Speech Therapy: Back to School During COVID-19

by The Artsy SLP

Many Speech Language Therapists are returning to school amid the COVID-19 pandemic. School districts across the country vary on their approach to heading back to school. Policies vary state to state and some even vary among counties.

Some school districts are strictly using virtual learning. Other districts are using the hybrid model of online and in person learning. Teachers, parents, and students are all concerned about the spread of COVID-19. Read on for tips and suggestions for returning to school amid COVID.

Wear a face mask and/or a face shield.

Masks should fully cover your nose and mouth. This can make it very challenging for speech therapy. However, there are face masks designed specifically for speech therapists. They allow the student to see your mouth. This is helpful for articulation therapy.

Plexiglass Partitions

Many school districts will supply this upon request. A plexiglass or glass partition for your desk is an added protection when doing speech language therapy.

Social Distancing

Try to keep the desks six feet apart. This can be challenging in a smaller class setting. However, strive to keep the desks as far apart as possible. Another tip is to have your students alternate desks. Therefore, this will leave some desks empty.

Sanitize Frequently

Wash your hands frequently and encourage your students to do the same. Have district approved hand sanitizer available on your desk. Encourage your students to use the sanitizer before and after their speech language therapy session. Also wash your hands and sanitize after each session.

Disinfect Surface Areas

Sanitize the desks, chairs, and items used in therapy after each session. Try adjusting your therapy schedule to increase the time between classes. This will allow you the opportunity for cleaning. Also wipe down the door handles, light switches, and other high contact surfaces.

As many districts return to in-person learning; these strategies will help you prepare for the school year ahead. We are in unprecedented times. However, remember that we are all in this together.

These are suggestions that you may choose to implement in the classroom and therapy setting. Always check with your health care professional and school district before implementing any strategies. Visit the Center for Disease Control (CDC) website www.cdc.gov for comprehensive information on COVID-19.

Use these posters to encourage your students to stay healthy by following social distancing guidelines and using good hygiene.

Please do not use any images or photos from this blog (except when linking to the original post on social media) without obtaining written permission from the author. 

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