Spring Break is a great opportunity for private speech-language pathologists to “think outside of the box” also known as “therapy outside of the clinic”. I had not planned on doing anything different for therapy the week of Spring Break. However, the week before it occurred, one of my little guys shared with me that he had gone to a local family fun arcade type of place. He also shared that his favorite game is “the circle game where you bang them together”. I have been to this location many times with my own children and I had no idea what he was trying to explain. Luckily his mother helped me out and we figured out he was talking about playing air hockey! Of course, after hearing his description, I had the fun idea to have our speech therapy at the arcade during Spring Break.
Sidenote: As a working mom, holding speech therapy at the arcade was a win-win. My son (pictured, with green hair) was happy to leave the house and was a bonus for my little friend to meet.
I have been on many field trip when employed by a preschool and public schools. During that time, I would often receive eye rolls or looks of disbelief when I told someone that I would be going on the field trips and doing speech. But getting out of the office and in a public space is often extremely beneficial for the client. Places such as the mall, restaurants, bowling, and the arcade are the child’s natural environment -much more than a therapy room should be!
A few of the skills that I target in these places include: receptive vocabulary, expressive vocabulary, following simple directions, following multi-step directions, turn-taking, feeding skills, social mealtime skills, volume control, asking appropriate questions, responding to questions, gaining attention appropriately, making inferences, producing target sounds, eye contact, speaking in fluent sentences and so on. Plus you often see a side of the kid that you haven't seen before. For example, I did not know that my very-talkative-in-therapy little guy would not answer a question asked by someone he did not know such as a cashier. It was such an eye opener for me.
So get out of your chair, the floor, your office, your school and go enjoy your therapy session! Happy Spring Break!