By this time we all know that speech and language therapy centers, nurseries and schools are closed due to the outbreak of the current COVID-19 epidemic. The severity of this pandemic is as such that even the president of United States – Donald Trump has also become a victim. Many of us are shocked, others are afraid and the rest are ignorant…
While a lot of things are taking place, our main duty is to protect the younger generation. So parents are keeping their children indoors. However, this has its pros’ and cons’. Children are happy because they don’t have to work or be under the supervision of a teacher / speech & language therapist.
But as speech & language therapists we know the effect it will have on your child by not being able to attend regular therapy sessions. Imagine if the child was not sitting but has just begun to sit and work with the therapist. It’s really hard to make a child sit or speak his first meaningful word and it is one of the main goals of the speech & language therapists.
We request all our parents to work on the speech therapy activities as much as you can at home and keep your children engaged during these critical days before the kids droop down to the same level they were in ,before attending speech therapy.
So let’s see what techniques of speech and language therapy we can use at home to get your child to be on track during COVID-19,
1) Make a time table
This is the best way to start and if not now then when? So make sure to follow a time table from the start. Keep the timetable in a place where you and your child can always see. This will be a good strategy to put into practise if you want your child to balance both work and play.
2) Reduce TV, phone, tab as much as you can and keep them busy with speech stimulating methods
Make use of your holiday to get to know your child better. Spend time with them and talk to them rather than sitting infront of a screen. On the other hand do not let your child take charge of the TV remote or let them unlock the phone without your permission.
3) Engage them in more of physical activities during this endemic
This is the best time to go out and be in the sun, Play with sand and learn to write letters, Teach about nature to your child, Scream while playing run and catches, Play cricket and tell your child to count the no. of balls,Speak loud and clear while you do hide and seek with them, Sing songs, Engage in creative arts and crafts, etc.
4) Sit and tell stories that they enjoy
Bring back the past. Tell stories that your grandparents taught you.. tell them about the era you lived in.. how you used fall and hurt yourself.. and how everyone gathered and played imaginery play house,etc.
5) Talk to speech therapists and try to work on those speech and language therapy goals during COVID-19
As developing a child is a joint effort, even if they are on leave.. speech therapists will be able to assist your child. Ask them for more tips to work on at home and follow them closely.
6) Ask frequent questions to improve their speech and language
While you do all the above make sure you converse with them and ask more questions, explain it to them and get them to ask questions back. Let it work both the ways.
Hope this will help everyone who is not able to attend speech and language therapy, school, Nursery during COVID-19 out there in this time of need.. its a time we should help each other and be vigilant about our surroundings..