Spring Newsletter 2020
It seems that all things COVID-19 have taken over our lives and this newsletter is no different. At Aurora Speech we really value client care and try to support our families through challenges big and small. We hope you find these collated resources and information helpful.
On a lighter note, have you noticed all the new words popping up relating to the pandemic? Some of our favourites have been covidiot (someone ignoring public health advice), quarantini (a sneaky martini in quarantine) and our number one… Blursday (an unspecified day because of lockdown’s disorientating effect on time)! This could be a fun topic of discussion in your household!
Since our last newsletter, face masks have become mandatory for people living in metropolitan Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire. This presents a challenge for many of our clients who may not understand why people are wearing masks, find it difficult to communicate when people wear masks or have sensory difficulties making it distressing for them to wear a mask themselves.
Autism Little Learners have provided a range of social stories about wearing a mask including specific stories relating to why a child’s speech pathologist looks different, occupational therapist, social worker, teacher and more.
Clear face masks
Face masks present communication challenges to many of us, but especially people with communication or hearing difficulties. Your family may benefit from clear face masks, to better support communication on those occasions you need to leave the house, such as going for a family walk or attending a medical appointment. You can order here.
Whilst face masks are mandatory for most, the Victorian government have provided exemptions for people with disability for whom face masks are impractical or unsafe. Our friends at Amaze have put together a great summary of face mask exemptions and advice.
Official DHHS exemption badges
The Department of Health and Human Services have now developed official badges to help with situations where your child might need to ask someone to remove their face mask to better understand them, or people question why your child is not wearing a mask themselves (12 years and older). There are two types of badges available, so please contact us, if you think you or your child are eligible.
Webinar for parents supporting senior students through COVID-19
The Parents Website hosted a free webinar for parents supporting year 12 students through remote learning and the current pandemic. Presented by clinical psychologist Andrew Fuller, the session covered a range of topics and strategies that may also be applied more generally to support senior secondary students. Our five favourite points from the webinar included:
Have a conversation with your teen to talk about what your family need to do in setting them up for success for the rest of the year. Collaboratively decide with your teen what you and they need to Do more of; Do less of; Start doing; Stop doing.
Reading over notes and highlighting the main points won’t help your teen study and remember. Instead, encourage them to summarise and write the key points for each topic of learning to use for testing and revision. When you teach it and test it, you learn it twice.
Help your teen to use their learning strengths to support their learning in more difficult subjects. They often put the least effort into their most difficult subjects. Utilising their strengths can develop confidence and set up momentum.
Willpower only takes you so far. Help your teen develop a schedule including down time and be sure to schedule study time when they are at their most alert. If they need a day off, have a firm rule that you “never miss twice”.
Healthy food, adequate sleep and frequent exercise go a long way to supporting your child’s school success and general wellbeing.
Ideas for Victorian School Holidays
Another great resource put together from The Parents Website, includes a list of activities to suit all ages to keep children and teens occupied during these school holidays. You can find their ideas here.
Getting the kids cooking
Cooking is a great way to work on many of the skills your child is already focusing on in therapy, with delicious rewards for the whole family.
Visit our latest blog post 'Kids in the Kitchen' for ideas on incorporating social skills, speech sounds and new vocabulary learning into cooking, as well as visual recipes for those who benefit from visual prompts such as visual schedules and sentence strips.
Free art-making resource for children with ASD
NGV Kids and La Trobe University have collaborated to make a free art-making resource designed to introduce children with autism to art-making activities. The downloadable activities, suitable for children 5-12 years with the support of an adult, can be adapted to a child’s individual interests or sensory profiles. You can find the downloads here.
Timetables - Term 4, 2020
With strict stay at home restrictions continuing for the next few weeks, Aurora Speech will continue to offer telehealth sessions into term 4. As the Victorian government announce easing restrictions, we will offer families the transition to face-to-face consultations in stages. As the updates for easing restrictions become available, Kristina will contact each family directly to discuss your preferences and create a plan for your child.
Thank you for understanding
The team at Aurora Speech Pathology Services continue to be grateful for your flexibility and understanding throughout these trying times.
Any topics you'd like covered?
If there are any topics you’d like to learn more about, let us know so that we can cover it in future editions of Aurora News. Call Kristina on 0422 667 596 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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