Covid 19 has still really made a giant mess of things. Hopefully we are all on the tail end of this horrible pandemic. It has changed the way we do many things. This also happens to be the case with the way we provide speech therapy.
Traditional speech therapy ( in the private setting) consisted of having the child, with the therapist, in a private room, while their goals were targeted ( articulation difficulties, language impairments, fluency disorders, problems eating and drinking, etc…). The parent would usually come into the room at the the end of the session; the therapist would go over the highlights, assign homework, and the parent and child would leave and go on their merry way.
This is sadly not the case any longer.
If you are having reservations about starting or resuming “in person” therapy – ask your speech provider if there are any special protocols they are following. For example, are the staff being monitored with temperate checks at the start of their shift? Is the office area being wiped down between sessions to minimize the risk of spreading the virus? What types of masks are being worn by the therapist ( see through so their mouth can be seen)? Am I able to sit in on the session with my child? How effective will therapy be if there needs to be social distancing ? Have the staff been vaccinated?
Many places have different protocols they are following to help end this virus.
If you are concerned that “in person” therapy may not be the best for and your child, tele-therapy is still an option. In some cases, teletherapy can still be an excellent alterative until you feel safe to resume therapy.
“But how can that be????? Surely you are joking ????” ( we hear this a lot). If the child is young and cannot sit for a 30 minute session ( many older kids even have problems with this), consulting with the parent as to what to do is vital in helping with therapy. For example, if your son has a problem producing a certain sound, we can show YOU placement activities to help alleviate the issue. This way during the day if you son tries to “food” and says “dood”, you can say “Remember what Miss Jessica said, bite your lip and say /fff/” etc… And you can make the change yourself- in real time – rather than waiting for your next speech appointment. Once you are able to use the techniques we show you, this can significantly lead to less dependence on speech therapy appointments over the long term.
Tele-therapy may not work for everyone – some children may not actually benefit the most from it. However, it is ( in our opinion) worth giving it a shot, especially if the alternative is limited or no speech therapy, or therapy with so many distractions, your child isn’t getting the most out of it.
Here at Speech Therapy For All, we continue to follow CDC guidelines for social distancing, temperature checks for both clients and staff, therapists wearing masks, and sanitizing between sessions. We also offer hybrid models ( one session via teletherapy- one session in person) if needed.
Bottom line – if you don’t feel safe at the moment bringing your child in – follow your intuition. Call and speak to a manager/owner about your concerns and make sure starting/returning to therapy is right for you.
We hope to see you soon – stay safe!