A speech therapist in a childcare program shares her perspective on serving Luke, a three year old boy with developmental delays who recently enrolled. She discusses the challenges of using embedded interventions in the classroom (running time: 2 min. 03 sec.).
For a child like Luke who has little to no speech, it is hard to truly participate in the community. Giving him tools to reach out and communicate with others not only empowers him, but gives us a much better idea about what he is thinking and feeling so we can all be more appropriately responsive and know him better.
But showing Luke these tools, providing opportunities for him to work on these skills—it’s hard work and can only happen with the collaboration of all the team members. I know that Luke’s mother is concerned that he might not be receiving enough individual therapy with me. I understand her worries and I have similar concerns. I don’t have the time to be in the classroom every day, so I rely heavily on Jackie and her co-teacher to implement the strategies I suggest. Are they using embedded interventions with Luke every day? How often does it really happen? I realize that they are trying, and they have other children to teach. But what they are doing with Luke—is it enough?
If I can give the teachers the supports they need, implementing the embedded interventions will be much easier on them. I should offer training on Luke’s communication device. I could create picture boards, special books, and other adapted material that would not only help them execute the activities, but provide visual reminders of best times and places to embed those activities.
The other children in Luke’s class provide wonderful opportunities for social interactions and peer-modeling of speech. But my therapy sessions with Luke in the classroom are sometimes pulled off track by the other students. It can be challenging to manage the other children and the classroom environment. I do my best to create a positive learning experience for all the kids, but sometimes I feel like pulling Luke out for an individual session still might be best for some activities. It can sometimes be frustrating given that I have such a limited amount of time with him.