It’s been 2 days in a row now. For some therapists, brains would be racked, consultants would be consulted, Facebook groups would be contacted, but I remembered the teachings of my graduate school and one special professor, Dr. Sima Gerber. I knew to follow the child’s lead.
My Kindergarten student started using “The Wheels on the Bus” as a framework for labeling verbs and nouns.
Swimming becomes “swimming, swimming, swimming…” over and over until we get to “all through the town.”
Why is this okay?
Because we were engaged.
Eye contact was established and maintained.
My student allowed me to tap along and sing along (sometimes, he wasn’t always keen on me singing- not many kids are!)
We labeled 30+ actions and 20+ nouns in a 30 minute session.
There were no negative behaviors.
We targeted his goals.
He was able to co-articulate single and multisyllable utterances.
There’s probably more things I am ignoring, but I know that this was a way to elicit language and keep my student engaged with me. Sometimes engagement is all we need. It can be the foundation for a stronger therapeutic relationship which can have long-lasting effects. This student likes and trusts me and will complete more tasks that I ask him to do now!
I know in the day to day of school speech-language therapy we cannot always “follow the child’s lead.” There are rules to maintain and an organization to our day that we have to keep. There are groups and goals that prevent us from getting that kind of work done. When the moment arrives… let go and follow the child’s lead. You might be amazed at what happens.