San Diego: (619) 692-0622
Santee: (619) 749-7059

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We are here to help during COVID-19


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Pediatric Speech, Occupational & Physical Therapy Centers
in San Diego
Kara Dodds & Associates

San Diego: (619) 692-0622

Santee: (619) 749-7059

We are here to help during COVID-19


Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS)

CAS is neurological speech motor disorder that affects a child’s ability to say sounds, syllables, and words. It is not caused by muscle weakness, but rather, because of motor coordination and movements of oral articulators (e.g. lips, tongue, jaw) which impact clarity of speech.

What are the Hallmarks of CAS?

  • Late talking
  • Difficult to understand & slow rate of speech
  • Difficulty imitating words
  • Limited number of consonant sounds
  • Makes vowel sound errors
  • Sound errors are unpredictable & not phonological based
  • May produce a correct sound in a word in one word, but then unable to produce the same sound in another word (e.g. “B” in ball, but not “B” in boy)
  • Groping observed in oral structures (e.g. mouth, lips searching for placement) of speech sound  
  • May have problems eating

What advanced treatment methods do Kara Dodds and Associates therapists use to treat CAS?

Our specialized therapists treat CAS holistically through a variety of methods including:

  • Kaufman Speech Praxis Programs: teaching children to combine consonants and vowels to form words while controlling for oral-motor difficulty using a series of cards targeting syllable shapes.
  • Talk Tools Oral Motor Programs: Targeting oral placement by using a multisensory approach by implementing oral motor activities paired with speech production.
  • PROMPT (Prompts for Restructuring Oral Muscular Phonetic Targets): A tactile-kinesthetic approach that uses touch to position the jaw, tongue, lips by manually guiding them to obtain proper oral motor placements.
  • CPPA (Cycles Approach): Combines traditional and linguistic approaches together where primary sound patterns are targeted first and cycled through to other sound patterns.

Therapy Methods

At Kara Dodds and Associates, we realize that children benefit from a variety of therapy methods and approaches. As such, our team of multi-disciplinary pediatric therapists obtain advanced courses and trainings and specialize in neurological and developmental delays. Therapy is delivered in a one-to-one setting but also in small groups in a systemic, structured, but play-based teaching approach. Our specialized therapy methods include -

  • Picture Exchange Communication Systems (PECS) is using a series of visuals to teach a child to initiate by giving a picture to a communicative partner.
  • Prompts for Restructuring Oral Muscular Phonetic Targets (PROMPT) is a tactile-kinesthetic approach that uses touch cues to clients articulators to help guide them through a targeted word or phrase.
  • Kaufman Speech & Language Protocol: is a way to teach children with apraxia of speech the easiest ways to say words until they have increased motor –speech coordination.
  • Hanen Center: (More Than Words) teaches techniques on how to use visual systems for transitioning, requesting, understanding the schedule or “what’s” next, how to shape echolalia speech patterns and more in everyday activities.
  • TalkTools: is a muscle-based oral motor programs designed to promote speech and improve oral motor (lip, jaw) by utilizing oral placement tooks (chewy tubes, z-vibes, horns, whistles) to improve verbal output, feeding, and speech production skills
  • DIR/ Floortime: is a developmental, individuated relationship based ( programs that are used to improve social connects between children and communicative partners.
  • Social Thinking: Developed by Michelle Garcia Winners her programs target social skills programs with techniques used based on "ILAUGH" model (
  • The SCERTS® Model -Social Communication, Emotional Regulation and Transactional Support (
  • Social Stories: developed by Carol Gray, these method uses visuals and individual stories to teach social skills or appropriate expectations of behaviors through visual models, and Video Play Modeling.

Funding / Insurance Options

We accept a variety of plans to cover your child’s therapy needs. We bill and work with insurances directly taking the hassle out of it for families. We accept:

  • Tricare (Health Net Federal Services)
  • Kaiser
  • Easter Seals of Southern California
  • San Diego Regional Center (in home or center based)
  • PPO plans including: Anthem Blue Cross, UHC, Blue Shield, Coventry, and more.

We will take the lead on determining coverage and finding the best options available with your plan. Call today at 619-692-0622 for more information.

Ready for a fun therapy environment, that truly cares about your child and your family?

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Mission Valley Center

Kara Dodds & Associates - San Diego
7840 Mission Center Court, Ste. 200
San Diego CA 92108

(619) 692-0622

Monday through Friday: 7:45am6:30pm
Saturday: By Appointment Only

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Santee Location

Kara Dodds & Associates - Santee
8840 N. Magnolia Ave Ste 220
Santee CA 92071

(619) 749-7059

Monday through Friday: 7:45am6:30pm
Saturday: By Appointment Only

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