Communication occurs everywhere and anywhere, and rarely with a speech-therapist! Given this, we at Inclusive Communication strongly believe in the value of working on communication skills in the settings where they are most frequently used. Communication success definitely can occur in the therapy room, however we have seen so much success when we met clients in their own space and on their own terms.
We can help you with:
- Developing speech and language skills
- Emergent literacy
- Getting the most out of your AAC device
- Updating and creating low tech supports (i.e., visual supports, communication books, PECS, etc)
- Helping make speech clearer
- Becoming more comfortable teaching and interacting with a child with communication difficulties
- Discussing and trouble shooting links between "behaviour" and communication
Where we work
Therapy and consultation are provided where the client is experiencing communication difficulty and/or where he or she feels most comfortable learning. In other words, we come to you. We currently serve the Greater Wellington region including Upper and Lower Hutt, Kapiti Coast, and the Wairarapa. By special arrangement, we will consider other areas.
Typically, this means therapy is conducted at home, or if the school team agrees, at school. As a person's skills and confidence increases, 'real world' sessions are often included. Sessions can be scheduled in the environments that are particularly motivating (or challenging) as the case might be. For example, if a person's goals are to better communicate in the community, we can arrange to work on communication in those settings. We have also done therapy in cafes, in community centres, at the shops, during summer camps, and on occasion even at the local park!
Collaboration and Commitment
Working closely with clients and their families is the cornerstone to the type of therapy we offer. Our goal is for clients to effectively communicate with the people they see on a regular basis and during their everyday activities. We also strive to help family and teachers to be confident communicating with them.
The reality is most clients will spend less than 1% of their week with a speech therapist. The vast majority of all communication opportunities are with other people. And that is great, because we have yet to hear of someone stating that their primary goal is to be better at communicating with their speech-language therapist!
We want to provide the tools and support so that our clients are able to tell others what they want, share their thoughts, tell stories, have conversations, engage with the written word with confidence, and connect with people. Long term, we want people to be competent communicators so they can focus on goals like getting a job, making and keeping friendships, dating, and succeeding at school.
The best outcomes are seen when people have ample opportunities to communicate, many safe places to make mistakes, and appropriate support systems in place. The surrounding family and community play an important role. Like when learning a new language, we believe full immersion can be more powerful than even the best language instruction in isolation. Ideally we want to see our clients immersed in a world that encourages and supports their communication attempts and social, speech, and language development throughout the day. What this looks like in practice differs for every person and his or her family.
Because of this, therapy at Inclusive Communication extends beyond one-on-one therapy activities. It may be necessary to dedicate time to creating visual supports, updating vocabulary on communication devices, and providing training to families to support someone who is struggling with speech. We may decide that incorporating therapy into daily routines such as meals and household chores is appropriate. At times, we will bring prepared lesson activities and at other times we will look to you for ideas of activities that frequently occur in your family that can be adapted to work on therapy goals.
Intensive blocks or ongoing support - your choice!
Some families and schools really want someone to come in, show them the ropes of a new piece of technology or set of communication techniques, and then want to get on with it. Others prefer support on a more regular basis. Our rates reflect these different styles of support.
On going hour and half hour sessions
These are great for working on speech sounds, like getting tricky consonants clear and more consistently used when speaking. Literacy and language work is also really conducive to regular, shorter sessions appropriate for a child's attention span.
Blocks of therapy and half day options
For kids who rely on Augmentative Communication often the team need periods of more intensive support in which communication books are updated, visual supports are created, speech output devices are reprogrammed, and new respite and teaching assistants are trained up.
Blocks and half days are also useful for assessment purposes when the therapist really needs to see communication in different parts of the day and when teaching new techniques. They can be ideal for teaching and training. Supporting a child who is minimally verbal or non-speaking often comes down to lots of simple easy things done throughout the day. That said, these techniques aren't as intuitive as supporting verbal children with communication challenges. We find the most effective approach is to observe first and then demonstrate various techniques, tailored to a given child, for families and teachers to try. Specifically, we like to take the following approach:
- Watch us try it
- You try it
- We talk about it (if needed)
- Try it without us there
This is much more powerful than reading handouts and reports, but takes time and needs to be linked to whatever everyday life looks like for that specific child.