One in five children struggles with learning, processing, or has attention issues. Not all of these children fit into the box of a specific diagnosis and as we’ve talked about before, many areas of difficulty overlap. Some children fall into a category called ALPS (Attention, Language Processing, and Sensorimotor), a term coined by today’s guest Carol Kauffman.
Carol has over 40 years of experience in the child development field, and in today’s episode, she describes her journey in discovering the gaps in diagnoses and the children who fell through without services. She generously offers her assistance now in retirement and emphasizes the importance of developing a strong team with parents and families as they support their children. Long before the Diverse Thinking Different Learning Podcast, Carol contributed numerous articles to the website and they have become some of the most-read articles to date, which goes to show just how many parents, families, and educators need to know how to help ALPS kids.
[1:43] – Welcome to the podcast, Carol!
[3:16] – ALPS is not an official diagnosis. Carol has coined the term and describes how she discovered this gap in diagnoses.
[5:09] – In the 1980s, a colleague received a grant and came to Carol to work together and develop a team.
[6:27] – Her team implemented the Attention-Behavior-Language Evaluation (ABLE) clinic and she describes the impact of a multidisciplinary approach.
[7:45] – What they found with the vast majority of children is that they all had very different issues in different areas. Minor deficits added up for them.
[8:50] – The acronym ALPS stuck and is an umbrella for a lot of children.
[11:39] – Carol has learned so much from the children in the clinic. She describes the process, including the importance of having parents involved.
[13:59] – It is important to not only validate the struggles of the child, but to validate the parents as well.
[15:37] – Carol gave parents very detailed reports and explained everything, but realized that families were very overwhelmed.
[17:00] – Carol describes her strategy in giving parents small to-do list items to “get the ball rolling.”
[19:12] – Using graphic organizers, Carol created the ABC Treatment Triangle.
[21:29] – Carol began collecting strategies and in her travels, she learned a lot from the children she worked with.
[22:51] – When a child has a variety of issues that overlap, parents need to be involved and educated.
[24:44] – By relating to the parents of the children she worked with as a parent herself, she made them a significant member of the team as well.
[25:20] – Carol explains the difference between primary and secondary therapy.
[27:28] – Systems also need a lot of change, such as classroom acoustics.
[29:43] – Sharing information empowers parents and educators to help children with interventions.
[31:48] – Research shows that it takes many years for changes to take place.
[33:15] – Carol shares strategies to use with children and provides resources.
About Our Guest:
Carol Kauffman, MA, was a licensed, certified speech-language pathologist for over forty years. As director of speech and hearing at Madison County Hospital in London, Ohio, she helped implement the Attention-Behavior-Language Evaluation (ABLE) clinic in conjunction with the occupational and mental health departments, and for the next 12 years, provided services for children and adults with a variety of neurodevelopmental challenges within a multidisciplinary framework. In 1995, she founded the Attention, Language Processing, and Sensorimotor (ALPS) clinic at Mary Rutan Hospital in Bellefontaine, Ohio. Through her company, Language Learning Consultants, she developed educational materials for parents and professionals to help children with language, attention, and sensorimotor challenges. She has presented seminars at the state and national levels on topics related to integration of services for children with co-existing neurodevelopmental challenges, has authored numerous articles, and taught several online courses on ADHD and language disorders in children. Ms. Kauffman received her master’s degree from The Ohio State University and was an adjunct faculty member for two years. She retired from direct service in 2016 just in time to become a grandma. In addition to hanging out with her two grandsons, she is currently working with Fulton Books to publish her first fiction novel about a girl with ADHD and her twin brother with autism who combine their unique skills to save the world.
Connect with Carol Kauffman:
Links and Related Resources:
- ALPS Children: A Steep Climb – But Well Worth It!
- ALPS Kids at Home (During a Pandemic): Keep the Learning Alive!
- Episode 33: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder with Dr. Nicholas Thaler
- Episode 20: How Speech and Language Difficulties Affect a Child’s Life with Carol Karp
- Episode 42: Understanding Sensory Processing Disorder with Courtney Duckwoth Harris
- Episode 45: How Sensory Processing Impacts Communication with Jessie L. Ginsburg
- Episode 39: Why Fine Motor Skills Matter with Jennifer Morgan
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The Diverse Thinking Different Learning podcast is intended for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical or legal advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Additionally, the views and opinions expressed by the host and guests are not considered treatment and do not necessarily reflect those of ChildNEXUS, Inc or the host, Dr. Karen Wilson.