As some of you may know, I am expecting my first baby (It's a BOY!) and will be taking some time off from work and blogging before and after his arrival. During that time, there will be several guest bloggers/SLPs that will be featured on my blog. I am so excited to share all of the amazing, informative posts they have come up with. I can not thank them all enough for taking the time to write these posts! Just another one of the many reasons I love being part of the SLP world. I hope you all enjoy reading everything over the next several weeks. Please feel free to leave comments and post questions.
The next guest post is written by Maria from Communication Station:Speech Therapy, PLLC! Enjoy!
I work closely with parents during therapy and I very much love the aspect of educating, training and counseling parents on various techniques that can facilitate success in all communication areas. One very helpful way to do this is of course to video tape sessions or parts of sessions. I do have several rules I like to follow when video taping and I thought I'd share them with you today. These strategies are things I have learned over time, through trail and error, as the best possible way to effectively use video tapping.
Here are my 3 simple rules to using video in speech therapy:
1. Only video tape for parents who have access to watching videos at home: This seems so basic but I have made the mistake before, assuming parents have a computer to put a thumb drive in, etc. So before you go video tapping make sure parents can have access to the video on their own time.
2. Video parts of sessions: I have found if I keep the recorder going the whole session, it is HIGHLY unlikely that a parent will have the time to go back and review the whole video for those 5 or 10 mins of great education and counseling. SO, I have learned to be selective in when and how I video. I DO NOT video every session. I tend to video in small increments of time (5-10 mins here and there). I do not video for EVERY client. I use video selectively for those clients that benefit from more visual input and have the time to do so. If a parent is too taxed and too busy they will not be able to look at the videos anyway and I have found adding that stress and then eventually guilt the parent feels by not being able to watch video adds a whole new negative dynamic to therapy that is NOT worth it in my opinion. So I try to weigh out the pros and cons of video prior to using it as a teaching tool. Also parents that are very good at learning in real time and using techniques I teach week to week will not require video as they "get it" long before they will have a video to watch. So what do I video (once I determine if video will be an effective teaching tool):
- I always try to video parent interactions and hopefully PLAY with their child (this is not about telling the parent how "wrong" they are in the way they interact with their child, but rather it’s about making parents aware of the types of interactions they tend to have with their child. For example, are they always asking their child questions? Are they talking "at" rather than "to" their child? This video review is non-judgmental but educational in nature).
- Sibling interactions can also be very helpful as well if the sibling is older and can understand and learn to use various techniques to help the younger child.
- Sometimes taping sibling interactions is a great way to teach parents HOW TO PLAY with their language delayed child.
- I video intervention strategies and teachable moments (see below).
- I make sure to video parents performing strategies and their child's reaction and improved communication in those moments.
- I video tape "before" and "after" the use of strategies. Parents love to see how far they themselves have come in therapy. And I love to show them!
3. Video moments of intervention AND teaching: In my personal experience it is not effective just to video interactions, then use therapy time to go back and review interactions stopping the tape to discuss what parents should do next time. This was how I was initially taught how to use this technique years ago. The problem I find is that parents don't SEE how the technique can actually help their child AND they leave therapy feeling worse about how they interact with their child than empowered. So I like to video for a few minutes uninterrupted then I jump in, and in real-time I am making suggestions to parents. As they change the way they are interacting with their child, they can see, right then and there, how that particular technique will or will not work for their child. After a few minutes, I stop the tape and review with parents how their ability to implement simple techniques and strategies changed their child's interaction. And parents can now take home intervention strategies THEY were able to implement (under guidance of myself) in therapy to change and facilitate communication growth in their child at home. So a parent leaves therapy with examples of strategies on tape AND feeling empowered b/c they were already able to implement them!
So that is how I use video tapping in therapy. I don't use it all the time, but when I do, it is very effective.
Do you use video in your therapy sessions? If so, how do you use it? Have any suggestions? Comment below!
Maria Del Duca, M.S. CCC-SLP, is a pediatric speech-language pathologist in southern, Arizona. She owns a private practice, Communication Station: Speech Therapy, PLLC, and has a speech and language blog under the same name. Maria received her master’s degree from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania. She has been practicing as an ASHA certified member since 2003 and is an affiliate of Special Interest Group 16, School-Based Issues. She has experience in various settings such as private practice, hospital and school environments and has practiced speech pathology in NJ, MD, KS and now AZ. Maria has a passion for early childhood, autism spectrum disorders, rare syndromes, and childhood Apraxia of speech. For more information, visit her blog or find her on Facebook.