DAY 60 – SLT Telepractice Experience #CircuitBreaker #EmbraceDyslexia
THE DAS SLT TELEPRACTICE EXPERIENCE: INCREASED PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT AND PARENT-CHILD BONDING
Lucas is a jovial and lively primary 3 boy. He has been attending both the Main Literacy Programme and Speech-Language Therapy (SLT) at DAS Serangoon since 2018. In SLT, Lucas focuses on improving his auditory memory and comprehension, expressive language and logical reasoning.
Over the terms, Lucas has made good progress. Other than his own hard work and positive attitude, his progress is also attributed to strong parental support. Lucas’ mother, Mdm Liow, has always been very understanding about Lucas’ challenges in learning. At the same time, she is constantly keen to find out more about how she can better support Lucas at home. As such, I would speak with Mdm Liow after almost every therapy session.
Nonetheless, the limitation of post-therapy discussions is that parents may be unable to fully understand what happened during therapy as they were not present. Consequently, it would be challenging for them to carry out follow-up activities at home. For Lucas, telepractice has allowed Mdm Liow to overcome such a challenge as she is present for all of Lucas’ online sessions. One particular incident highlighted the benefit of direct parent involvement.
During a picture description activity, Lucas was shown a picture of a girl washing dishes with a sponge. Lucas was able to describe the picture as ‘the girl is washing’, but had difficulties identifying what object the girl was using to wash the dishes. When he was prompted to look closely at what the girl was holding, Lucas’ response was ‘’washing a xiaolongbao (a type of Chinese steamed bun)? It turned out that Lucas had referred to the sponge as a ‘bun’, because of its similarities in physical appearance to a bun and also his lack of familiarity with the concept of using sponges to wash dishes. Mdm Liow was amused at Lucas’ confusion but refrained from disrupting the flow of the activity by commenting on the situation or attempting to teach Lucas.
The next day, I sent Mdm Liow a message to follow up on the incident, expecting to engage in a discussion on what can be done at home to help Lucas understand the function of sponges. To my pleasant surprise, Mdm Liow had already taken action! She shared that the incident made her realize that Lucas has never washed dishes before. Therefore, right after the therapy session, Mdm Liow conducted a ‘practical’ session for Lucas in their home kitchen. They used sponges to wash dishes and bonded over the activity while having a good laugh about what can and what cannot be washed in the sink (e.g., no smelly socks, no paper). Mdm Liow reflected that she was thankful that the incident came up during telepractice while she was present, such that she could take the necessary follow-up action to help Lucas. The follow-up activity also helped her realise and understand that exposing Lucas to more daily life experiences can contribute significantly to his language development.
It was heartening for me to know that not only had Lucas learnt something new, the direct involvement of the parent during telepractice in a basic 3-minute picture description therapy task had enabled his mother to develop deeper insights on her child’s condition, and what she can do to help him as a parent. Just as important, the simple activity was transformed into an opportunity for mother-son bonding post-therapy.
By Tammy Wong
Speech and Language Therapist
Specialised Educational Services
DONT FORGET TO Join us for the UNITE SPLD 2020 CONFERENCE ONLINE!
Since the start of the COVID-19 situation, DAS has had to respond to delivering our remediation classes as well as all of our training online! We decided to go ahead with our Preschool Seminar as an online webinar and since then in March we have become quite adept at doing things online. So preparations have been going well for this next online experience and we look forward to having you as a participant at UNITE SPLD.
DAS has been overwhelmed with the support of our local and international colleagues and we appreciate their continued support of our SpLD community.
We look forward to delivering you a “different” conference this year, we will not let the virus stop us from learning!
Ticket sales will be available on 27 April 2020 @ $75 each. DAS Parents get a discount – call our hotline: 6444 5700 (Office Hours)
REGISTER NOW! tinyurl.com/UNITESPLD2020