15 May 2017


Talk Tools is a program that was developed by Sara Rosenfeld-Johnson, SLP. The implementation of this program is for children with significant oral motor weakness. Talk Tools is a user-friendly line of “tools” in a hierarchical approach of oral placement therapy. These tools have been developed for improving the required skills for speech with regards to oral strength (jaw, lips, and tongue), refining of tongue placement required for articulation, and enhancing breath support for adequate respiration, phonation, and resonation.

There are a variety of straws, tubes, bubbles, and horns that are available to improve lip closure, lip rounding, and tongue retraction. These issues of speech and feeding may be caused by a number of etiologies; such etiologies may include apraxia, autism, and Down’s Syndrome. The program uses fun, functional, and rewarding exercises to practice activating and controlling the oral motor centers. The tools and exercises are also recommended for home programs to ensure the best results.

For Further reading on Oral Placement Disorders, please see this research article.

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15 May 2017


The Kaufman Speech to Language Protocol is a way of teaching children with apraxia of speech the easiest way of saying words until they have increased motor-speech coordination. They are actually taught the shell of words without including too many of the complex consonants, vowels, or syllables which make a word too difficult to even attempt on a motor basis.

This teaching method is a reflection of how young children attempt “first words.” For example, the word “bottle” may begin as “ba,” progress to “baba,” later becomes “bado,” and eventually, “bottle.” From the very beginning of infant speech, there are very few “whole” words pronounced. The K-SLP gives children of all ages a way to attempt difficult words using word approximations, and refining and reinforcing these attempts toward whole target words and phrases. It is a systematic approach and one that has been an extremely beneficial, logical, and efficient way to tackle developmental apraxia of speech.

Other methods are also integrated in the K-SLP that have been successful with adults who have lost the ability to speak. Many of these techniques have to do with the way in which the child learns cues to remind them how to say the word. The combination of these techniques comprises the Kaufman method!

From the Kauffman speech to language website

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15 May 2017


CAS is a motor speech disorder, not due to muscle weakness or muscle paralysis. The brain has difficulty planning the oral muscle movements necessary for speech (i.e., jaw, lips, tongue). The child knows what he/she wants to say, but coordinating the muscle movements needed are extremely difficulty, usually resulting in extreme frustration. The signs of CAS are not all the same for all children. If you think your child may have CAS, please have them evaluated as soon as possible, as research indicates daily, intense intervention is key to success.

Some signs in a young child may include:
  • Doesn’t coo or babble as an infant
  • First Words are late, and they may be missing sounds
  • Only a few different consonant and vowel sounds
  • Problems combining sounds; may show long pauses between sounds
  • Simplifies words by replacing difficult sounds with easier ones or by deleting difficult sounds (although all children do this, the child with apraxia of speech does so more often)
  • May have problems eating

Some signs of an older child may be:
  • Makes inconsistent sound errors that are not the result of immaturity
  • Can understand language much better than he or she can talk
  • Has difficulty imitating speech, but imitated speech is more clear than spontaneous speech
  • May appear to be groping when attempting to produce sounds or to coordinate the lips, tongue, and jaw for purposeful movement
  • Has more difficulty saying longer words or phrases clearly than shorter ones
  • Appears to have more difficulty when anxious
  • Is hard to understand, especially for an unfamiliar listener
  • Sounds choppy, monotonous, or stresses the wrong syllable or word

Potential Other problems:
  • Delayed language development
  • Other expressive language problems like word order confusions and word recall
  • Difficulties with fine motor movement/coordination
  • Over sensitive (hypersensitive) or under sensitive (hyposensitive) in their mouths (i.e., may not like toothbrushing or crunchy foods, may stuff food in mouth before initiating chewing).
  • Children with CAS or other speech problems may have problems when learning read, spell, and write.

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15 May 2017


Social Skills are highly subjective from one social group to the next, and from one culture to the next. However, as a society, we can easily identify those people as having good or bad social skills. Many people learn by example of what is meant by being “socially intelligent”, while others of us are wired in such a way that social language isn’t second nature. Poor social skills are easily identifiable, but the definition and description of social language is rather vague. We often hear social skills as having good turn-taking skills, good eye contact, recognizing emotions, reading non-verbal cues, topic maintenance, etc. All of these descriptions are accurate, but they lack attention to a larger concept; that is, “ sharing space with others effectively, or adapting to others effectively across contexts”. (Winner, 2007) Many children, may excel in the areas of academia, but struggle to find friends and to keep them. We must also remember that a person cannot succeed on having average to above-average intelligence alone, but must be able to relate to a variety of people across a variety of contexts.

What are some signs of having a social language delay?
  • Inability or difficulty taking the perspective of others
  • May have limited spoken language skills (but not necessarily)
  • Language is generally used to tell people what they want rather than sharing observations of
  • Difficulty with abstract language
  • Intelligence ranges from significantly below to significantly above average
  • Anxiety
  • Sometimes limited acknowledgment of those around them
  • Sensory Challenges
  • Difficulty with transitioning tasks
  • Socializing isn’t a motivation
  • Limited abstract reasoning skills
  • Poor handwriting skills
  • Difficulty organizing
  • “no filter” in their speech
  • Seen as having “behavioral problems” or “emotionally disturbed”

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