to be realistic for some families. The Speech-EZ® Apraxia Program is designed to incorporate home-based intervention strategies as much as possible in the event that families are not be able to drive to therapy every day. *
What’s included in the app?
This app includes over 775 colorful and engaging picture cards, 45 phonogram cards & 10 number cards, and the Speech-EZ® Hand Cues in video format. *
The Speech-EZ Apraxia Sound Card app was a vital component in my apraxia tool belt. Once Jake mastered the app, I was able to elicit Lynn’s feedback techniques throughout the day to help him self-correct his speech mistakes. Being educated in this skill was huge for continued progress!
Jake began actively using this program in November of 2012. In May of 2013 we did a four-day intensive at Lynn’s home base – Foundations Developmental House. Here I learned other ways to boost his speech, pre-literacy, and memory skills.
Jake is in kindergarten now and is no longer in speech therapy, but I continue to use the hand cues to correct his reading errors. For example, sometimes he mixes up the /b/ and /d/ sounds. So, if the target word was “bad” and he said it incorrectly as “dad,” I would either ask him to say the word with his hands or I’d give him the hand gesture for /b/. When he sees/does the gesture, he can recall the sound, thus getting the word right.
For more information/demo on the Speech-EZ Apraxia Picture Sound Card app, please click here.
To see it in use with a client, click here.
* Verbiage from Speech-EZ Apraxia Program website.
Disclaimer: I purchased the Speech-EZ APSC app for my son. Speech-EZ provided me with three APSC apps to offer as a giveaway on this blog. I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose and I did not receive compensation for my review. Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway.