Limiting your time in public spaces, wearing a mask, and washing your hands have become a part of our everyday experiences on the quest of flattening the curve of the lingering COVID-19 pandemic. While we all continue to take heed to these social guidances, there’s a core set of essential workers who continue to face the challenges of this new normal head on; our frontline healthcare workers.
In celebration of Better Hearing & Speech Month (May), we honor those workers who’ve made brave sacrifices in not only slowing the spread, but ensuring that countless children continue to receive their essential therapy needs. Here, Cole spotlights 3 of our very own Speech Language Pathologists working in the midst of these uncertain times, and ask them not only what keeps them going, but what parents and caregivers can do to help slow regression in their child’s speech therapy. Here’s what they had to say!
Grace Trosclair, M.A., CCC-SLP
What keeps you going?: My clients and their families are my motivators during this time. It is very motivating and rewarding to see my clients’ faces light up when I log into a patient’s telehealth session or I go and greet a patient in the waiting room. My patients enjoy our Speech routine, knowing they come to Speech to learn, practice, and have fun! Parents and families have been very grateful that we are still offering services through Telehealth or in clinic. I’ve loved watching my parents get involved during the Telehealth session. They have come up with different ideas and ways to target their child’s goals and even shown me activities they work on throughout the day. Parents that are coming into the clinic have told me that their child loves coming to Cole! Their child enjoys the change of environment and opportunity to interact with people other than their family members.
How can parents help?: A way to stop/slow regression in the skills your child has learned and/or is practicing in Speech Therapy is to ask your Speech Therapist for take home activities that you as a parent can do with your child. Parents can also read books with their children, talk about what is happening in the pictures, ask questions about what was read in the story, and practice naming or identifying the pictures in the story.
Deondra Williams, M.A., CCC-SLP
What keeps you going?: What motivates me most is that we, as therapists, are truly continuing to keep our patients first! This catastrophe has allowed us to teach our parents not only what therapy looks like, but how to connect and provide daily carryover of those same skills with their children in their own environment.
How can parents help?: I love the quote “See one, do one, teach one!” This is what therapy looks like in these times. These skills soon become a daily routine and carryover of skills become somewhat automatic-this is the best way to slow regression of skills learned in Speech Therapy!
Allison Youngblood, M.S., CCC-SLP
What keeps you going?: I’m motivated by the love and passion I have for this career to help others find their voice and use it to improve their overall quality of life. During this time, everyone’s lives are impacted in every way, but being able to provide therapy to our clients brings consistency and familiarity when things are changing daily. My clients always keep me laughing by what they say and do and therapy is never a dull moment!
How can parents help?: Being consistent in attending appointments and working on your child’s goals is the key to help with improvements in his/her language skills. Modeling language is a simple task that can greatly benefit the child. Simply talk about what you are doing or what the child is doing.