To attend or not go to school/get help for your family through home-based services. What are the ethics?? Who should decide and what to do when you consider options? To me, it’s not a one size fits all answer. I feel for some families where remote schooling would be potentially harmful to their health and the consequences that the decision may have. Each possible scenario has pluses and minutes with the Delta variant amidst us, The potential impact on language is something that we may be dealing with for quite some time Potential Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Communication and Language Skills in Children – PubMed (nih.gov)
Regardless of the research, I am concerned about this ethically. Should states allow parents to have the option of in-home schooling available to them? There are considerations.
One parent told me that she would rather have her son (who has ADHD) have services in speech therapy unmasked virtually vs. masked and in person. Interesting statement to ponder. Those with a social communication disorder or an autism spectrum disorder in which social interaction difficulties, problems in verbal and nonverbal communication may be prevalent. Sensory challenges may also play a role with these people and some will undoubtedly have trouble wearing masks. How do you deal with that? There are children who have never been in school – “started”; but never in a school building!
I’m not envious of those needing to make this decision now. There is a lot to think about.
If you are concerned about the Delta variant and may be keeping a child home from school – or preschool know that there are options for your child to learn communication skills at home by infusing, or embedding teaching moments into your day – your daily routines.
To embed involves “learning by doing”. For example, here are some examples of ways that you can help your son or daughter to develop speech and language at home by DOING to give you food for thought so you can consider how aspects of your routines, when we are or are not socially distanced can become teachable ones. At the bottom of this post are some additional insights for how to teach language in the below stated areas of daily life.
Teach Vocabulary: food names and actions
Follow Directions by having them “give me the red pepper.” , have the child find and place the red pepper where it goes.
Answer questions by saying “what is this?” as you pick up i.e. a box of their favorite cereal. You could ask them to tell you “where does it go”
Sequencing the steps: You can teach this by modeling what you are doing in the process of unpacking groceries as you do it. For examplel: starting with saying “Thank you” to whomever has delivered your package. Discuss that you need to “pick up” the bag and “bring it to the kitchen” “unpack “(define that), “put the cereal …” etc.
Doing the Laundry:
Teach Vocabulary: clothing and action words
Sorting – all the dark colored clothes in one pile and the light ones in another Have your child help by putting “all the shirts go here. all the pants go in this pile.
Follow Directions: Ask your toddler or school ages child to “put a pod of soap into the machine” with your supervision.
Sequence: You can teach this by modeling or having your child hear/see the steps being performed: “open the door”-washing machine, “put clothes in” “put in the soap” “close the door”
The idea of embedding activities into daily routines so that parents can help to facilitate development in language with their children in the 0-3 age range and actually beyond is widely used. It appears that in an age of a pandemic, social distancing and altered lifestyles that the need for inclusion of embedding activities into daily living has become even more important. You are your child’s first teacher and that job does not end – pandemic or not, 24/7. Hopefully, these suggestions can help.
Teaching Executive Function through daily routines
On youtube or in the library re books that you can read to your child about this and other daily activities. It’s worth taking a look and previewing reading about each activity even before you do it – or at a quiet time of the day.
Schools are closed and there is still a pandemic brewing in our midst. Some remain unvaccinated and the question of what will come next has arrived. Technology will most likely be on the minds of students who now have more free time and ideas for developing routines and rules around it abound. However, I have another one for you and it came out of the blue in a discussion within the past two weeks.
I asked a parent, as a part of an evaluation that I was conducting about how much screen time their eight-year-old has. The answer was an awesome idea to consider.. the 5K rule “For every 5,000 steps she moves she get a half hour. The most she can get is one hour of time using her tablet”.
You are probably thinking.. how is this measured? That was my question.. and the parent had a marvelous idea. An exercise tracker. They are very easy to get, so click on the green link!
I recall struggling with the one-hour rule of television unless there was a special program on or one that we had to watch for school. What did my brothers and I think of doing???? Perhaps I can share some ideas with your family. I was raised before computers and summertimes were different, to say the least. It gives me an opportunity to share another way to have fun! We had a different way of talking one another and still do – bringing new experiences to the next generation.
Mom was a librarian …there were always trips to the library. My dad taught us to work in the backyard and we weeded the area where he was growing vegetables. I even had my own area for marigolds. It is heartwarming to me to know that in my own home city of NY that there are Community gardens in New York City (dailykos.com) so that these skills can be learned. Check with the parks department in your area I learned that cat food cans filled with beer attracted slugs and collected a lot of them that way because slugs would ruin the crop. We went to the park and raced after the Good Humour truck to get an ice cream pop down the street as the bell of the truck was heard when we finished dinner. You can have a lemonade stand at a city park in NYC, perhaps in other areas as well. We went to the local pool, drew pictures, and I kept a diary. Playing in the park or backyard was always an idea. The very fondest memories were those that last a lifetime… family vacations. To this very day, we talk about our childhood trips. We still have them and share our memories with a new generation of family members. I hope that they will have the same experience as we did…
Oh! Please don’t forget to take pictures and perhaps write a story about the details so that you can continue with new traditions and remember the old. It will give you more about which to talk and even share virtually during that half or whole hour 🙂
Those with hearing challenges may need to be able to lip-read and for that reason, a different type of mask is available to them. It is called a mask with a “mouth expression shield”. As a speech-language pathologist, I see real benefits for the use of this mask when children are in school be they diagnosed with learning challenges, intellectual differences, with diagnoses as being on the autism spectrum or just neuro-typical. It’s also a wonderful tool in the age of COVID19 when you are an adult with communication challenges.
If your child is in school-a teacher would be more likely to interpret the reaction of a student to the information being presented and visa-versa
A parent may be able to bond more effectively with an infant and visa versa.
An adult with compromised communication function may be able to communicate more effectively with a significant another person, a caregiver, friend, or family member.
A person with cognitive deficits who may not be able to recognize others may be scared if they see a part of the face that is blocked; but unable to express this and become emotional – thinking they are alone. They may perseverate on a remark such as “where is…..?”
A newborn may more easilly bond with you if you are visible to them.
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