Before we had Chelsea’s genetic diagnosis, all we had to go off of was her Apraxia diagnosis, and I am SO glad we pushed for that! Apraxia trained speech therapists have helped Chelsea so much! I decided to take Chelsea to the Kaufman Children’s Center just outside of Detroit, Michigan.
The children’s center offers 4 day intensive speech camps with Nancy Kaufman. The wait list at that time was several months, but we got on it, and in May of 2015, Chelsea and I flew out for the camp.
The basic layout of the week is on Monday, you have a speech evaluation. Tuesday and Wednesday, you have 2 speech sessions. Thursday is the parent consultation. There is the option to get more speech sessions, and we did 3 extra sessions. We also elected to do occupational therapy as well- an evaluation on Monday, and sessions whenever you want them.
Nancy Kaufman knows her stuff! She recommended genetic testing almost immediately after seeing Chelsea, and what do you know, she was right! She is one of the TOP Apraxia experts worldwide and she gave multiple devoted hours to just Little Miss Chelsea. I’ve listened to some of her lectures at Apraxia conferences, and she is amazing!
You get a video record of every minute your child spends with Nancy Kaufman, and during the sessions, she will talk to the camera about how to work with your child so you can hand off custom made training videos to your SLP at home!
YOU learn how to work with your child! During the last few sessions, Nancy had me (the parent) come into the room and helped me work with Chelsea and critiqued me on what I was doing right and what I needed to improve. (And this lady doesn’t sugar coat anything- she tells is straight, which I LOVED)
There are OT specialists there who work with kids with global Apraxia all the time. They know just what to do, and their OT room is AMAZING!!! I got tons of handouts, videos, and information from them!
The children’s center gets you good deals on hotels! Chelsea and I were upgraded for free from a small room to a double bed king size room when we said we were visiting them. Sweet! I think we saved about $250 there!
There is a really cute zoo in Detroit that I took Chelsea to on Friday morning before we left as a prize for working so hard. She loved it and it was lots of fun!
Holy guacamole is this expensive! The speech evaluation (1 ½ hours) was $300, OT evaluation (2 hours) was $400, each half hour speech session was $85, and each half hour OT session is $70. The final speech parent consultation (1 hour) is $170. We paid a grand total of $1255, plus airfare, hotel, car rental, and food. (I did get a grant from uhccf.org to pay for speech and occupational therapy that year, so that was how we managed it. Great grant!!!)
This will exhaust you. Chelsea was wiped out after each speech session, and once I went in and Nancy Kaufman was critiquing me, I saw why! She is a very intense person, which I like, but several other people there said she was very intimidating.
|Chelsea zonking out right when we got back to the hotel room!|
There is a lot of down time. I liked having all her sessions before lunch, then going to a museum or park or something to relax after that. I didn’t expect that, which is why I put it as a con. I had anticipated 4 intense days 9-5 at the clinic, but that wasn’t the case.
Overall, I LOVED going to the Kaufman Children's Center! I’m hoping to take Chelsea again in a couple years (when we save up some, haha). What I liked most was:
1) THE VIDEOS!!! I love, love, love those videos we got! I have generalized Apraxia training videos, but not all the tips in them apply to Chelsea. The videos I got were tailor made for Chelsea and her specific needs. I wish I was more tech savvy so I could cut some and show them here!
2) Having a week of just me and Chelsea. We had so much fun together, and she was so happy to work on speech when I had all this time and energy for just her.
3) Learning SO MUCH about Apraxia and how to work with Chelsea!