This time last year, Gia was beginning her first year of priority preschool. We started that school year with a daughter who had a severe and unexplained speech delay. Just 3 months later, we had a daughter with Apraxia. It’s because of Gia’s priority preschool speech therapist, Shannon, that we are finally getting her the help she needs. Shannon couldn’t help Gia with her Apraxia, but she spotted the speech disorder, and I will forever be grateful for that.
Shannon referred us to a local facility called the Foundations Developmental House (FDH), who had one of the few Apraxia-specific programs in the state. She assured us that we were in good hands.
We left the meeting in shock, but hopeful. That same night, and for many nights to follow, I did what worried moms do best – I researched. What is Apraxia? How do we treat it? Is there hope for my daughter? Much to my relief, all of my answers lied at the Foundations Developmental House, and a nationally recognized Speech and Language Pathologist, named Lynn Carahly. Lynn is not only the owner and director of FDH, but she is the developer of the Speech-EZ® Apraxia Program.
Gia was making little to no progress in traditional speech therapy. So what makes Lynn’s program different? The Speech-EZ® Apraxia Program simultaneously tackles both the neurological and motor issues that define Apraxia. Specific techniques are implemented in order to build the neurological pathways needed for proper motor planning, which is key to intelligible communication. It’s a step-by-step process of using multisensory strategies to teach the child the correct movement sequences for speech.
Shannon was right, we were in good hands, and in November of 2014, we were officially a part of the The Speech-EZ® Apraxia Program. One day at a time, the well-trained and highly-skilled therapists at FDH are making a difference in Gia’s life.
Follow-up at home is an essential part of your child’s success. It really does take a village! However, implementing practices at home is sometimes easier said than done. When I heard about the latest version of the Speech-EZ Apraxia Picture Sound Cards app (APSC), I knew it was exactly what Gia and I needed. I knew she would take my attempts at helping her more seriously if my follow-up was more consistent with her therapy sessions.
My review of the Apraxia Picture Sound Cards app
Included features of the app:
•FULL Speech-EZ® manual with print capabilities
•Session Data visible to BOTH parent and SLP
•Ability to customize and save/edit card sets and share to Homework file for parent home practice
•Greatly improved, sophisticated data collection and analytics
•Goals for CAS, Phonological Processes and more can be hand selected and customized from goal bank, saved to child’s profile, and shared with parent
•Over 1000 stimulus cards
•Sort by Vowel feature
•Sort by CV and VC feature
•Voice recording and playback
•Improved sort and shuffle abilities
•More control in settings such as start with back of card for reading
My top 3 features of the app:
1. Therapist/parent sharing technology:
This is my favorite thing about the updated version. If the SLP has the Pro version, and the parent has the Parent version, SLP and parent can communicate between devices. The SLP can create customized stimulus homework sets and “share” directly to the parent’s app. This is something I can’t wait to get started on! Working toward common goals with your child’s SLP is crucial. This gives you and your therapist the ability to communicate those goals in ways you would have never dreamed were possible.
2. Voice Recording:
I loved having the ability to record and playback my sessions with Gia. It’s a great reference tool, and the playback sounds perfectly clear. With so many goals in mind, there’s so many reasons to listen back on your session. I found it was most helpful to really listen for the sounds that Gia was struggling with. I could then use that information when preparing for our next session, and plan accordingly.
3. Sorting Sounds:
Depending on your child’s individualized goals, you can select the appropriate sound combinations that you’re working toward mastering with your SLP. This goes back to the importance of communication with your SLP, and the benefit of the new therapist/parent sharing technology. Every possible combination of sounds is featured in the app, so every child at every level is covered. You can completely customize your sessions to be exactly what your child needs – nothing more, nothing less.
My take on the app:
My experience with the app has been nothing short of positive! It’s a total original, and unlike any speech app out there. Children with Apraxia get the most benefit from daily therapy, but daily therapy is unrealistic for most families. This app gives us as parents the tools to provide therapy in between sessions, and in our very own home. How cool is that? I needed the structure and Gia needed the consistency, and the Speech-EZ app provides both. The work is done for you, and beyond that, it just takes your commitment. I would definitely recommend familiarizing yourself with the app before starting a session with your child. Like with anything, there’s an initial learning curve, but once you get in there and navigate through it a bit, you’ll find that it’s very user-friendly.