The holiday season can be a very distracting time for children and adults. A majority of time is occupied by spending time with family, days off, and fun celebrations. Of course, this means that speech-language pathologists must be even more careful not to lose track of individual goals for speech and language.
Focus on Family
Children and their families love this time of year because they have traditions that they share through the generations. Inquire about what each child’s family does within their homes during the holiday season. Use this to make a special December celebration of your own during sessions. Reaching out to those members at home means you are incorporating their rich multilingual and cultural experiences into the work. Perhaps you can make a scrap book of traditions that everyone can share together, or post it on a bulletin board and allow children to explain them to the group. This helps them to take ownership in their unique customs and proudly share them while building confidence when speaking.
Projects with Goals in Mind
Think ahead during the month of December and focus on specific goals to work on. Incorporate articulation games into your sessions. Whether you are working on an end sound, beginning blend, or something else, there are ways to mix it up when you think outside of the box. Crafts that you can make on a specific topic can incorporate vocabulary or language skills. In addition to using these within your sessions, you will be able to send many of these projects home to keep the practice going with families. Be sure to look at Pinterest for ideas, as well as Teachers pay Teachers, where many Speech Language Pathologists have shared lesson plans that you may be able to use or alter to use with your students.
Looking Ahead to 2014
With almost half of the academic year behind us, it is time to think ahead to 2014. While we continue to work toward goals on IEPs, it is also crucial to review plans to see if they may need revisions or amendments. Make notes and really observe how on track everyone is with their individual needs. Take time to talk with other members of the team who work with each child to see if they have any concerns or areas where they have seen growth.
Continue to have open lines of communication with families at home. Ask if they have any questions about how their children are doing. See if they would like more ideas to incorporate at home. Check to make sure that all needs are being met and that there is no confusion about the direction that you will be working toward in the months ahead.