I wanted to let you know about a wonderful new and highly effective program for children with Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS) in which I have been trained and certified called the Speech-EZ Apraxia Program.
The program is specifically designed to improve speech intelligibility in children with CAS and severe phonological disorders. Through the use of multisensory input incorporating visual, auditory, proprioceptive, and tactile input, it assists children in planning out and tracking the correct motor movement sequences for speech.
I have been using the program since April, 2011 and have found the rate of progress for my students to be much more rapid than previous approaches. The children track their own speech with hand gestural cues. The multisensory referent of the hand gestures helps the children see, feel, and remember the sound sequence and allows them to cue themselves. Even the youngest students, i.e., 2.5 years old, have made very rapid progress and have caught on to and utilized the hand gestures for self-directed motor planning of their speech.
In one case study, the young student who began at 2.5 years old producing only “uh- uh-uh” due to difficulty programming motor speech movements is now, 8 months later, producing intelligible 4+ word sentences and scoring within normal limits for her age in her speech sound production at the single word level. In a second case, a 3.5 year old student exhibiting combined phonological and sound sequencing errors upon baseline testing 6 months ago exhibited 39% intelligibility without a referent and 50% with a referent at that time. With therapy assistance, his intelligibility has now increased to 70% without a referent and 80% with a referent. He too caught on quickly to the use of the Speech-EZ hand gestures to help him track his own speech.
The program also facilitates increased phonological awareness which is a key factor in promoting early literacy development. It incorporates auditory discrimination, auditory analysis, and other auditory processing skills.