What is the Sound Card System (SCS)?
SCS is a progressive cueing system that uses visual and tactile cues to help a child motor-plan for sounds in words and eventually in conversation. Each sound has a picture, a name and a hand cue. Children are taught to use the hand cues in a way that promotes independence. That way, when the parent cues a sound in a word, the child automatically knows to repeat the word with the correct sound without ever being told to “say the word”. Parents love the cooperation they get from their children and children love the independence they develop in being able to correct words by themselves and the success they have in doing it.
Why is SCS so effective?
SCS is simple enough that parents and teachers understand it and can use it on a daily basis in functional settings. Once caregivers are confident in using the system in a therapeutic setting, it can be moved out of the therapy setting and into real-life.
Who would benefit from SCS?
SCS can be implemented in 2 ways. If the child has a genetic or chromosome disorder where delayed speech and language is a typical characteristic, the system should be implemented as early as one year old to help the child identify, use and name sounds early so that they can learn to produce words correctly from the beginning. If a child is older and is already using words but has unclear or inconsistent speech production, the system can be implemented as a way to teach the child sound awareness, help the child motor plan words with visual and kinesthetic cues and have success doing it.
Where is SCS currently being used?
In addition to the children and families that have been trained at Monkey Mouths, the Green Oaks School of Arlington also implements SCS into their daily routine. Erin Bernett M.S., CCC-SLP presents regularly to local parent organizations and local school districts upon request. Additionally, a DVD series is available to families who are interested in passing on information about SCS to other professionals in their child's special education program.
What is Fiberoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing (FEES)?
FEES is used to evaluate your child’s swallowing abilities. It is an accurate and safe way to gain information that involves passing a flexible endoscope through your child’s nose into the throat to directly see all structures after numbing the nose with nasal spray to minimize pain or discomfort. During the study, your child will be asked to speak so that the movement of the structures can be observed. After that, your child will be asked to eat and drink food so that his/her swallowing ability can be observed. The study generally takes less than 30 minutes to complete. After the study is complete, the speech pathologist will give you and your child recommendations for how to improve the safety and timing of the swallow as well as recommendations for your child's diet.
Why does Monkey Mouths use FEES?
- It can be done in our office instead of a hospital
- It is less expensive than a Modified Barium Swallow Study (MBSS)
- It does not expose your child to radiation
- It is the most direct way to view your child’s swallowing and voicing
- Your child’s normal foods can be used to test swallowing ability
Do I need a prescription from my physician for a FEES study?
Yes. Although a speech-pathologist can practice independently, Monkey Mouths does require that a prescription be optained from your physician for a FEES study. After speaking with you on the phone, we will make recommendations to your physician as to whether or not FEES is an appropriate evaluation tool for your child. We will also want your physician to recommend medications as necessary for the study. After the study, we will want to coordinate care and/or additional referrals with your physician.
Is FEES covered by my insurance?
Many insurance companies recognize FEES as their preferred method for swallow evaluation. That being said, we have a limited number of insurance companies that we are currently in-network. For other families, we do have an affordable time-of-service option.