Animal assisted speech, language or feeding therapy is the planned inclusion of an animal in a patient’s treatment plan. The animals, and interactions with them, can be used to:
Animals we work with include horses, donkeys, sheep, goats, chickens, rabbits, cats, and dogs.
The Developmental, Individual Difference, Relationship-based (DIR®) Model is used to help build healthy foundations for social, emotional, and intellectual capacities. This in turn helps to develop critical cognitive, social, emotional, language, and motor skills, as well as a sense of self.
Research related to the DIRFloortime model supports its effectiveness in improving the core challenges of autism including relating, interacting, and communicating while decreasing caregiver stress and improving parent-child relationships.
The use of "equine movement" in speech therapy is referred to as "Hippotherapy." This treatment tool can be used to:
PROMPT© stands for "Prompts for Restructuring Oral Muscular Phonetic Targets". It is a dynamic tactile method which can be used for the treatment of motor speech disorders. PROMPT is highly effective for improving speech and helping patients develop sounds because it provides visual, auditory, tactile, kinesthetic and proprioceptive cues the speech system.
PROMPT© is used for the following reasons:
The Sequential Oral Sensory (SOS) Approach to Feeding program was developed by Dr. Kay Toomey. SOS is an evidenced based and effective way to address problematic feeding behaviors, and to expand the number of foods a "picky eater" consumes.
The SOS Approach To Feeding is used to help children with feeding difficulties develop a healthy, lifelong, positive relationship with food.
Language Acquisition through Motor Planning (LAMP) is a therapeutic approach based on neurological and motor learning principles. The goal is to give individuals who are nonverbal or have limited verbal abilities a method of independently and spontaneously expressing themselves in any setting.
Ongoing research has shown the following improvements when LAMP strategies are used:
The Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) is a unique alternative/augmentative communication system.
PECS consists of six phases and begins by teaching an individual to give a single picture of a desired item or action to a “communicative partner” who immediately honors the exchange as a request. The system goes on to teach discrimination of pictures and how to put them together in sentences.
The primary goal of PECS is to teach functional communication. Research has shown that some learners using PECS also develop speech. Others may transition to a speech generating device.