Behind the scenes....
Behind the scenes: My Working Week.
Monday 17th February:
I am out of the door at 8am, leaving 2 teenagers snoozing in bed! It’s half term week.
One of my visits was cancelled due to a poorly child so it’s one visit and back to the office. The round trip is about 3 hours drive, 130 miles and the scenery is stunning!
Home by 1.30pm and the house is quiet. My children are walking the dog so I get back to work after a quick bite of lunch. I have an afternoon of preparation ready for Skype sessions on Tuesday.
I am working with a child on irregular verbs (in the past tense) and I am scouring the internet for lots of pictures. We don’t tend to think about the many different meanings for everyday words. For children with language disorder, they have to learn these individually.
For example, the verb/action to ‘catch’:
- A person can catch an object but so can a dog!
- An animal or a person can catch a virus.
- A policeman can catch a robber, a cat can catch a mouse.
- We can also catch a bus!
Two other children to prepare: Both children have verbal dyspraxia so it’s mainly speech work for them. Blending consonants and vowels and building on the words which they already use. Some laminating and colouring to prepare.
Tuesday 18th February:
Another early start, this time with my son in tow. We are off to Fort William for the Orthodontist (another 140 mile round trip!). Little did we realise the snowy road conditions ahead! Over the top to Invergarry and 2-3 inches of snow on the road. We meet the gritter, going the opposite direction of course! So it’s down to us to forge a way through at 20 mph! We’re not going to make the appointment on time!
By 1pm we are back home, thank goodness for snow tyres! Now to set up for my Skype therapy sessions, Children of 14 yrs, 6 yrs and 12 yrs all live 60 - 250 miles from my clinic. We meet for therapy once or twice a week using Skype. Our sessions are just like being in a clinic room. Just a bit of printing for the child to have ready, therapy activities and games for me to manipulate on my magnetic board.
Wednesday 19th february:
It’s the last day of our ‘half term’ and i’m off to Broadford on the Isle of Skye. My daughter was promised a haircut and so I’m relegated to the car. It’s a dry day so I stretch my legs and get some stamps. Back to the car to fill out the paperwork for my clinical supervision session tomorrow.
It’s another great view and a good space away from the office to reflect.
We walk the dog to the beach at lunchtime before I head back to the office to write my report from Monday and prepare for Skype sessions on Thursday.
Thursday 20th February:
It’s an early start today, out to the office to switch on the computer and boost the heating before I start at 8.45 am.
Clinical supervision for the rest of the morning in Glasgow. Well my colleagues are, i’m on Skype!
The afternoon I spend writing sentences for the app we are developing. More about this another time! To finish off the day, I have a telephone conference liaising with colleagues at 8pm.
Friday 21st February phew!
A meeting with a family about their child’s progress and plans for therapy. We are 60 miles apart so we are talking using FaceTime. It’s much nicer than the telephone and I can see how their child is getting on too. Another hours work to do follow-up from the call; contacting nursery to arrange a visit, the Council Speech and Language Therapist to liaise and writing up my notes onto My Therapy Tracker. This is a great way for parent’s to review what we have said, to see targets and progress in therapy.
2pm, I am meeting with a fellow therapist who is also a specialist in delivering speech therapy services by Skype. (She lives in the South of England).
We discuss methods and equipment and iron out some technicalities.
Then finishing up, preparing from Monday and I am thankful that my last meeting was cancelled; now re-scheduled to Sunday. We are developing a Blethers and Banter Group to reduce social isolation and loneliness, promoting mental health and supporting the community. Time to meet with local officials to plan a way forward.
Next week, i’m back to my normal clinic hours and children at school. Juggling work and home life is challenging!