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Friday, September 13, 2013

When SLPs lose their voice...

What do you do if you are an SLP but you can't talk?! 

Working with kids in a public school, I knew it would only be a matter of time before I caught something. This year, it took five weeks. I got a little cold on Wednesday and by Thursday morning my voice was GONE. I put myself on vocal rest. I didn't feel bad enough to take a sick day. I had lots to do at work. I just couldn't talk!

But what about therapy? What about meetings? How does a school based SLP go about her day and do her job when she can't talk?

It caught me by surprise. I hadn't been talking too much. I wasn't that sick. I don't usually get so hoarse with a cold. So I had to scrap the lesson plans for the day and come up with something I could do with the kids that didn't involve much talking but still targeted their objectives.

While I was thinking of what to do, I wrote this message on my white board:

"Oh No! Mrs. Avren lost her  voice! We will be doing a quiet craft today"

I pulled out my stack of magazines, some scissors, glue, and construction paper. I decided I would have students cut out pictures of things that had their speech sound and take their projects home for weekend speech sound practice with their parents. 

I modified the activity slightly for the students with language goals. Some of them wrote down adjectives to describe their pictures. Some of them said a sentence about each picture using past tense verbs. My fluency students made sentences about each picture using easy onset. 

(note: The students that just couldn't do this activity were penciled in for make-up sessions next week)

I quickly typed up a little cover sheet and made an example for the kids to look at: 

Fortunately, I had just purchased a bunch of little dry erase boards at the Target dollar spot! I carried one of these around all day to communicate. (I was going to download an AAC device to my iPad and use it just for fun but I didn't have time!) 

However, many of my students cannot read. So, I used a lot of nonverbal communication as well. :) 

Overall, things went pretty smoothly! The kids loved the craft. 

I did have two IEP meetings, but I typed up a bunch of information before hand for the general education teacher to say for me as we discussed speech present levels and goals. 

I drank tea with honey throughout the day and plan on getting a lot of rest this weekend! 

1 comment:

  1. I sure hope your voice has come back! It's a bit tough to do our job without a voice. You did it well!