Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Therapy ideas for SLPs who travel to client’s homes, daycares, and schools

By Gina Cato, Chief Speech-Language Pathologist with contributions from the Center's Speech department

The traveling SLP has many challenges when providing therapy outside of her office.  How many therapy materials can possibly fit in a therapy bag?  At the Center for Hearing & Speech, each SLP travels to several off-site locations, including Agape Academy, Grace Hill Head Start, Grace Hill Child Development Center (two locations), City Academy, Hilltop Child Development Center, Lemay Child & Family Center, St. Cecilia School and Academy, and Stella Maris Child Center.

These are some therapy activities that we’ve used when we travel to area daycares and schools.  The activities are functional for the child, yet require only a few supplies that typically can be found in classrooms.

  1. Work on following auditory directions in the child’s classroom.  For example, practice following classroom routines such as, “Turn in your paper and line up for lunch.”  Practice placing items in various locations when the client hears directions, such as, “Put the truck on the shelf,” or “Put the puzzle on the table.” 

  1. Use photos of the client’s school environment to teach vocabulary and practice articulation goals.  For example, use photos of the school fish, the classroom shelf, and a toy elephant to practice the /f/ sound and improve receptive / expressive classroom vocabulary.  For children who need alternative / augmentative communication, place photos on a small, metal ring or in a photo album. 

  1. If the child’s goal is to improve listening comprehension, borrow books from the classroom teacher’s weekly library to read with the child during therapy.  The child may be more likely to answer questions about a story in the classroom if she’s familiar with the vocabulary in the story. 

  1. If the child is working on answering “where” questions, have the child answer questions about items in the classroom.  For example, ask, “Where do I find crayons?”  The child says, “in the box.”  Find the items in the classroom according to the information the child gives you.  The child has instant feedback about how accurately he answered your “where” questions.