This week’s topic: Childhood Apraxia of Speech: 5 Favorites for Speech Therapy Sessions describes five of my favorite items and activities to use in speech therapy sessions with children with CAS. If you’d like to know more about Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS), you can read more here.
Are you looking for suggestions for toys and activities to help children with Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS)?
Would you like more activities and suggestions for working on sounds with your child with CAS at home?
Although the possibilities for activities and materials could be endless, I do have my go-to items and activities for speech therapy sessions. When I’m working with children with CAS in my clinic, I find I have five main items/activities that I love to use. My favorites need to be easy to find (or easy to make!) and inexpensive. Over time, I’ve found I go back to activities and materials that are portable, easy to use, and result in good outcomes for clients.
Childhood Apraxia of Speech: 5 Favorites for Speech Therapy Sessions
Sometimes in speech therapy, you just have to shake things up. Other times, it is best to go with tried-and-true activities. If you are looking for materials or strategies to work with a child with CAS, this is a list of my standards, which give many opportunities to practice speech sounds.
As you’ll see from my list, my favorite resource is books! I’ll list three different kinds of books that are good for speech sound practice for children with CAS. In addition, I’ll give suggestions for books to buy (or make) and I’ll also describe why movement and amplification may help your child.
1. Homemade Picture Books
First of all, I have a lot of fun making clients individualized picture books. In addition to being motivating for clients (who get their own personalized book), I can also load these books with target sounds and words. For example, I may be working on the target “cow” with one child. I’ll have “cow” on each page with varying phrases (big cow, little cow, short cow, tall cow…).
Most importantly, these books include many productions of target words. Also, this has been a fun and engaging way to get lots of practice with several treatment words.
First, I make sure to choose simple words for the books. Typically I choose Consonant-Vowel words (moo, baa) or Consonant-Vowel-Consonant words (cow, duck) as target words. Second, I try to make the books as repetitive as possible. Most of all, make sure there are target words on each page.
Using these individualized picture books is fun. Kids like having their very own book! In addition, this is a great item to take home for practice.
These books can be highly adapted to the level of individual clients and their needs.
2. Syllable Flip Books
If a client is imitating, a flip book can be helpful. This can be a real book (usually with spine binding) that you can buy or make yourself. These books include common vowel and consonant sounds. For example, you may flip to an “a” sound and then flip to a variety of consonant sounds before the “a” to practice Consonant-Vowel combinations.
If you prefer using technology (I’m raising my own hand high here!) Speech FlipBook is an app that can do that for you. You choose the vowel and consonant targets, and it’ll flip through different combinations.
Sometimes, offering a child to hear their own voice a bit more loudly is an opportunity for them to hear how they are producing speech sounds.
Using a paper towel roll or an echo microphone to amplify my client’s voice can be a fun way to practice sounds. First of all, children are more engaged when they can hear their own voices. In addition, this provides some great auditory feedback for clients.
I prefer using a toilet paper roll or a paper towel roll, because I can recycle them after use. After all, most of us have paper towel rolls lying around anyway. You can certainly buy something that will do a better job, but I haven’t found my free solution lacking yet.
If you prefer using technology, Talking Tom is an app that will repeat your voice back to you. My clients love this app!
4. Repetitive Books
Repetitive books can present fun opportunities to get many productions of target words. Some ideas of what to look for are books with:
– Funny noises (splat! pop! swish!)
– Repetitive counting books
– Phrases that repeat (for example, “Are You My Mother?”)
These books are good because children have many opportunities to practice target words.
Some examples of repetitive books I’ve used:
– Moo Baa La La La
– Goodnight Moon
– Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed
– Are You My Mother?
– Is Your Mama a Llama?
I’ve used a variety of movement activities to help motivate children to produce new speech sounds. For example using a spinning chair, tube, or swing can be an engaging way to play and move while practicing sounds. Many children benefit from learning speech sounds paired with movement.
Childhood Apraxia of Speech: Favorites List Suggested Further Reading
In conclusion, by using a variety of approaches, you can find what works best for your client (if you are an SLP) or child (if you are a parent). I hope you find a few of these suggestions helpful for your child!
Finally, if you’d like to read more on this topic, you can read more about: what to work on before you focus on speech sounds, what research says about how to work with children with CAS, Apraxia 101, and specifics on what speech therapy looks like for children with CAS.
I hope this article helped you learn some of the foundational skills to work on with children with Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS). If you have a child with CAS (or who might have CAS) and live in the Rogue Valley, feel free to get in touch. I love working with clients with CAS and seeing their ability to communicate improve!