The Nancy Kaufman Speech to Language Protocol was the first step in our journey with apraxia. When Jake first got diagnosed with apraxia, I was on a Google frenzy. I remember reading, “When a child has Childhood Apraxia of Speech he or she may need 3,000 productions of a sound combination or word to learn a muscle memory for that combination.”
What?!? How is that even possible? So many words, so little time … and what a steep hill to climb. How would we ever make it to the top?
That statistic was mind-blowing to me because up until that point, our speech therapy lessons had been sporadic and inconsistent. There was no rhyme or reason to the words that Jake worked on. He didn’t work on the same letter or words each week and some of his first speech challenges were two-syllable words or complicated nursery rhymes.
When he got diagnosed with apraxia the week of his third birthday, he was speaking on a ten-month-old level. He spoke three words consistently: ball, pizza, and daddy. At this point, I began working with a new SLP at our public school system. I also started researching like crazy and learned that specific, repetitive therapy is required for apraxia.
A common thread in everything I read was Kaufman cards. Although our SLP at the time was not experienced with apraxia, she was willing to try this approach and purchased Kaufman Kit 1 for Jake. For the first time since we began speech therapy, I started feeling like we were moving in the right direction. Kaufman cards felt so structured and logical to me. Instead of entering into a world with a bazillion words to learn, we were starting at the beginning.
The first consonant sounds that a baby makes are: b, p, h, m, n, w, t, and d. This is one reason why a baby’s first words are “mama,” “dada,” and “bye-bye.” Kaufman cards focus on the first consonant-vowel (CV) combinations that a baby makes and once those are mastered, words are formed with those basic sounds. You begin with one syllable words and work up to two syllables. But, all words focus on those same beginning sounds.
For the first two months our SLP drilled Jake on these consonants paired with each short and long vowel sound: ba,be, bi, bo, bu, pa, pe, pi, po, pu, etc. After he said a set of sounds, he would take a turn with whatever game they were playing that day. Once he mastered the absolute most basic sounds, we moved to the Kaufman cards.
A few of those early one syllable CV Kaufman words we worked on were: bay, B, boo, bye, bee, and bow.
The next progression was CVC (consonant-vowel-consonant) words: boat (a basic “t” sound added to bow), bone (a basic “n” sound added to bow), boot (a basic “t” sound added to boo), etc.
After a few months of public school therapy, we would eventually switch to yet another SLP who could offer more one-on-one, lengthier, productive sessions. This private SLP also continued on with the Kaufman cards and after about a year, Jake was ready to move on. I also worked with him almost daily at home on these words. For us, it was a progression of first being able to speak the words, but then being able to recall the word from memory just by looking at the card. Recalling was also very difficult for Jake.
In addition to the cards, we also used the following Nancy Kaufman methods:
- Kaufman Speech to Language Protocol Workout Book
- Approximations (An easier way to say a difficult world. For example, “a-po” for “apple.”)
- Scripting (Breaking up a sentence into an easier format).
For more information on the Kaufman Treatment Kit 1, please click here.
Disclaimer: I was under no obligation to review this product 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.