Are you blending teletherapy with in-person therapy? Are you using low tech and high tech combined with just plain talking?
It doesn’t matter. What matters is your well-being. So how can you have your sanity?
Plan for the worst but expect the best.
Plan for your client to be wiggly.
Can you get chair support and a place for his/her feet during therapy? Can your client have a fidget?
Plan for siblings. Plan for your child to leave the screen. Recently I watched a child literally yell, “Squirrel!” in response to a squirrel outside in the bird feeder. Can you see me with my hand over my face as I laughed to myself?
Plan for parents who are present and are overbearing. Plan for parents who are present and are concentrating on their work or phones.
Plan for kids putting poop emojis on the screen to cover their faces.
Plan for the internet to allow you to see the child but not hear them or hear them and not see them.
Plan for asking questions to elicit language and the child either doesn’t respond or just gives you shoulder shrugs.
Plan to recognize other issues. Sometimes children with goals for articulation demonstrate comprehension or other language issues.
Plan to help those children who don’t have enough support and are struggling with the isolation of covid. How can you make their day better than it was before you began meeting with them?
Have Fun If you aren’t having fun, it is likely that your clients aren’t either. Duplicating games can help keep your clients engaged, but your attitude can also help or become a hindrance.
Your praise may need to be praiseworthy just to get the child’s attention. I found out that if I used my “goofy sounding voice” I held everyone’s attention. I resented having to do all the theatrics until I realized I had a superpower.
Emotions Not everyone is having the same experience with covid, employment, schoolwork, and home life. Many people are struggling. At the beginning of the pandemic, I had been teaching a college class. I soon learned that one of my non-traditional students had to care for her own special needs child, her younger sister while working and preparing meals and performing other household chores. All the while, she was enrolled as a full-time student. This pandemic may be causing financial struggles for you and your family or the family of your client.
Get your emotions in check before performing therapy with a child whose world may not be a happy place. The small things are the ones that count. Do expect too much, but expect enough to please yourself.
I am wishing you the best in these trying times. May you find composure and peace in your day. I wish much laughter and I wish that you get to see the delight in a face that yells “Squirrel!”