Therapy Materials Review: Kaufman Kit 1 (Basic Level)This is a review of the Kaufman Speech Praxis Treatment Kit for Children (Basic Level). The kit was developed by Nancy Kaufman, MA, CCC-SLP. Nancy Kaufman is a nationally acclaimed expert in apraxia who has developed assessment and treatment materials in the area of apraxia. This kit contains a small manual that explains the treatment methods recommended and 201 picture cards sorted into category by syllable shape. The back of each card shows a hierarchy of acceptable responses for the picture on the card depending on the current performance level of the child.
Target AudienceThe target audience for the Kaufman Kit Basic Level will usually be children between the ages of two and six. The pictures on the cards were designed with those ages in mind. These cards will be most useful for children who are struggling with producing simple syllable shapes and need to focus on the early emerging consonants /p, b, m, t, d, n, h/.
Description of the Kaufman Kit (Basic Level)This kit is a boxed set of treatment materials including a 52 page manual and 201 stimulus cards sorted by type.
The manual is the same for both the Basic Level Kit 1 and the Advanced Level Kit 2 so some of the pages in the manual do not apply to Kit 1. The manual begins with a note to parents that describes Childhood Apraxia of Speech, gives an overview of the Kaufman Speech to Language Protocol approach to treating Childhood Apraxia of Speech, and briefly describes some things parents can do at home. The rest of the manual is pretty technical and written with a Speech-Language Pathologist in mind as the target audience for the manual. The rest of the manual describes the Kaufman evaluation hierarchy, treatment hairarchy, describes cueing techniques, gives examples of goals for IEPs and describes general treatment considerations.
- Stimulus Cards
The cards consist of 201 full color 5" by 7" cards. The cards are seperated into sections that are color coded so that you can easily pull the cards, use them in therapy, and then sort them back into their sections. The early emerging consonants are included in kit one. Those consonants are /p, b, m, t, d, n, h/. Syllable shapes include CVCV, VC, CV, VCV, CV1CV2, C1V1C2V2, CVC, and CVCVCV. There are also more complex versions of some of those basic syllable shapes.
How to Use the Kaufman Kit CardsThrough formal or informal assessment, determine which syllable shapes are missing and which of the missing ones the child is stimulable for. Then work with the card sets for the missing syllable shapes that are easiest for the child. Remember that any of the responses on the back of the card can be considered to be correct. The responses on the back of the card are all acceptable, but get closer to the actual production of the word as you move from bottom to top. When you start working with a particular card, figure out which is the highest production the child can successfully imitate and start there gradually working your way up by using the cueing techniques described in the manual.
Therapy Activity Suggestions for Kaufman Kit Cards
- You can always simply drill the words offering a verbal reward, sticker, or turn at a game after every 5-10 responses.
- Make a laminated train engine and caboose. Line your cards up in between the engine and caboose making a word train and place a small reward (sticker, cheerio, etc.) on the caboose. Have the child say each word 1-5 times and when they reach the end of the train they get the reward. Then set up a new train.
- Tape the cards in a line on the wall. Make the room as dark as possible and let the child light up each card with a flashlight. They must say the word 1-5 times before they can light up the next word.
- Hide the cards around the room. Tell the child that you are playing hide and seek with the words and that they need to find 10 (or however many you hid) words. As they bring each word to you they need to say it 1-5 times before going to find the next word. Once they find all the cards they get a small reward. Then they cover their eyes while you hide a new set of cards. Or, you can trade and let them hide the words for you to find. They still have to say each word 1-5 times when you bring the card to them before you go find another.
- Lay the cards on the floor in some kind of pattern and play a beanbag toss game. They say the word the beanbag lands on 1-5 times before getting to throw the next beanbag.
Pros and Cons of the Kaufman Speech Praxis Kit 1 (Basic Level)
Pros: This kit provides materials for systematically building speech from least difficult to most difficult in terms of syllable structure. Within each syllable structure, there is also a hierarchy of acceptable responses from the least motorically complex to most motorically complex (and accurate). That makes this kit ideal for working with children who have Childhood Apraxia of Speech particularly those children who are minimally verbal.
Cons: This kit is very expensive. It is only Kit 1. There is another kit that includes the later developing consonants and more complex syllable structures that you might want when a child outgrows Kit 1. That kit is also very expensive. There are only a few words (usually 6-12) in each category so if you are looking for a wide variety of words to increase generalization, that is not the purpose of this kit. Also, if your child needs practice with a wider variety of consonants, they will not be included in this kit.
For the price, I expected a big manual that was designed to educate a parent or novice SLP with little apraxia experience about the disorder itself. Then I would would like for the manual to explain in an accessible way the theory behind the Kaufman method and why it is so appropriate for treating the disorder. The manual should make it very easy to understand how to use the materials with children and give concrete examples of therapy activity ideas. To put it simply, I was underwhelmed with the manual.
Bottom Line:If you already have the knowledge and expertise to understand how to best use these materials and you have several minimally verbal children on your caseload, this kit would be well worth the purchase price. If you do not meet both of those criteria, I believe the price is prohibitive.
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