Teletherapy: A fun and convenient way to help your child master those sounds!

Teletherapy: A fun and convenient way to help your child master those sounds!

It can be hard to get your child to come to the clinic on a weekly basis to work on those tricky sounds. Perhaps the car isn’t working, you have had a lot on, or our student has a bit of a cold but is still able to do a little bit of sound practice?

The good news is that Teletherapy can be a fantastic option to continue your child’s speech journey from the comfort of your own home!

Even when your wifi is not working and your laptop is broken, as you can see on this clip I was able to stretch into running the session on WhatsApp video, but that is less then ideal I will say.

What is Teletherapy?

Teletherapy is speech therapy delivered virtually, through a secure video platform. I use Zoom for example, but I have also used WhatsApp Video Call on occasions where parents’ zoom was not working.

When is Teletherapy perfect?

Here’s why teletherapy can be a great fit for helping your child solidify those learned sounds:

  • Basic sound patterns have been established in clinic: Your child is now able to say those tricky sounds BUT they are not saying them in daily life yet; they are not ‘generalising’ those new sounds into the normal speech.
  • You just can’t make it today: No more fighting traffic or fitting appointments into busy schedules. Teletherapy sessions happen at home, on your time. Sometimes even in the attic or the garden shed as in my video clip here ????
  • Your child is about 7 years old or older and is motivated to work on their sounds: I use fun and interactive online tools and games to keep your child engaged during practice sessions. Due to having done teletherapy over the Covid period I have amassed lots of great games and know-how in this area. Our student needs to be mature enough to be able to sit in front of the laptop camera and participate with a minimum of adult help.
  • Your child loves gaming and is best motivated through online games: Sometimes children are best motivated when playing online games in between speech sound/language activities; in this case teletherapy is totally perfect.
  • Focus on Carryover: The familiar environment of your home can actually be an advantage! I can guide my student on practising sounds in everyday situations, like reading a book together or playing with toys, sometimes even talking to their sibling or a.n.other in the room.
  • Parental Involvement: Teletherapy allows you to be directly involved in the sessions just in same way as when I see your child in my clinic. You can learn strategies and techniques from me to continue practising with your child throughout the day. You can also make a note of the online games I have and then use them in your home sessions.

What to Expect During a Teletherapy Session

  • Initial Consultation: We start with a brief chat on how the week has gone, what gains have been made with the home exercises and we settle the student into a good learning mode; sometimes I start off with a very quick game just to set the scene.
  • Working on generalising: When asking my student about how their week has been I will remind them to remember their new sounds and to try and produce them whilst talking to me. This is already the start of therapy.
  • Practising target sounds: We practice our target sounds in different contexts, using games, visuals, and activities.
  • The teletherapy session lasts the same amount of time as do 1:1 sessions, unless I see that a child becomes very fidgety and we are not able to hold out much longer, I will cut short the session and focus on increased home practice.
  • Home Practice: Just like in 1:1 clinic sessions, I will provide you with easy-to-follow tips and activities to continue practising sounds throughout the week.

Getting Started with Teletherapy

  • Technology Check: Ensure you have a reliable internet connection and a device with a camera and microphone.
  • What device is best: Ideally the student needs to be on a laptop or PC because that way the student can actively engage with their mouse, moving game pieces, or participating in online activities using their mouse. Tablets are ok but do not allow active participation of the student as described above. However once in a while we can make it work and I do have some games and activities that do not rely on student participation.

Finally, I would say that Teletherapy is a safe, fun and effective way to continue your child’s speech therapy journey. It’s convenient, engaging, and it is perfect on a rainy day when you don’t want to or can’t come out to bring your child to clinic.

Do get in touch if you would like some in-person or on-line 1:1 support with this. It can be overwhelming to figure it all out alone.

Find a speech and language therapist for your child in London. Are you concerned about your child’s speech, feeding or communication skills and don’t know where to turn? Please contact me and we can discuss how I can help you or visit my services page.

Four reasons to continue Speech and Language Therapy during the summer

Four reasons to continue Speech and Language Therapy during the summer

The summer holidays can be tricky for parents as there is so much to do: organising childcare, the actual holiday, and trying to have some all-important ‘me time’. Speech therapy for your little one might be the last thing on your mind. But …. If we can prioritise only a small amount of time every day then we are maximising time and finances spent thus far and can continue your child’s Speech and Language Therapy sessions throughout the summer, no problem. Have a look at this blog. We’ll take you through good reasons why you shouldn’t ignore Speech and Language Therapy sessions this summer.

1. Building communication skills takes time

You’ve worked so hard throughout the year to support your child’s speech, language and communication. Now is the time to continue, not to stop! You will watch your child’s communication and confidence grow and flourish over the next couple of months. All the different experiences your child will have on holiday or just even pootling about in your local park with you, or granny/nanny will help expand their capacity for learning and using language and words to communicate with you. If you have time during the summer, you can embed the skills your child has learnt into everyday life which is vital . If in doubt ask how you can use the strategies you have learned in any new environment. Together we can workshop all eventualities and make them fun and doable. There is no end of fun and opportunities with a bucket, spade and a bit of sand!

2. Getting to know your child’s Speech and Language Therapist is vital

Here’s a plug for regular therapy sessions: building a rapport with your child’s Speech and Language Therapist is key. If our sessions together are consistent and regular, then it will be so easy for us to develop a good rapport with your little one. Trust is key. So if sessions are infrequent and irregular it is hard for your child to build up trust with their therapist and it is hard for the therapist also to get you know your child and tailor the sessions so that they really work very well. We need to know what your child loves and what activities or toys work well; so, if sessions are missed and irregular then the process just takes longer.

3. Goals are set and measured

Sometimes a break is needed and that’s fine. We measure goals within a certain time frame and whilst a few weeks holiday are great for everyone, we don’t want to lose any progress your child has made. If a child does not attend sessions, progress will often diminish as consistency in therapy is key!

4. You’ll be able to embed skills over the summer at home

Did you know you can access Speech and Language Therapy wherever you are with our remote service? Teletherapy allows flexibility which means your child’s sessions can be wherever you are. Whilst this isn’t for everyone, it does allow regular sessions to continue. If that does not work for you then let’s talk about how we can help you transfer all the therapy goals into your holiday. You will be surprised how easy it is: lots of goals can be worked into snack times for example or bath times. You will have those wherever you are so this won’t take away your holiday fun, promise!

Find out more about teletherapy.

Find a speech and language therapist for your child in London. Are you concerned about your child’s speech, feeding or communication skills and don’t know where to turn? Please contact me and we can discuss how I can help you or visit my services page.

Why teletherapy is great

Why teletherapy is great

Did you know that you don’t have to see a therapist with your child present to have improved communication? For younger children, evidence suggests that regular tailored interaction with parents/carers is as good as seeing a Speech and Language Therapist, with their advice followed. Often your child will respond better because they are in familiar surroundings with their favourite toys present. By learning the techniques I teach you in our weekly virtual zoom sessions, you can support your child’s language and communication every single day. This can be as good and sometimes even better than coming into clinic once a week. You’re embedding and generalising what your child is learning into everyday situations. This is important for your child’s communication development.

Speech Therpaist in London

It takes two to talk – the Hanen approach

The Hanen approach is about improving your child’s communication by tweaking your own communication style as parents and carers. It looks at your strengths and weaknesses in your communication with your child. You film a session playing with your child, and with a trained Hanen Speech and Language Therapist you review the video identifying strengths and weaknesses in your communication on a regular basis for a set period. For example, you may give your child plenty of time to answer questions, but you might identify from the video that you ask too many questions.

The Hanen approach works well online because:

  • Parents and carers can concentrate on the information they are given without interruption from their child
  • It is a process; you’re not told what’s right and wrong. It’s a process of discussion, reflection, and understanding by analysing the video footage
  • This method can be applied to daily activities, so together we can think about how it can be individualised specifically for your family situation
  • You can carry out the techniques in your own time when your child is well, calm, and willing to engage.

Online therapy is also ideal for older children (aged 7+) who have difficulties with speech, word-finding, sequencing, or executive functioning (planning and processing information) skills. You can see and hear the therapist and gain knowledge from their valuable expertise whilst saving you time, money, and energy resources. In addition, children tend to love technology, so the online resources are motivating and capture their attention.

Remove the barriers and start your online therapy journey today.

Contact me to learn more.

Sonja is a highly knowledgeable and experienced speech and language therapist. Don’t hesitate to contact her, especially if you are concerned that remote/zoom sessions aren’t as effective as ‘real life’. We have found quite the opposite! She has worked with us on Hanen and now troubleshoots when problems come up. This is such a wonderful way of working. She acts as your indispensable guide (a speech and language fairy godmother, if you like) but make no mistake, it’s your application of what she teaches you, on a day-to-day basis that results in the most change.

P. Goeldner

Find a speech and language therapist for your child in London. Are you concerned about your child’s speech, feeding or communication skills and don’t know where to turn? Please contact me and we can discuss how I can help you or visit my services page.

Tele-Therapy – What Is That And How Does It Work With Speech And Language Therapy?

Tele-Therapy – What Is That And How Does It Work With Speech And Language Therapy?

Tele-Therapy – What Is That And How Does It Work With Speech And Language Therapy?
Tele-Therapy – What Is That And How Does It Work With Speech And Language Therapy?

How can I help you assess and support your child when you live outside London or just can’t come to see me for any reason? The short answer is: YES I CAN and we can do it virtually! There are separate areas I can target using Teletherapy.

Here is one of them:

Parent – Child Interaction / Attunement

Through the pandemic and lock-down I have had opportunity to re-think how I can help people virtually and what I can do to ensure that parents continue to feel empowered and help their children make good progress even when I cannot personally come to their home or they cannot visit me.

My training with the HANEN METHOD came in so handy as of course in the US and Canada therapists and families traditionally cover huge areas and often are too far away from each other. They have been practising on-line/virtual or now known TELE-THERAPY for decades and are very advanced with research, materials and support in this area. I skilled up at the beginning of the pandemic early 2020 and by around April I was up and running! Nobody was able to see anyone in lockdown and of course parents were still desperate for help with their children.

The basic premise when supporting young children under the age of 5 years is that a NATURALISTIC approach is the best and very well researched to be highly effective. This means that the parents or caregivers are the most important and consistent key people in every child’s life and they are the best therapists and AGENTS FOR CHANGE.

Parents spent the most time with their child, even when they are working parents! – they are still most likely to spend many hours in the evenings and weekends with their child. When we are looking at how Social Communication develops we know that it emerges from birth through daily interaction and daily activities: playing, snuggling, running, eating, getting dressed, shopping with mum, sitting in the car with dad, playground, dinner around the table, bath time, story time, teeth brushing, bed time. These are the consistent areas where interaction takes place and where social communication can develop/be supported/ be enhanced. – do check out my other blog as well on this topic “What is Speech and Language Therapy”.

Parents Are The Agents Of Change

What do I mean by that? Parent-Child Interaction work focuses on helping the parent to tune in with their child and therefore enabling the child to tune in with the parent, in turn. Its about TUNING IN. This is often missing when children have social communication difficulties: they do not tune in. And parents end up tuning less into their children as time goes on, because the interaction is always so one-sided. Parents tell me again and again how hard it is to engage with their child as there seems to be so little “come-back”.

I teach your really powerful strategies that you can implement quite easily during your normal daily activities! You will not need to do any “home work”, i.e anything extra on top of what you normally do with your child anyway! How good is that!?

Each week I will teach you one or two new strategies to try out and together we will workshop exactly how you could do this. So you will walk away knowing what activities to target and how. Over a short period of time you will see positive changes, because you , the parent, have changed! PARENTS ARE THE AGENTS OF CHANGE. This is incredibly empowering for the parent as in the end you won’t need a therapist because you have become the ideal, consistent, expert therapist for your own child. The strategies will stay with you for life and over time you will be using them without even thinking about it. And your child will learn – over time – to tune in with you. TADAAAH! You’re welcome!

So give Tele-Therapy a try! I would really recommend it:

  • Convenient as you do not need to travel, and therefore cost and time saving.
  • It takes just one hour out of your busy day, not 3 hours with travel in London etc.
  • You will be fully supported with on-line video clips, slides, my write-ups and other materials I often make for you to support your journey.
  • You will feel empowered to help your child develop the very day you start the therapy.
  • You can have weekly support, fortnightly or monthly. You can contact me for brief hand-holds in between and most importantly your child will make progress.

If you would like to discuss this a bit more, get in touch with me! I would love to help. Check out my google reviews of clients who have done Tele-therapy with me, some of them live abroad, as far away as Australia and Tanzania or Germany. You will see it can work so very well.

Find a speech and language therapist for your child in London. Are you concerned about your child’s speech, feeding or communication skills and don’t know where to turn? Please contact me and we can discuss how I can help you or visit my services page.