Literacy sessions and online therapy – how does it work?
Literacy sessions online… sounds like it would be complicated! But truth is, with the technology that we have access to and the things that we have learnt (especially since the Covid-19 pandemic), it’s not very different to a literacy session face to face in the clinic.
The set up
To make the most out of your child’s online sessions, it is recommended that they are set up in a quiet environment, with a desk/table to lean on and a chair to sit in. They will also need the computer/laptop with enough charge. For writing/spelling goals there are two options: the first is the standard pen and paper, the second is an app called “Jamboard” that can be downloaded on to a smart phone or tablet. The app is interactive, meaning your child and their speech pathologist can both write on it and see what each other are writing. Some children are happy to use their finger to write, others like to use a stylus (a magnetic pen that can write on the screen).
Working on your child’s goals
Your speech pathologist will use the results of your child’s assessment and work with you to determine what literacy goals to be working on. From here, they will share their screen or add activities to your child’s Jamboard to work on during the session. These may be reading targets, spelling words, sentences to read and write, as well as goal-based games to keep your child engaged.
As with face to face sessions, we know it is important to maintain a child’s motivation to keep them in the optimal zone for learning. We do this by keeping the activities your child completes fun, and give them opportunities to move their body (it’s normal for children to need to move around regularly – it actually helps them maintain their attention!). We love to include your child’s interests when deciding on the games that they will play – If they like interactive games on the computer we can play things like Connect 4 or Snakes and Ladders, if they need enjoy movement we can do things like a scavenger hunt for certain items (e.g. 3 things that start with “T”) or animal walks. There are so many options to keep your child engaged in online therapy; the only limits are around how creative we can be!
Benefits of online literacy sessions
Online literacy sessions are a great option for many children. We have found that the biggest benefit of online therapy is around convenience:
- Therapy can be completed from your home. This means there is less travelling!
- Therapy can be completed at school. More flexibility around therapy times may also be available to you
- Online therapy from home can be great for kids who have challenges with transitions. They can go directly home rather than having multiple stops
- Going away for the holidays but don’t want your child to miss out on the progress they could be making in that time to catch up to their peers? No problem! Therapy can be done anywhere that has an internet connection!
If online therapy sounds like something that would suit your family, talk to your paediatric speech pathologist about how to set it up.