Helping from page B1
Teaching assistant Amber Trepkowski helps Cole
Ashton Castle, 3, traveled with his mom from Pocatello, Idaho, to work with center director Nancy Kaufman.
Foster, 3, of Grand Blanc develop physical coordina-
tion as another road to speech.
"People are really uprooting their
families to be here Kaufman says. This
past summer, families from Ohio, Illinois,
Florida, Georgia, Pennsylvania and
California as well as Michigan partici-
pated in a pair of intensive three-week
programs. Right now, two families from
Illinois, one from California and one from
Idaho are at the center.
Many enroll in Trainln, a verbal behavior
program primarily for children on the
autistic spectrum, directed by speech and
language pathologist and behavior analyst
Carol Afflerbaugh, a Farmington Hills
It works on jumpstarting each child's
speech and functional communication
skills by creating individualized programs
that can be transitioned to each child's
Farmington Hills clinical psychologist
Sally Bloch, Ph.D., refers a number of her
young patients to the Trainln program.
"I see a lot of improvement; sometimes I
can't even believe it;' Bloch says. "They're
real skills, not just some gimmicky thing!'
Bloch is impressed by the quality of
the Kaufman Center and the people that
work there. "I have a son, now 22, with
Asperger's," she says, "so I've also been a
consumer. To have someone in the private
sector [as opposed to a hospital] start one
October 30 2008
of these programs was taking a real risk!'
"My husband was ready to up and move
to Michigan:' says Jackie Castle, who trav-
eled from Pocatello, Idaho, to have her son
Ashton, 3, work directly with Kaufman.
Ashton has both hearing loss and apraxia.
"I got Nancy's supplies and have been
working with him until she had an open-
ing," Castle says. "I think we'll come back
and do the summer intensive session. We'd
do anything for Ashton; he's the best!'
Rabbi Judah Isaacs from Oak Park has
been taking Gavi, 5, to the Kaufman clinic
twice a week for two years to work with
speech and language pathologist Ruth
HaberkornHalm of West Bloomfield.
"He doesn't have apraxia," Isaacs says,
"but he had tremendous speech delays!"
Gavi is in a regular school classroom
where "Ruth met with his teachers to
give them techniques that they can use
Isaacs says. "We do a lot of things at home.
What's great about the staff here is they
know developmentally where he needs to
Easing The Delay
Manny Litt, 4, from Rochester has been
enrolled at KCC for three hours every week
day morning for more than a year. "At age
3," his mom, Dietra Litt, says, "he could not
speak — only grunt."
Within a month, Manny learned to
use sign language and then to try to say
puzzle, cookie and milk — basic things
that were important to him, Litt says. "He
learned he could communicate enough
to match his interests, his world!' And
she has seen a huge improvement in self-
"He's still delayed but you slowly close
that gap:' says Litt, a frill-time software
support planner, who works while she
waits for Manny. "You wish you could
clone this place 100 times!'
Manny was referred to KCC for more
intensive treatment by Olga Voight, a
speech pathologist at Crittenton Hospital's
Outpatient Therapy Center in Rochester
Hills. She is among those who employ
Kaufman's methods and materials.
"They're engaging materials that par-
ents can understand," Voight says. "I've
talked to speech pathologists in a number
of school districts who use them!'
The Kaufrnans have three children, .
Shelby, 24, a dancer/choreographer in New
York; Carly, 21, who is in elementary edu-
cation at Michigan State University; and
Jacob, 18, who attends Eastern Michigan
University. They belong to Adat Shalom
Synagogue in Farmington Hills.
Nancy is active in Jewish Federation's
Alliance for Jewish Education, in West
Bloomfield-based Friendship Circle and
has a new community partnership with
the Corners, in the former Walnut Lake
Elementary School in West Bloomfield.
"How proud I am to be a Jewish profes-
sional in this community',' Kaufman says,
because it's a community that searches out
ways to help those in need. ❑
More information on the Kaufman Children's
Center is available at www.kidspeech.com .
Of A Possible Disorder
• Lack of cooing or babbling as an
infant, few word attempts by 18
• Lack of two-word combinations by
at least 2 1/2 years old
• Echoing back words without com-
• Doesn't pay attention to spoken
language, may appear to have
hearing loss and/or highly visually
oriented. May have a high interest
in TV; videos, letters and numbers.
• Difficulty formulating thoughts
through expressive language
• Significant difficulty with word
retrieval or grammatical skills by
• Unintelligible speech, many speech
sound omissions or substitutions
• Difficulty with social language or
- Kaufman Children's Center