The Clinic Corner
BY: KATHI SHUTE, M.S., CCC-SLP – CLINIC COORDINATOR
HAPPY SUMMER from the Scottish Rite Childhood Speech and Language Center! We are so excited to be completing another school year servicing our local private schools. We have been so fortunate to build relationships with 3 nearby schools to provide speech and language services for the students within their school day. We screened 182 students, completed full evaluations for 11 students and saw 45 students each week for therapy! We love having the opportunity to work with our school kids, utilizing their curriculum and providing our expertise to their teachers to help them flourish at school.
Over the summer we are able to help these students maintain their skills by providing continued service in our clinic. They join our clinic-based clients in receiving evidenced-based, individualized treatment to target their speech and language needs. Our clinic is equipped with observation rooms to allow parents to be more engaged with client sessions so they can provide carry over at home. Our parents love being able to watch their children work so hard during sessions. They come away with a better understanding of how to help their kids each day at home to further progress toward their goals.
Over the summer our clients are often out of town or unable to attend sessions with the same regularity as the school year. Camps, vacations, and muchneeded summer down time are all experiences we encourage, but they can sometimes take a toll on progress in therapy. For those clients who need to take breaks during the summer, we are able to provide supplemental activities that they can do at home, at camp and on vacation to ensure they are maintaining their skills. Some of the ideas we give our parents include:
TAKE A WALK: walk around your neighborhood, the park, the mall, or your city. Play “I spy.” Describe the flowers. Pretend to be animals. Ask open ended questions and show your child how to critically think. Say things like, “hmmmm... that flies and makes a chirp chirp sound. I wonder what that is?” You could also create a game or scavenger hunt for your walk, prompting your child to search for and label objects using a picture checklist
COOK: plan a picnic, make a snack, or cook dinner. Allow your child to help you find the ingredients in the grocery store and even ask the employees for help. Gather all the tools, talk about smells and tastes, make observations and predictions. Plan the steps and use sequencing words like, “first we pour the water into a bowl.” Best of all, share the meal together and have conversation!
STAYCATION: stay home or in your town, and have a day trip! Go to a local beach, park, museum, or downtown. Planning events helps to build your child’s background knowledge. Talk about the things you see, what you’re doing, and even what you like/don’t like about it. Excursions are a great way to foster natural conversation and practice talking about things we notice in the environment. It’s also a great time to talk about other places or events that are similar. Say, “this park has swings just like the one near our house! But this park is different because it has a pond.”
Summer Fun doesn’t have to mean that kids aren’t still getting the speech and language exposure they need. We love helping parents, and kids, come up with fun ideas to incorporate their goals in their summer activities.
As always, we want to thank everyone who contributes to make these opportunities through our clinic possible. Because of you, our kids experience summer fun with a side of learning and language. Have a wonderful, safe and enriching summer!