Gather Your Team

Organize, Plan and Follow-Up

Be Fully Informed

Since CAS is a speech sound disorder, the most appropriate professional to diagnose and treat it is a speech-language pathologist (SLP). Depending on the severity of your child’s CAS, you may be working with SLP(s) for years. It’s important to select the right SLP for your child, make changes in treatment and/or therapist when needed, and to make the most of you and your child’s relationship with the SLP.

Depending on your child’s needs, other professionals may also be part of your team.

Keep reading for tips on how to take a team approach to supporting your child with CAS.

Gather Your Team

Each member of your child’s team has their own area of expertise and strengths. Your child’s team will depend on their needs and the resources available. Here are some possible team members:



You are the expert on your child and know your child the best, meaning you provide invaluable information about your child's motivations, moods and challenges. You're the one who knows everything that's going on for your child, and can help fill-in that information for other team members.


Your child's SLP is the communication expert. Your child might be working with more than one SLP, and each SLP will bring a unique skill set to the team. One SLP might be an expert on CAS and another might have more experience with AAC (augmentative and alternative communication) or language. As a team, discuss ALL of your child's needs, then decide how, when and who will be helping your child overcome those challenges. This might mean a private SLP is focused on motor planning for speech while another SLP is focused on AAC, while the whole team - including you at home -are supporting your child's language skills.


If your child is in school, their teacher(s) are likely to also be a critical part of the team. Since many children with CAS also experience academic challenges, including your child's teacher(s) as part of a collaborative team is vital.

Other Therapists

Depending on your child's needs, your child may also be seeing an occupational therapist (OT), physical therapist (PT), mental health professional, such as a licensed professional counselor (LPC), or other professionals such as a board-certified behavior analyst (BCBA). Call on each of these professionals for their expertise, realizing that all areas of developmental are interrelated and impact each other!

Organize, Plan Ahead, and Follow-Up

Collaboration amongst your team is very important so that everyone is on the same page and working towards common goals. Most SLPs (and other professionals) are willing and happy to collaborate, but they are also probably treating a number of children and thus juggling a variety of responsibilities. You should take the lead to organize the team and facilitate collaboration.


Ask for and sign the proper consents/releases so that all professional members of the team are able to share information about your child with one another.

Reasonable Expectations

Discuss with your child's team how often (e.g. once a month) and what method (phone call, email) will be used for collaboration so that reasonable expectations are set and agreed upon. At times, you may be the one communicating information between members of your team, such as a private SLP and school SLP, if needed.

Plan Ahead

Scheduling meetings with SLP(s) and other professionals requires advanced planning. Most SLP(s) are providing therapy most of the day, which doesn't leave much time for meetings, phone calls or paperwork. Keep this in mind when you're asking an SLP to schedule a meeting or write a report. If the SLP needs to be available for a meeting longer than 15 minutes, try to start scheduling this several weeks in advance. If you need written documentation, such as a progress report, try to give the SLP a heads-up as far in advance as you can, then follow-up with a reminder a few weeks before the deadline.

Be Fully Informed

It is essential that you understand what your child is working on and why, as well as how they are progressing. If you don’t understand any aspect of your child’s treatment, don’t hesitate to ask questions.


Your child's SLP will most likely write goals using formal language and technical terms that includes behavioral objectives. This means that your child will do something that can be measured. For example, your child's goal might be: Child will demonstrate improved motor planning/programming for speech by producing the movement gestures to produce the word “me” with the appropriate level of multisensory cueing in 8 out of 10 opportunities. If you're not sure exactly what this goal means, ask your SLP. Your SLP should be able to explain the goal using everyday language. For example, your SLP might explain the goal above by saying that your child will be learning to move their mouth to produce the word "me" with as much help from the SLP (touch/tactile, visual or auditory cues) as needed for success.
If you have multiple questions about your child's goals, consider scheduling a time to talk with your SLP outside of your child's therapy session. If you ask questions at the end of your child's therapy session, your SLP might not be as willing to answer the questions as they will likely be under a time constraint, since most SLPs have therapy sessions schedule back-to-back.


SLPs often use professional jargon - technical terms, acronyms and abbreviations specific to communication. If your SLP uses a term that you don't know - ASK. The SLP should be able to explain what the term means and give examples.


If you have concerns about what goals are being targeted, how they are being targeted, or your child’s progress, talk to the SLP. Keep in mind that if you ask a question at the end of a therapy session, you're likely to receive a short answer. For example, if you ask "How's my child doing?" the SLP is likely to respond "Great!" If you have concerns about your child's progress, let the SLP know that you have concerns and want to schedule a time to discuss them. This way the SLP can set-aside time for your conversation, as well as to take the time to think about your child's goals and progress.

Observe Therapy

If possible, sit-in on at least some, if not most or all, of your child's therapy sessions. Seeing what your child is working on and how the SLP is helping your child is much more informative then a brief conversation as the SLP walks your child back to the waiting area. If you can't sit-in on your child's therapy sessions, ask the SLP about videotaping part or all of the session for you to watch. You might also consider videotaping a session if you can observe but other parents/caregivers can't, so that they can stay informed as well. Be sure to ask the SLP before you videotape - there might be a consent or policy you're unaware of. Don't post your child's therapy session on social media without your SLP's knowledge and consent.

Second Opinion or Change SLPs

If your child's SLP isn't willing or able to explain your child's goals, treatment or assess progress, it might be worth obtaining a second opinion and/or consider changing SLPs. Remember, you know your child best. Trust your instincts if something doesn't feel right.

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