Developing Social Language While Social Distancing

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While we may not be able to socialize in person, you can continue to help your children develop social language skills at home. Here are some easy ways to get started! 

  1. FaceTime or other video conferencing calls: Schedule calls with family members and friends! Encourage your child to ask questions to find out information from the other person. Be sure to think of the 5 W’s (who, what, where, when and why) 
    1. Who went to the grocery store? 
    2. What did you eat for breakfast? 
    3. Where is your dog? 
    4. When are you going to eat? 
    5. Why are you in the kitchen?). 

You can also work on feelings and emotions by pointing out nonverbal cues, such as facial expressions, body movements/orientation, etc. Make sure your child uses appropriate greetings to say hello and goodbye as well. Good eye contact is important too! 

   2.Virtual playdates: I know this seems a bit crazy, but it works! Before the playdate starts, try to find toys that both children have. For example, blocks, Legos or dolls. Even though they can’t physically build or play together, there are tons of opportunities to connect and work together. Perhaps one child builds an airport while the other makes an airplane. They can work together to figure out when the airplane can take off and land. If the children are using dolls, they can pretend to feed each other’s baby or one child can sing while the other child puts the baby to bed. Make sure your children have enough room to play and the streaming device is far enough that the other child can see what’s happening. You may have to make some adjustments so stay close by. Also, keep in mind that this will get easier and become more natural with more opportunities! 

  3.Read: You can use books to work on emotions and feelings as well as problem solving. Ask questions before reading, such as, “How do you think this person feels?” or make comments, such as, “Hmm, he looks angry, I wonder why.” Encourage your child to talk about facial expressions. For example, “How did you know the boy is feeling sad?” Depending on your child’s age, you can have him/her write a sequel for various books. Remember, the 5 basic story elements include characters, the setting, the plot, the conflict (problem) and the resolution (solution). Writing books is a great way to work on vocabulary, sequencing and pronouns too! If your child likes drawing, you can have him/her draw pictures and work on story retell.  

COVID-19 Protocol

We hope you and your family are continuing to stay safe and healthy! We have outlined our protocols for in-person sessions during COVID-19. As you know, the health and safety of our clients and therapists remain our highest priority. As always, please reach out with any questions or concerns. Thank you for your cooperation and understanding as we work together through these unprecedented times.

Hand Washing:
Upon arrival at your home, your therapist will wash their hands with soap and water and/or use hand sanitizer. We ask that you and your child also wash your hands and/or use hand sanitizer upon your therapist’s arrival.
We are asking our therapists to wear masks upon entering your home and throughout your child’s session. That said, we understand that some children have adverse reactions to seeing adults in masks and will leave it up to you and your therapist to decide your comfort level while still taking safety precautions.
We ask that parents and caregivers also follow the guidelines and wear masks when sitting in on sessions. We will not enforce that policy, but we do kindly ask for compliance.
As for your child, we realize that masks may not be appropriate for every child so we will not enforce the rule that children over the age of 2 should wear a mask.  However, if your therapist insists that your child wear a mask, then that will be a requirement directly between the two of you. We respect our therapists’ individual comfort levels with safety precautions and ask that you respect them as well.


Protocol Acknowledgment and Health Certification:

Before your child’s first in-person session, we are asking clients to submit an acknowledgment of these protocols and a health certification, which you can find here. Thank you again for your cooperation and for helping all of us stay healthy!