Guest Post: Carol K, M.A./CCC-SLP/L
Allow me to let you in on a secret, from one Speech-Language Pathologist to another. I’ve often thought that being an SLP can be difficult, because you can’t pull the words out of a person’s mouth. Speech therapists cannot force sounds, words, or phrases from a student. Our job is to help someone do something that they find challenging or impossible. When a skill is particularly challenging, students may not want to even attempt it, for fear of failure or a sense of hopelessness. In addition, they are missing class time, lectures, or recess. Sometimes they miss their favorite subject. Sometimes they attend sessions after school and miss out on playtime, their favorite cartoon, or time with their family and friends after a long day at school. To a student, attending speech sessions can be frustrating and have little point.
As Speech-Language Pathologists, it is our job to make this experience as pain free as possible. We need to ask ourselves how to make speech therapy fun and relatable, and keep students engaged.
Online speech-language pathology and occupational therapy are a magical experience for our students. No two days are the same as TinyEYE Therapists from around the world log in to their online office and begin a new day’s adventure.
We believe that student engagement is the key to success. Engagement begins with a strong sense of belonging, and then grows into student involvement and investment in their work. Engagement requires deep and critical thinking, and a self-motivated commitment to learning. For this reason, we first help our students feel safe and joyful about participating. Next, we show our students how capable they are with their skills. Finally, we consistently engage our students in activities that leverage their ability to both participate in their daily lives and explore their wildest imagination.
When I had the opportunity to take a tour of some of the tools used during a TinyEYE therapy session, I was immediately fascinated by the adventure activity stations.
Millions of students around the world are NOT receiving the Speech and Occupational Therapy services they need and deserve. What can be done to help? It is TinyEYE’s dream that students everywhere have access to quality SLP and OT services.
In the words of Jesse Owens, “We all have dreams. But in order to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline, and effort.”
You’re not in the room with the student? You can’t touch the student? How do you keep their attention? How does it work? How do you provide speech therapy online? Do the students make progress? Is it like Skype?